Gila Gamliel, a Knesset member from the Likud, raised issues that affect women in Israel. A special project of hers is to raise the age of marriage from 17 to 18. In × ×™×©×•××™ ×‘×•×¡×¨, (lit. unripe marriages) the girls don’t finish high school. Often these marriages get a rubber stamp by the court—when it was really a case of rape.
Before I had a chance to write about this, Orthonomics linked to a Ynet article about a Rabbi Asher Idan who is trying to get the marriage age lowered to 15. A fifteen-year-old Israeli bride would only have been crossing the street alone for six years, and riding the elevator for one. Signs in elevators prohibit riding an elevator alone before age 14.
Here are Idan’s reasons:
“Some Hasidic communities are already violating the law by marrying at the age of 15-16. Parents of large families who cannot financially support all their children would be able to marry off their daughter earlier so that she can move into her husband’s house,” he added.
“Girls who do not want to study or work are a burden to the household,” Rabbi Idan noted, “In my opinion, these young people will contribute more to the State because they won’t go to nightclubs or waste their time looking for nonsense someplace else.”
Rabbi Idan said that lawyers are currently examining the legislative aspect of the bill, “We will curtail rape cases and violation of the law by allowing marriage a year earlier.
“This one year is significant. Nowadays boys and girls cannot have relations, and we will allow this by letting them marry, while encouraging and guiding them,” he said.
There have been reports of Hasidic and “nationalistic” early marriages, some of them illegal. I wouldn’t at all be surprised to hear that members of this group are marrying off young girls privately. Early marriages are even more of an issue among Israeli Arabs. I recently met a haredi woman who married at 16 with her parents’ approval. She didn’t finish high school but still landed a good job in a good company, probably because she was smart and articulate and no one asked her about her bagruyot (matriculation exams).
I have to admit that it rubs me the wrong way when American bloggers bring up our “crazies.” This guy is so crazy, I’m not going to waste time trying to make sense of his arguments. Especially when it’s obvious that a bill lowering the marriage age would no chance of passing. Gamliel pointed out that only a handful of mostly Moslem countries allow marriage of children under 18. Fortunately her bill has a much better chance of getting through.
You may also enjoy: