Friday, June 09, 2023

When a Jewish husband neglects to give his wife a Jewish divorce when their marriage ends in divorce, this woman becomes an agunah, unable to remarry according to halacha. I write today to put the case of Lonna Kin Ralbag back in the news because Lonna has been an agunah for more than 18 years.

Please join me now in declaring loud and clear, that’s a shandah. The facts are quite simple.

Husband Meir Kin is angry at Lonna. In his anger he has found a loophole in halacha that has given him the okay to even remarry while preventing Lonna from doing the same. While I will call Meir an evil man I will also note that I respect his method of manipulating the Jewish law for his personal reasons. Of course it would be better if he were to also free Lonna from being an agunah, but he has chosen to not do that.

Long is the list of prominent Orthodox rabbis who have dealt with this case. I respect their efforts and I cry bitter tears for their lack of success. They have put Meir in cherem but that has not been the needed solution. They tell me that they want to help Lonna but their hands are tied by the intricacies of Jewish law. So you will have to judge for yourself if they are correct or not. I stand embarrassed for my colleagues!

Of course ORA has also befriended Lonna but, alas, all of their well-meaning efforts have not succeeded.

In dealing with a master manipulator of halachic loopholes, we must beat him at his own game.

He is surely very clever and we must find his weak spot. At this moment he is a winner and we must pull him out of his winner circle. Feeling sad for Lonna is not enough. We must do everything in our creative powers to free her.

It is my hope that you will have a cogent suggestion to resolve this terrible shandah. Please be in touch with your ideas as I have pledged to not rest until Lonna is no longer an agunah.

Rabbi Simcha A. Green
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