There are many cases throughout the Mishnayos and Gemarra of women who one is obligated to divorce. I believe all of them are Rabbinic. I'm wondering if there's ever a case where the Torah would obligate a person to divorce their wife. While it may be a mitzvah according to some to divorce one's wife with a get, the simplest explanation of that is that it's the avenue the Torah wants a person to use when they want to end their marriage. Not that they must divorce their wife.

A potential answer is cases of forbidden marriages, such as a Yisroel to a Mamzer, or a Kohen to a Zonah. I believe marital intimacy in these cases is forbidden, and maybe potentially getting married. However, let's say they are already married, and live apart, and neither of them have an interest or requirement to get remarried. Can they stay in this state? Is this an example where there's a Torah obligation to get divorced?

  • Are you looking for a statement like this in eruvin 41b: אשה רעה מצוה לגרשה
    – Dr. Shmuel
    May 24, 2019 at 1:29
  • It may be a mitzvah but that may not be an obligation. That also may be a Rabbinic proclamation
    – robev
    May 24, 2019 at 1:46
  • על הגירושין משום דיש קצת גירושין שהן בעבירה כגון שלא מצא בה המגרש ערוה ומשלחה ואע״פ שיש מצוה במקצתה כגון אותן נשים שנשאו בעבירה שמצוה לגרשן ולא פלוג רבנן בגירושין שיברך במקצתו ולא יברך במקצתו from the famous teshuva about which Mitzvot get brachot
    – Double AA
    May 24, 2019 at 3:17
  • Try reviewing sefer Hoshea... May 24, 2019 at 4:42
  • Are you asking about of the 613 Mitzvos or Mitzvos in general, like ones you mentioned in Issurim?
    – Al Berko
    May 24, 2019 at 9:52

1 Answer 1


Under some circumstances, if she wants a divorce he'd have to give it, from general bein adam lachaveiro considerations. The husbands who leave their wives as agunos are pretty obviously violating ואהבת לרעך כמוך and several other mitzvos deoraisa.

If he's a zar, she's a bas Kohen, they don't have any kids, she's starving, and there's nothing to eat but terumah, he'd have to divorce her to avoid her having to eat terumah that's forbidden to her. Or alternatively if it's right before Pesach and there's no matzah around except terumah, he'd have to divorce her so she could fulfill her mitzvah deoraisa of eating matzah.

  • 1
    He's chayav to ensure she not eat forbidden terumah or to ensure she eats matzah on Pesach? What's the chiyuv.
    – robev
    May 24, 2019 at 0:23
  • Ok, that might depend on whether women are included in ערבות.
    – Heshy
    May 24, 2019 at 0:24
  • I'm not sure these examples are valid. For the matza he doesn't have to give up more than chomesh for his own obligation let alone helping her, and I don't know how much he has to give up to accomplish hakal hakal since pikuach nefesh in principle lets her eat anything
    – Double AA
    Nov 29, 2023 at 16:38

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