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June 2013

Ran HaCohen (PhD), Middle East Correspondent

 Voluntariness is a tricky concept in Jewish religious tradition. A classical case is divorce rules: when a Jewish woman wants a divorce, her husband is the only one who can give her that. But if he refuses, the Rabbis can pressure him to give a divorce until he says: “I am willing”. The pressure may include anything from fine through imprisonment to physical punishment.