A Hasidic rabbi is suspected of performing marriage ceremonies for 13 and 14-year-old girls, despite the State Law that prohibits women under 17 years of age from tying the knot. Men are allowed to get hitched after reaching 18.
During a police interrogation the rabbi, who resides in a northern town, denied the allegations made against him.
Police sources said the rabbi would perform marriage ceremonies for teens belonging to the sect. A police detective told Ynet that the girls mentioned in the investigation are too young “to know what’s what.”
A few months ago the rabbi left the country after an investigation was launched against him; upon his return on Monday he was immediately taken in for questioning. The rabbi is banned from entering his community for a month, and he is expected to stay in central Israel for the time being.
The affair was exposed as early as March 2003 by Tiberias Police officers; the rabbi had been warned by the Chief Rabbinate not to perform the ceremonies.