Grounds for Divorce

Related to yesterday’s Parsha, the Mishna in Gittin gives three opinions as to what are grounds for divorce.

Beit Shamai emphasizes the word ערוה and says that a serious act of nakedness or infidelity must take place. Beit Hillel says that there must be a reason for divorce with emphasis on the word, דבר, something. Rabbi Akiva said that he doesn’t need a reason and as long as he no longer wants his wife, he divorces her.

Rabbi Soloveitchik commented on the reason of Rabbi Akiva. He said that the marriage bond must be pure and holy. If the husband no longer wants his wife, it is likely that he found someone else. The fact that he would even consider someone else, is a form of adultery. Such a couple, should not remain married.