Labor voters asked to help agunot

A group of Orthodox women activists petitioned Labor Party members during Wednesday's primary election to help alleviate the plight of agunot. As party members entered their Jerusalem headquarters to vote for their next candidate for prime minister, women from Yad Le'isha, affiliated with Rabbi Shlomo Riskin's Ohr Torah Stone Institute, asked them to sign a petition to help agunot - women who are separated from their husbands but cannot, according to Jewish law, be remarried because their husband refuses to give them a get (divorce certificate). The petition is directed at Minister-without-Portfolio Haim Ramon, who sits on the state committee that chooses rabbinical court judges. Yad Le'isha head Batsheva Sherman said she was trying to force Ramon to be faithful to his party's ideals of gender equality. "There are two basic approaches to divorce negotiations held by rabbinical judges," said Sherman. "One approach allows husbands to use the get as a bargaining chip to extract as much as possible from his wife before divorce. The other forbids this despicable behavior. "We want Ramon to know there will be a political price to pay if he supports the wrong approach."