I was reading http://m.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/560111/jewish/The-Wifes-Grounds-for-Divorce.htm

And I saw

The husband who hits his wife, curses her, ridicules her, insults her, or insults his wife's parents in the presence of his wife, .., or whose general mode of communication with his wife is through temperamental outbursts and disrespectful language, creates a situation which is untenable. The wife cannot be expected to live in such an environment, and she is well within her rights to demand a divorce.
In this situation, the wife must be able to show that this is not a rare occurrence, or an isolated outburst, but that it is reflective of the husband's usual demeanor. 
The wife whose husband forces her into conjugal relations during her menstrual period may also demand a divorce. This is the case even if she may not be scrupulous with regard to observing the laws of menstruation, which forbid conjugal union during that period and seven days beyond.

Is this the halacha?
What are the sources of this?
Does she get the kesuba in these cases?

  • Related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/71354/5120
    – hazoriz
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 8:58
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Why can't a woman demand a divorce? Commented May 18, 2016 at 10:17
  • 1
    @sabbahillel ? This says she can demand my question is if this is a sufficient reason for her
    – hazoriz
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 10:18
  • You must rephrase your question, as a wife can demand and claim whatever she wants in a court. You probably mean "can a wife be guaranteed a divorce from an abusive husband" or "will a court force a husband to divorce his wife in case of ...".
    – Al Berko
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 22:52
  • @AlBerko bhavod (I allow you to do it;))
    – hazoriz
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 22:53

2 Answers 2


You're probably looking for this Rem"o in Shulchan_Arukh,_Even_HaEzer.154.3:

A man who hits his wife, has a transgression in his hand as much as striking his fellow. If he does this often, the court had the right to cause him pain and to excommunicate him, to whip him, to use all types of force, and to make him swear he will not do it again. And if he does not obey the court, some say we force him to divorce her, as long as he is warned one or twice, for it is not the way of Jews to hit their wives, that is the actions of the gentiles. This only applies when he starts it, but if she curses him for no reason, or mocks his father and mother, and she contradicts what he says and he has no authority over her, some say it is permitted to hit her. And some say that a bad wife is [also] prohibited to strike. The first opinion is the essential one. If it is not known who started it, the husband is not believed to say that she started it, for all women are assumed kosher, and they place others among them to see who is the bad one. And if she curses him for no reason, she is divorced without her ketubah.

Here's a real case from Haifa's Bais Din with a lot of sources: בית הדין האזורי חיפה.

But let me elaborate a bit about the procedure:

  1. The Halakha outlines certain responsibilities of a husband toward his wife and limitations to his behavior. Violations of those responsibilities or misbehavior can be seen as a ground for divorce.

  2. It should be clear, however, that it is unanimously accepted, that a wife is (a kind of) her husband's property, as she's acquired through a Kosher Kiddushin procedure. The only Kosher way of getting out of Jewish marriage is for the husband to willingly let his wife leave (i.e. the Get).

  3. Practically, even though the standard phrasing of the Kiddushin ceremony says "כדת משה וישראל" (based on Moses and Israel tradition), a Beis Din can not rule the divorce or annul the marriage (it can only invalidate it if it finds if faulty, like non Kosher witnesses), but only try to force the husband to willingly divorce. This implies some psychological and social pressure, boycotting, possible financial sanctions, but no more. Even in cases when the Halokhah is strict about the necessity to divorce, it uses the wording "יוציא ויתן כתובה" (he will divorce and pay the Kesubah), but it still depends solely on the husband's will.

  4. Back to your question, a wife can demand and claim whatever she pleases before any Beis Din. As the Kiddushin is not required to be approved by a Bais Din, the husband can refuse to show up or to refuse a Bais Din's right to judge him, and there's nothing his wife can do about it. Even if he appears and accepts its right to judge him, he can deny all accusations. We need witnesses and evidences etc, and that can go for years, and the husband cal run away altogether and leave her Agunah. But, let's say the husband accepts all the charges and the Bais Din rules he has to divorce and pay the Kesubah. Unfortunately it has no practical power.

  5. If you read the case to the end you can found the verdict:


א. בית הדין מחייב את הבעל בגט.

ב. על הצדדים לפתוח תיק לסידור הכגט

ג. אם הבעל יסרב ליתן גט בית הדין ידון בצווי הגבלה

(translation: the verdict: We obligate the husband to set the Get (divorce), if he will refuse, the Bais Din will discuss an option to restrict husband's ability to leave Israel.

To sum it up, although the Halokhah recognizes domestic violence as a ground for divorce, it has little of practical meaning.

  • +1 do you have a source for "forces her into conjugal relations during her menstrual period" and "curses her, ridiculesher, insults her, or insults his wife's parents in the presence of his wife"
    – hazoriz
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 19:12
  • "temperamental outbursts and disrespectful language" i found - aruch hashulchan 154.11 hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14243&st=&pgnum=637
    – hazoriz
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 19:18
  • "forces her into conjugal relations during her menstrual period" maybe is Aruch Hashulchan E”H 154.15 and sefaria.org/Shulchan_Arukh,_Even_HaEzer.154.1
    – hazoriz
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 19:20
  • but "curses her, ridiculesher, insults her, or insults his wife's parents in the presence of his wife" i only saw regarding a husband, where is this about a wife?
    – hazoriz
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 19:20
  • i would greatly appreciate if you find
    – hazoriz
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 19:22

While I cannot speak to the sources (I am not the author, who oddly enough includes sources elsewhere), many of the cases in which a woman forfeits her right to the kesubah are delineated by Chazal.

If the wife commits adultery, spitefully withholds relations, or makes her husband commit aveiros (such as feeding him non-kosher or having him bo'el niddah by not going to the mikvah) then this would result in forfeiture of her rights to the kesubah. Note that some might make exceptions in the last case, such as a husband who habitually eats non-kosher being fed non-kosher food by his wife.

A woman demanding a get does not automatically forfeit her rights to the kesubah, especially where, as in the cases your article discusses, it is appropriate for the court to "use it's muscle" to coerce the husband into divorcing his wife.

Note that none of this precludes the possibility of the get being given under the condition that the wife pay the husband the value of her kesubah (or otherwise forfeit her right to the payment), though a Beis Din might refuse to commission a get containing such a condition.

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