The Case of an Accidental Marriage in Crete That Rocked the 16th-Century Rabbinic World

Feb. 18 2020

In Jewish law, a man can betroth a woman by giving her money, or an object of monetary value, and declaring his intentions—so long as the woman knowingly accepts. The betrothal is a binding ritual that can only be reversed by a formal divorce. Today betrothal usually takes place during the wedding ceremony, with a ring and a formulaic declaration, but none of these elements is strictly necessary. That is how in Crete—then a Venetian province known as Candia—in 1531, a young woman named Kasti Delmedigo became the subject of a fierce, international rabbinic controversy. Ann Brener explains:

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Divorce, Halakhah, Jewish marriage

Israel Has Dodged a Constitutional Crisis, but Only Temporarily

April 3 2020

Two weeks ago, then-Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein refused to hold a vote for his replacement, insisting that, in keeping with precedent, the new speaker should only be chosen after a governing coalition has been formed. As his move prevented the newly installed Israeli parliament from resuming its normal business, the Supreme Court tried to break the impasse with two unprecedented interventions into the legislative branch. To Evelyn Gordon, Edelstein acted out of a “genuine and serious concern” about constitutionally questionable moves by his opponents, even if the court was justified in its order that elections for the new speaker take place.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, Israeli politics, Israeli Supreme Court, Knesset