Religion Magazine

Interesting Psak: Chatting Or Cheating?

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
Facebook chatting became a central issue in divorce proceedings in the Rabbanut beis din.
Srugim reports that a husband in divorce proceedings claimed that his wife was cheating on him via Facebook, as she was chatting with other males and not being intimate with him, in an attempt to get out of paying her the money he would owe her from the kesuba.
The wife was claiming the value of her kesuba, 55,555nis (there are those hamsa values again), while he claimed he owed her nothing due to her spending her nights chatting with other men on Facebook instead of spending them with him. He even presented a printout of her chats via Facebook and Messenger as proof, of both their existence and that they took place well into the nights and also showed that she had called some men, even past midnight.
She admitted to having used Facebook, but claimed it was not that much and only for searches but not actual chatting and was for the purpose of getting her husband to pay attention to her. She brought the mikva attendant as a witness that she dunked in her scheduled time and was not refusing that.
After deliberations, the beis din decided that she had only used it for searches and there was no proof of actual partners on Facebook chats, it is clear she was using it as she said - to get her husband to pay attention to her. They said that even though this is not proper behavior, it is not enough to qualify her as rebellious. And they ruled in her favor that he had to pay up.
I am not sure that the mikva lady testifying really proves anything. All she knows is that the woman went to the mikva. she does not know anything about what goes on at home. Just because she went to the mikva does not mean she is refusing her husband or that she isn't having an affair. Though, obviously, if she had refused to go to the mikva that would give her the status of a moredes baala, so this testimony avoids that.
The discussion itself is interesting, but even more so that it implies that had they discovered evidence of actual chatting, and not just searches, they would have considered her rebellious and stripped her of her kesuba, even without proof of her having an actual affair. Maybe I am reading into it incorrectly, but this is what looks implied to me.
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