What is a Get?
A get is a divorce under halacha, or Jewish law. The word can also refer to the document that grants the get, though its technical name is sefer k’ritot, or scroll of severance. The sefer k’ritot is a no-fault document, not citing any specific reasons for the divorce, though a sofer or scribe writes out the specific reasons for the couple involved.
A literal interpretation of the law states clearly that only a man may initiate divorce proceedings. Some Orthodox authorities still hold strictly to this law. But Conservative, Reform, and even many Orthodox authorities agree that although the Talmud says it is the husband who must have the sefer k’ritot written, the wife may initiate the process of the get by convening a beit din (rabbinical court).
The writing of the sefer k’ritot, its delivery to the woman, and her acceptance of it constitute a get. Once she has received the document, a woman is divorced under Jewish law, and can, if she chooses, remarry under Jewish law. If she does not obtain a get, a woman is considered an agunah and cannot remarry under strict Jewish law, including in the State of Israel.
Learn more about agunot.
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