Israel's youngest divorcee is 14
Thu, Feb 26, 2009

JERUSALEM - A 14-YEAR-OLD girl has become Israel's youngest divorcee after splitting from her 17-year-old husband under pressure from the boy's parents, newspaper reports said on Thursday.

A rabbinical court recognised the unnamed pair as married because the teens, both from religious Jewish families, performed the three requirements of marriage under religious law - ceremony, consent and sexual relations.

Jewish religious law does not require the presence of a rabbi at a wedding ceremony.

The boy gave his girlfriend a ring in front of friends who served as witnesses, and said: 'Behold, you are consecrated to me by means of this ring, according to the law of Moses and Israel.' The two later consummated their union, newspapers said.

When the boy's parents learned of the marriage, they demanded that he divorce, but the young bride initially refused. She reportedly relented after the boy's parents paid her 10,000 shekels (S$3,661).

The Jerusalem Rabbinical Court then held expedited divorce proceedings for the pair and issued a statement hoping 'that this story serves as a lesson to young people who have to understand that marriage is a serious affair.' Israeli law does not allow for civil marriage, and those wishing to tie the knot may do so only in accordance with the customs of their respective religions. -- AFP


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