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Let's leave aside the question of whether the concept of "kol demekadesh adaata derbanan hu demekadesh" (weddings are conditional on the agreement of the greater rabbinate) relies on their power to declare things ownerless. 700 years ago, the Rashba (Responsa 1162) asked why the rabbis didn't cancel weddings retroactively in the case of a happily-married ...


In "Gray Matter - Discourses in Contemporary Halachah", Rabbi Chaim Jachter explores various proposed solutions to the Agunah problem, including the idea of instituting a condition that would retroactively annul the marriage in the event of civil divorce. He writes that such a suggestion was made in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by some ...

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