Religion Magazine

Annulment of Worst Aguna Case in Israel

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
You rarely hear about wedding annulments in Judaism. They are very rare and happen only in exceptional cases. Interestingly, there was an annulment just less than two weeks ago, and now the news is now reporting the second wedding annulment this month that was just finalized a short while ago.
The case is of Oded Gez who has left his wife an aguna 5 years ago by refusing to give her a gett. The situation got so bad that the batei din imposed the harshest social sanctions on him that were available in their toolbelt. As a result of those sanctions he was fired form his job as professor at Bar Ilan University, in addition to other sanctions as well. He was also publicly "shamed", though for years it did not help.
At some point Gez escaped from Israel using a forged passport, hiding out in Cyprus, Uman, England and Belgium as he ran away from legal authorities and from the beis din aguna division who stayed no his trail. He was captured in Belgium and is in the process of being extradited to Israel.
In the meantime, the beis din in Haifa revisited his case and has decided, based on reasons they have chosen to keep secret, to annul the marriage. Mrs is no longer married, no longer an aguna and is not a divorcee. She has the status of having never been married. sources: Behadrei, Kipa, Ynet
I am happy she has received her freedom.
I would like to hear the logic and proofs employed in deciding there was room to annul.
I wonder how an annulment affects Oded Gez's legal status. If they were never married, did he retroactively do nothing wrong?
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