Religion & Beliefs

Getting a Get (And Other Redundancies)

Cindy Chupack strikes again! In yet another Modern Love column from the ever so Jew-ish "Sex And The City" brain trust, Chupack has treated us to an exploration of the Jewish divorce process, otherwise known as the get. I’m in … Read More

By / May 6, 2007

Cindy Chupack strikes again! In yet another Modern Love column from the ever so Jew-ish "Sex And The City" brain trust, Chupack has treated us to an exploration of the Jewish divorce process, otherwise known as the get. I’m in the midst of getting a get at the moment, myself. Which is a strange thing, I can attest, not least because of its singular linguistic weirdness: Where else in English do we have the chance to use an identical verb and noun in concert? Chewing a chew? (Starbursts leap to mind. Mmmmm, cherry.) Swallowing a swallow? (I’m a vegetarian; that’s gross.) Fucking a fuck? (We’ve all made mistakes.) Drinking a drink? (Yes, please.) Here’s how it goes: Over the phone, I give the special get-giving Rabbi my Hebrew name, my ex-husband’s Hebrew name, our parents’ Hebrew names, and a few details about the when/where/why/how of the whole debacle that was our brief marriage. I send him our Ketubah, which, since it is egalitarian, includes the Lieberman Clause. The Lieberman Clause is key, ladies, for ensuring that you can’t ever be effectively held hostage in marriage by some rat-bastard extortionist. It means that the woman has equal right to exit a marriage; her husband can’t keep her imprisoned as an Agunah. (Literary types will recall with horror Nathan Englander’s sad, sad tale of a sad, sad — and rather hairy — Agunah in For The Relief of Unbearable Urges.) I write a five-hundred dollar check to the Rabbinical Court. Abra-cadabra: I am officially, Jewishly divorced. Which is a lot like being secularly, legally divorced, as far as I can tell. Which is to say: awesome.
Chupack’s impetus for getting her get is re-marriage. Given that the ink has long since dried on my divorce (Chupack's too), my get-getting is little more than an appeasement of my mom, who’s fond of making passive-aggressive statements about the bastard status of my as-yet-unborn children. Because, oh yeah: if I proceed, sans get, to partner up with someone new and make some munchkins, said munchkins would, under Jewish law, be considered Mamzerim (Bastards). Which would, I guess, make it pretty apt to be like: “Come here and eat your Cheerios, you little bastards!”  I suppose I can always call them that regardless, though. So all’s well that ends well. (But I lied: I made my mom write the check.)