Suspicion: Rabbi married off teens
Yaron Druckman
Published: 31.10.05, 15:31
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1. protecting women-children should be highest priority.
a society is judged by how it treats women. I am astonished that there are no comments regarding this story and that last week there were many many comments regarding the "honor killing" of the young druze woman. I ask myself which is worse? To determine for a Jewish woman child what her life will be or to murder a young druze woman outright?
2. Duh!
>I ask myself which is worse? Murder is worse. Duh!
3. Both are worse
Hiram ,   tel aviv   (10.31.05)
Thanks for reminding us that without women, none of us would be here playing " Men " You are correct, a society is judged by how women are treated and in Israel I must say that we do have a lot to learn on many of the chapters concerning women. I will have only a few comments which may hurt some of the potential readers but are not aimed at hurting. 1) Crime of "honor" are a sign of archaic patriarcal society. It is unfit of a country which wants to be a " democracy". It is also unfit to leave such a crime unpunished and I hope that the full extent of the law willbe exercized in this tragic matter. 2) A lunatic religious with full legal power ( !!!) marrying a child is alo a sign of a lenient archaic society in which religion is taking far too much space. The fact that some parents have accepted that marriage is also a sign of in-depth problem.This problem is further coumpounded by the very staus of marriage in Israel leading us to further debate on secularization of the country. Have you seen such a thing taking place in a civilized nation anywhere in Europe ? This is only found in Muslim society with which , like it or not, we do share the same culture and the same incredible backwards religious practices. 3) israeli society has a lot to learn to educate its men to treating women like what they are : full fledged citizens. Israeli society deliver machistic men , generation after generation, probably something going back to biblical times. The divorce ratio in Israel is an alarming sign of such a situation, whereas for the causes of divorce, it is appalingly also alarming when realizing that women are mistreated on 73 % Of the divorce cases. Yes, we are a patriarchal archaic society and only a full fledge secularization of this nation will allow a change. Before we try to teach lessons to the rest of the worlds in these matters, let s clean up our front porch once for all.Let's get rid of this idiotic concept of religious marriage....but yes I agree, it will take some courage to oppose some of the religious pressure, that same religious pressure who has decided at the same time who would be Jewish and who would stay a " goy" ( I am quoting a different column about the law of return !)
4. Hiram well stated thank you!
5. Keep it in perspective (to 1 & 3)
Shai ,   Israel   (10.31.05)
For those who are trying to make this into a "what a primative group" issue, I have the following to say to you. First, the men may have been the same age as the women. There's nothing in the article that suggests otherwise. Second, a rabbi isn't necessary to make a "marriage" according to halacha. The problem is with regard to civil law, which for Jews requires it, as that's the law the state claims was broken here. Third, in some social circles marriage at that age has been occuring for centuries, and there's no question that in most cases it's permitted according to halacha. It's not abnormal for them. It happens that our civil laws don't allow it (try to explain the wisdom of 17 for women and 18 for men - hah!), but it's a leap of logic to assume that children are ready for sex in their early teens but are not ready for marriage. Anybody who is familiar with teenage secular culture in Israel knows I am not exaggerating. As such, a lot of people who sniff at what this rabbi is alleged to have done will counsel their teenage children on proper use of birth control and leave them a room in their house for their "meetings" before they'd counsel them to marry and build a relationship with somebody. Frankly, if the children have well-developed family values, then even at the age of 14 and in a supportive community environment they are capable of forming proper relationships, and I think it's more destructive to them to learn about sex with dozens of partners rather than how to build a relationship with sex as part of it with their spouse. This trend in the secular world, I'd claim, is leading to the higher divorce rates (divorces amongst religious Jews are not as plentiful), not any notion of a "patriarchal archaic society". It's precisely the secularization of a religous concept that's cheapened marriage, the way religion as warped secular concepts like nationalism. I don't even know why a secular law would care about whether there are more than one spouse in a marriage, or their sex, or how old they are, or whether the spouses show fidelity to each other. What does secular law have to say about it? Why does it make a difference as long as "nobody's being hurt" and "everybody in the relationship agrees"? And does secular society have an answer for the women who wants to get married and have children at the age of 40, when the men of that society can get whatever they want without getting married? Don't be so simplistic about how great the secular world is and how bad the religious world is. From the community's perspective, it's better to be married young and to develop relationships on a serious level with personal commitment like marriage one to the other. Otherwise, that aspect of marriage is cheapened, and when that institution is cheapened, the communal building block of the family weakens the foundation of the overall community. Lastly, nothing was said about forcing a young Jewish "child" to get married in this article. A marriage performed without the woman's permission is not valid, irrespective of whether a rabbi is there to "ok" it. I think it's rediculous to summarily say these women "don't know what's what".
6. What does halacha give as age of concent?
Bunnie Meyer ,   Santa Monica, CA   (10.31.05)
Is there no Torah insight as to the appropriate age of marriage? Children this young should be raising their educational level not children, because they are still children, not adults.
7. Age of consent
Shai ,   Israel   (10.31.05)
In halacha, marriage is a contract. Therefore the age of consent is the age when a person is obligated to fulfill the terms of a contract he undertakes.
8. Shai, well said!
Dan ,   USA   (10.31.05)
I just want to add on a practical note, that in Hassidic society when you get married at a young age, the man and the women usually stay in the school and is supported by there parents or in-laws, in addition to the fact that they live in a controlled environment until they are able to and know the responsibilities of marriage. Its actually more a grooming process. Note that most of them put of sex till they can bear the responsibilities of life. Interesting how there is so much hate towards the “primitive” Religious Jews, when their only crime is undermining seculisiom, which is destroying western civilization
9. Halacha not adapted to 21st century
Hiram ,   Tel Aviv   (11.01.05)
Understanding the termes of a contract , especially this type of contract. requires maturity. Jewish children are like the est of them : they need a maturing process to get to be of an age in which they will understand the implication of a contract. Sex or not sex, this is not the issue. The issue is that halacha is simply not adapted. Arranged marriages bring us back to ancient society .This kind of event, even if limited to a single location in the north of Israel ( Tzfat ???) confirms that the change of status on marriage is long overdue in this country if we want to belong to the 21st century and show some real consideration for women instead of keeping the hyprocrit approach of the religious for which women is only there to serve the house, wear a wig and walk behind her " owner"..just think at the signification of the word husband in hebrew....!!!
10. to 9
Shai ,   Israel   (11.01.05)
The 21st century has a lot not to be proud of, Hiram. I'm not convinced that we can trace an line of progress from the days when you claim halacha was relevant, to today, when you claim it's not. As far as maturity being needed to understand a contract, believe me a ketubah is simpler than a software license. Nobody's telling 13 year olds they can't buy software. I don't think this is about how mature you have to be to understand a contract. The Gemara on marriage contracts states that while a legal that upon dissolution would require divorce, men and women "of age" shouldn't marry very young men and women. I suspect that this is what upsets you and the no-name commentator, that young women are being linked to older men as some sort of sex slave. As far as using, as Hebrew does, the word "owner" for "husband", actually "husband" isn't much better, is it? Phrases like "animal husbandry" come to mind. We tend to cattle when we get married? No, we don't. We own our wives? No, we don't. Find a better word and we'll use it. I think "spouse" is better, and that's the word I prefer to use. In Bereishit, the first parasha in the Torah, Chava (Eve) was referred to as "ezer kn'egdo". And a few words about "choices" in a secular society. Just as there are secular women who choose and don't choose the roles you ascribe to religious women (staying at home, etc.), there are also religious women who choose it and don't. The point is that secular society is supposed to provide people with choices, and the hypocracy belongs to secular people who don't think a halachic choice is legitimate in the 21st century. How does it harm you? Live and let live. Over time, your suggestion of doing away with Halachic marriage and divorce would result in erasing the choice of a secular Jew to marry a religous Jew and the reverse. Your suggestion, then, decrease choices, a non-secular stance as I understand it. Lastly, I disagree about what you think the relevant issue is here. "Sex or not sex" IS the issue. Sex is so intimately tied into our personal identies, that you may as well say we need to be "mature" before we can uselanguage. Rather, as with sex, we learn the timing and type of language our society considers legitimate. It's called being "acculturated". It's a bit over the top to assume that secular acculturation is any better than religious acculturation in these respects - the evidence points in the opposite direction. You don't have to be 18 The question then is one of consequences. If society was geared to take care of children and parents from marriages occuring between 14 year olds, what harm is there in it? As it happens, secular society isn't prepared for that. But halachic society sometimes is, as we may be seeing in Tiberias. I'll ask more pointed questions. Why, based on strictly secular reasons, should it bother you if a 32 year old mother has sex with her 18 year old son if both agree to it and enjoy it? Or if a man transforms himself to a woman through surgery and hormones and marries a man and adopts children? Why should it bother you if two men get married and adopt children? Why should it bother you if a 13 and a 14 year old are married? Or would it only bother you only if a 14 year old daughter marries her father who became a woman and the two of them adopted children (Jerry Springer did that show, no?)? Religion, or any valid form of secularism, should be used as a basis for treating people with respect AND upholding society. As such, secularism should draw from religion, not try to undermine it. When you see people who don't use religion properly, that is an indictment against the people who misuse religion, not against religion itself. An anger resulting from this would be shared with many religious people. One can't understand halacha by simply observing people who claim to live by it, Hiram.
11. do want an anwser to your question?
moses ,   ny   (03.23.07)
the torah`s age is 12 and a half years thats when she could on her own make the decision of marriage. all though our own ideas may not be that of the torah but we must allways bend our mind to the torah and never the opposite.
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