This is a book about Jewish divorce. It will attempt to pinpoint the root causes of divorce, and the alarm signals that should set one thinking about possible dangers in the marital compact. It will endeavor to place a perspective on marriage and divorce, so that couples who are contemplating divorce know the serious ramifications of what they are about to do.

And if divorce should be the inescapable route that a couple must take, this book will propose guidelines for how to go about divorcing in the Jewish way, because divorcing properly is a mitzvah. Divorcing is a biblical prescription, a commandment.

This does not mean that the Torah commands us to divorce our spouses. However, it does insist that if a marriage must be terminated, then it should be terminated in a sacred, sanctified, and dignified way, through a biblically mandated process.

The biblically mandated process deals primarily with the legal document, and the transmission of that document.

However, there is more to divorce than just the transmission of a document. There is the matter of division of property, there is the issue of responsibility to children, and there is the often neglected area of responsibility to one's former spouse, among other considerations.

There is a Jewish way in marriage, and there is a Jewish way in divorce; or more precisely, a Jewish divorce ethic.

Since divorce is so much a part of Jewish life, however lamentable that may be, it is folly to neglect this, and to therefore deny couples who are contemplating divorce, the possibility of going about it in a Jewishly responsible manner. This book is therefore a modest start in that direction.

For the purposes of making the book more readable and accessible to a greater public, it is written in popular style, and except for the most essential, avoids citations and references, which would deflect from attention to the text matter itself.

My hope in writing this book is that it will help couples to cope with marital disintegration. My greater hope is that the message of the book will be instrumental in helping to avoid this very disintegration.

Reuven P. Bulka, Ottawa, Ontario