Rav Aviner and Prenuptial Agreements

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prenuptial-agreementA report is circulating that Rav Shlomo Aviner rejects prenuptial agreements. I have confirmation from him and permission to publicize that he was speaking exclusively about a proposed prenuptial agreement in Israel, which differs substantively from the American halachic prenup, which was approved by Rav Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg, among others. The primary difference is that the proposed Israeli prenuptial agreement includes multiple explicit references to “divorce,” while the American version does not. According to Rav Goldberg, that is a crucial difference.

Rav Pinchas Shapiro, author of Responsa Brisi Shalom, sent my contact a responsum explaining his concerns about the Israeli prenuptial agreement and how it differs from the American.

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student has served two terms on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and currently serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.


  1. bh

    i will point that rav goldberd has not endorsed american prenup either, as he has not seen it.

    the american prenup is in english, a language that rav goldberg does not read. he has been show =n a Hebrew version, which has substantial difference. i am not saying rav goldberg would not agree to the american one either. i am just saing that we do not know either way, till he actually sees it, and says OK.

  2. R Aviner rightfully pointed out his grave concern for nusach in prenups that was entirely one sided and focused exclusively on the woman as a potential aguna yet deleted all potential safeguards for the groom’s rights.

    The feminist lobby have consistently misrepresented such reasonable concern — not with prenups but outrageous terms embedded in the fine print of some — as the equivalent of rejecting prenups entirely.


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