Exorcising the Get: A Ritual of Healing

The author created a ritual to exorcise the pain she experienced when she was required to receive her get with utter passivity.

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Ha-ray ahtah megurash lee

Behold, you are divorced from me.

And then I strode to the "corners" of the open field, surrounded by sunlit hills, where we had gathered. I declared my right to divorce that which had sapped the strivings of my own soul, psyche, and heart, and had lessened my own capacity for loving and being loved. Returning to the semicircle in which my women witnesses stood, I took the get, my get, and I ripped it to shreds. I stomped on the shreds and invited all the witnesses who also bore old rage to name the source of their rage and stomp on the shreds as well.

The ritual was dramatic, powerful, leaving many of us--and certainly me--shaken. But one more time it brought home to me that the awakening of Jewish women in this culture is creating a matrix in which we are free to reclaim the power of, and the right to, our own spiritual lives. In this sense, as in others, the ritual of exorcising the get became a needed ritual of healing.

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Miriyam Glazer

Miriyam Glazer, professor of literature at the University of Judaism, is author of Dancing on the Edge of the World: Jewish Stories of Faith, Inspiration, and Love and Dreaming the Actual: Contemporary Fiction and Poetry by Israeli Women Writers. She is studying for the Conservative rabbinate. She married again in September 2003.