Husband Wife Relationship

The emphasis on family life is clearly evident, and the vast majority of Israelis of all walks of life do, in fact, choose to marry. The family centeredness of Israeli society also affects couples' priorities in marriage, and many Israelis feel that joint children are a sufficient reason to maintain an otherwise unfulfilling marriage (Lavee & Katz, 2003).

Since religious law governs all personal matters, divorce is not a judicial act, and only men can grant divorce. If the husband does not agree to divorce his wife—she cannot remarry. If she divorces in civil courts outside Israel and remarries, any children born from this new relationship would be considered mamzerim (bastards—a child born to an adulteress). Under Israeli Jewish law, these children and their offspring cannot marry for 10 generations. If a married man has a relationship with an unmarried woman, these children have the same rights and standing as his children from his marriage. There are even provisions for a man to marry a secondly wife, if his first wife will not agree to the divorce (Raday, 1993a). The only situation in which a divorce might be granted to a woman without her husband's consent would be if she could prove that her husband is infertile. The fact that the husband can refuse to allow his wife a divorce, thereby placing her in limbo should she wish to have a family with another man, gives the husband great power. It should be noted, however, that if both partners want a divorce, it is very easy to obtain.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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