Re: Divorce Among Jews in Poland #poland

Steven Bloom

My 4th great grandfather, a rabbi in central Poland in the mid 19th century, was clearly divorced from his first wife. Though I never found divorce records or reference to the divorce, town records clearly show that he had many children with a second wife (given that he was a rabbi, I assume they were absolutely religiously married and that he had a "get" from his first wife).  Also, I did find a death record for the first wife, well after the period of the second marriage and the births of the children with the second wife. She reverted to her maiden name in public records.

Oddly, one of his sons and some of his grandsons were also divorced. I don't know whether this was because the concept of divorce was more acceptable or whether this family may have had a wider rift with other families in the town. 

Then again, in some of my other branches I also have over 100 years of records, and not one divorce.

Chae-Ran Freeze wrote an excellent book on Jewish marriage and divorce in the Russian Empire, and though the book didn't include much of "Congress Poland," a number of the reasons for divorce may have been  common over a wider geography (everything from religious differences to falling out of love).  

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