It's worth reading about the Tzohar Rabbis: they are trying to put a more open and modern face on the Rabbinical Establishment in Israel. I applaud their efforts to compete with the monopoly that the Rabbanut holds on marriage and divorce in this country.

Still, I worry that the Tzohar Rabbis may remain squarely Orthodox (and more important orthodox- with a lower case "o") in their halakhic thinking. And I wonder if they will have the gall to uproot some of the systematic inequities that lead to the problems of mesorovot get, as described in this creative article.

Painting by Cricket Diane C Phillips
The recent Air France plane crash has halakhic consequences for one women whose husband was on the flight. While she and her family had a natural reaction to plan a memorial ceremony after the coast guard began finding the awful remains of the plane and its passengers, the Rabbis were debating her status as a married woman, an agunah, or a widow.

If a woman's husband disappears, she must remain in limbo, awaiting the facts of his absence. The talmud says, if a man drowns in a Yam Shayin lo sof, a sea that has no end (a very large one), then the Rabbis free her on the assumption that we have enough (if not 100%) proof that he died.

I don't want to add my own comments today,  for this issue feels like a Sea of tears with no end, for the widow, for agunot of all types of cases, and for mesoravot get.

I do have to say the comments on this recent article intrigued me.  While I disagreed with a few, overall I was glad to see a civil public debate on the topic.