Jewish Journal

Married before man? Maybe. God? Yes.

by Brad A. Greenberg

February 27, 2009 | 2:02 pm

Misleading headline of the year from Yahoo! News: “Rabbis rule joking teens legally married.”

See, this wasn’t an 8-year-old offering his girlfriend a Crackerjack ring and asking her if she’d be his wife. It was a 14-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy standing in their Israeli schoolyard, reciting Jewish ritual vows and accepting the marriage rings in front of God and witnesses.

That, and what a spokeswoman for Israel’s Rabbinical Courts said was the consummation of their marriage, was enough to make them man and wife in the Jewish state.

Spokeswoman Efrat Orbach, describing the girl as the youngest Jewish divorcee in Israel’s modern history, said the couple was granted a rabbinical divorce this week.

That’s the sticking point for me. I’m not a big believer in the institution of marriage as recognized by the state, and I’m certainly too liberal to be a fundamentalist. But two becoming one flesh is the uniting of man and woman that God intended. And, um, that union is only approved in the Bible when it comes with the institutional commitment.

Thanks for the link, Dennis, though I think we disagree on this one.

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