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When she went to the Rabbinate to marry a third time, the registrar noticed that she had never received halitza from her first husband’s brother whose whereabouts she did not know.
When the brother was located, he turned out to be diabetic and his legs had been amputated.
It’s not anything we feminists should be happy about, even though what the Jews did was appropriate for those times," Baumgarten said.
Lubitch, who also works at the Center for Women’s Justice in Jerusalem, said that marrying a brother-in-law protected some women in the old days.
When Sarah presented the registrar with her late husband’s death certificate, he asked if her deceased husband had any children."It was like something out of a biblical play, only we were forced to do it in the 21st century.And what if my brother-in-law had insisted on marrying me?"At the same time, he can refuse to free the woman but the woman cannot refuse to marry the man." When halitza was first conceived, women throughout the world were considered the property of their husband’s family."Society in general was patriarchal and women belonged to her husband’s family," Baumgarten said.
"We took it slowly, but eventually I found myself coming out of the darkness," Sarah, who lives in central Israel and requested anonymity, recalled recently.