Jewish law expressly forbids personal violence and requires commitment to shalom bayit, a happy and peaceful family life.  Jewish men who commit domestic violence or abuse, are destroying shalom bayit and breaking Jewish law.

Classic Jewish source texts in this area include:

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

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

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

A man who strikes his wife commits a sin, just as if he were to strike anyone else -  Rama, Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 154:3

Jewish Women’s Aid works with women across the breadth of the community and our skilled support workers and counsellors understand the issues facing Orthodox women and children affected by domestic abuse.

Our Orthodox clients sometimes come to us having experienced spiritual abuse - the use of an inappropriate interpretation of Jewish law to make them do things; denying their access to Jewish authorities; making them feel like they are not a good Jewish wife, or running a good Jewish home. Our Orthodox clients are also sometimes being refused a Get by their abusive partners.

We know that as a religious Jewish woman, you may be concerned about the shame and stigma of seeking help and support; you may be concerned that you won’t be believed; you may worry about your children’s shidduch prospects, and you may need a rabbi or rebbetzen to talk to about what you’re going through. At Jewish Women’s Aid, we can support you through your journey.  We work closely with a skilled, trained group of rabbis and rebbetzens who have an understanding of domestic abuse, and can offer specialist advice and support. If you would like to speak to one of them, please email us.


Rabbi Abraham J. Twersky MD, The Shame Borne in Silence - Spouse Abuse in the Jewish Community. Urim Publications, revised version 2015.

Lisa Twersky - I'm so confused, am I being abused - Guidance for the Orthodox Jewish Spouse and those who want to help. Israel Bookshop Publications 2011