Judges rules that for next 21 days rabbinical court may not rule on efficacy of divorce granted to woman by comatose husband.

The High Court heard today (Wednesday) the petition of a woman against the Rabbinical Court presided over by Rishon Letzion Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, who seeks to readjudicate the efficacy of a divorce granted to a woman by her comatose husband.

The court forbade the rabbinical court to discuss the divorce's legitimacy for 21 days, until a decision on the woman's petition will be forthcoming. During this period, the High Rabbinical Court will be in contact with Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

The Vice-President of the Supreme Court, Justice Elyakim Rubinstein criticized the decision of Rabbi Yosef reopen discussion on a get that had already been granted and released a woman from aguna status. "The court is not a place for symposiums, but rather for judicial decisions . Make a seminar, write articles, but why tamper with things?"

Rubinstein asked the Legal Adviser to the rabbinical courts if he "knows of a precedent where a man from off the street with no connection to the case submits an appeal and the court is willing to discuss it? He would be shown the door immediately. Who would touch it? What role has he in this story? To summon 11 judges for an expanded hearing? I understand that this is an halachic argument, one hundred percent, but to [actually adjudicate it] in court?"

In 2014, S. was given a divorce in a rare move by a religious court in the northern city of Tzfat, seven years after her husband was severely injured in a car accident and left in a vegetative state.

Shortly after the ruling was issued and the divorce granted, Reuven Cohen, who opposed the decision but is unconnected to the couple in question, filed an appeal with the Supreme Rabbinic Court – the Chief Rabbinate’s highest judicial body – to challenge the divorce. This is an unusual step in the rabbinic courts, although Israel's Supreme Courts constantly accept suits filed by uninvolved parties

Two months ago, the Supreme Rabbinic Court and the chief rabbis decided to take on the case, in a move blasted by Mavoi Satum – The Organization for the Rights of Abandoned Women.

Outside the Supreme Court MKs and women's groups demonstrated against Rabbi Yosef's decision. MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) said that "unfortunately, in the struggle for the Jewish character of the State of Israel - we're lucky to have the Supreme Court. Let us hope that today it will have its say about the petition you submitted".

"We have to thank the one we call 'the agunah from Tzfat'; thanks to her, some of the fog will clear. Perhaps a result of this struggle will be that many young couples in Israel who do not want to marry today in the Jewish way - just so as not to fall into the hands of those who would cast doubt upon their divorce if they are forced to divorce - will get married according to the laws of Moses and Israel. Therefore the merit in this struggle belongs to this agunah and it is much wider and more important for the future of the Jewish state of Israel," explained Stern.