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Get (divorce document)
presented by Siegfried Leopold
to his wife, Resi, née Heim

handwritten document

According to Jewish law, a marriage is only annulled when a bill of divorce, called a "get" in Hebrew, is drawn up and presented by the husband to his wife. The get itself does not represent the formal confirmation of the divorce, which is only finalized when the document is given to the wife.

The get is written by an expert scribe at the rabbinical court after the husband has stated his wishes.

The bill of divorce is subject to a number of conditions as regards form, material, and script. It must be written with a goose quill in pure black ink on parchment or paper. The document must be longer than it is wide and not contain any erasures or holes. The text is composed in square Hebrew script on twelve lines. This number corresponds to the numerical value of the word "get," which consists of the letters gimel (=3) and tet (=9).

The Aramaic text of the divorce document, which is predefined and has been in use for centuries, includes the name of the husband and wife, as well as the place and date of the agreement. It must be signed by two witnesses. The central passage reads: "And now I do release, discharge, and divorce you to be on your own, so that you are permitted and have authority over yourself to go and marry any man you desire." After the document is handed over to the wife, it is torn so that it cannot be reused and given to the head of the rabbinical court.

Object details:
Get (divorce document) presented by Siegfried Leopold to his wife, Resi, née Heim
Berlin, August 12, 1937
Ink on paper
36.6 x 25.8 cm

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