Do not stand idly by while your neighbour's blood is spilled

Leviticus 19:16

One in 4 women will experience domestic abuse in the course of her lifetime 

One in 10 women are experiencing domestic abuse at any one time

Our Jewish community is no different.

Rabbis and communal professionals are uniquely placed to notice domestic abuse, particularly as they meet people at times of simchas and bereavements - occasions when family strains often become visible.

Our Jewish organisations should be places where survivors feel safe to seek help and support.

JWA runs regular trainings for professionals and key volunteers, to enable Jewish professionals to support their congregants experiencing domestic violence & abuse. 

Some resources that Rabbis and communal professionals may find useful:

Key traditional Jewish texts

Do not stand idly by and see your neighbour’s blood spilled – Leviticus 19:16

A husband should love his wife as much as he does himself and should respect her even more than he respects himself – Babylonian Talmud Yevamot 62b

Maintaining the dignity of a person is so great that it may override halacha – Babylonian Talmud Brachot 19b

A man who strikes his wife commits a sin, just as if he were to strike anyone else -  Commentary of R. Moses Isserles on Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 154:3

Sermons/Divrei Torah

Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks D'var Torah on Hayyei Sarah 2009

Rabbi Hannah Kingston Sermon on #MeToo 2017

Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi January 2017

Rabbi Miriam Bayfield Sukkot 2007

Rabbi Aaron Goldstein D'var Torah November 2018

Rabbi Lisa Barratt November 2017

Rabbi Lee Wax D'var Torah on Vayishlach 2017

Books & other written material

The shame borne in silence: spouse abuse in the Jewish community, Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski MD, revised edition 2015 Urim Publications

Embracing Justice: a guide for clergy, Jewish Women International, available online

Rethinking Sukkot, Purim, Shabbat, Shavuot: Women, Relationships & Jewish Texts, available online

Wifebeating in the Jewish Tradition, Dr. Naomi Graetz, Ben Gurion University, Wikipedia online