I just started watching Shtisel (so the spoilers below only apply to the first two episodes), and I’m finding it pretty upsetting. I’ve heard of the concept of agunot, but is it really so easy for a man to just disappear without so much as informing his wife, let alone a get? Is there no mechanism in Judaism for requiring a husband to support his family if his is capable?
Furthermore, what happens if a man goes to war and is presumed dead, or disappears for years? I’ve also heard of the custom of men giving their wives gittim pre-emptively if they fear they will die. But if they don’t and disappear, at what point can they be presumed dead and the wife entitled to remarry? It seems that if the man is not supporting his family, or refuses to do so, that should logically be grounds for divorce.
Also, any thoughts on why Giti would want to cover up for her husband and pretend everything’s fine? Is there really such a stigma on women abandoned by their husbands?
Finally, is it supposed to be a pun that the character’s name is Giti??