The Philosophy of Rabbi Professor Eliezer Berkovits z”l Part 4: Conditional Marriage and Divorce – Solutions for Agunot


Torat Hayim A Living Torah: The Thoughts of Rabbi Professor Eliezer Berkovits z”l.

In this 6-part lecture series, Rabbi Rahel Berkovits looks at the thoughts of her grandfather, Rabbi Professor Eliezer Berkovits z”l. What is the interplay between Torah and real life situations? How do ancient texts apply to modern times? The philosophy of R. Berkovits will be examined through the lens of his writings on women and Jewish law, conversion and the unity of the Jewish people, the problem of Agunot, a sexual ethic in modern time, and the challenges of Prayer.

This week: Conditional Marriage and Divorce – Solutions for Agunot. Well before the Orthodox world was ready to think about the plight of the Agunah Berkovits proposed suggestions for dealing with a woman who cannot get a divorce. In this session we will examine what motivated him to address this important issue and some of the ideas he presented.

“The practice of our time in the application of the marriage and divorce laws of the Torah often leads to grievous human suffering and causes a great deal of Hillul Hashem. It is ethically indefensible; but Halakha is not responsible for it.” (Not in Heaven: The Nature and Function of Halakha p.106)

Click here for more episodes in this series.


About Rahel Berkovits

Rahel teaches Mishnah, Talmud and Halakha at Pardes. She has spent many years studying Talmud and Jewish texts in both traditional and academic frameworks at Midreshet Lindenbaum, The Shalom Hartman Institute, and Hebrew University in both the Talmud and Jewish education departments. In 2015, Rahel completed her studies at Beit Midrash Har’el and received ordination from Rabbi Herzl Hefter and Rabbi Daniel Sperber. Click here to read more.

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