14-year-old Girl Becomes Israel's Youngest-ever Divorcee

Rabbinic Court held expedited divorce proceedings for girl and husband, 17, who wed in makeshift ceremony.

The Jerusalem Rabbinic Court held expedited divorce proceedings for a 14-year-old girl and her 17-year-old husband this week, after the court ruled the makeshift wedding ceremony the two held did indeed conform to Jewish religious law.

The boy had recited the marriage vows in front of friends, who served as witnesses, and even gave the girl a ring. This means the girl is most likely Israel's youngest divorcee, the court said.

The boy and girl are both from traditionally religious families in the Jerusalem area. When the boy's parents learned the pair had held a wedding ceremony, they insisted on a "get," a religious divorce, so he could marry in the future.

The girl initially refused, insisting that she wanted to live with the boy as his wife, and said she had intended to marry him officially in another three years, once she passed the legal age. She relented only after the groom's parents offered her NIS 10,000.

The divorce proceeding was held earlier this week, after the religious court ruled the couple had met the three requirements for marriage under Jewish law: The couple had recited the wedding vows, exchanged an item of value (traditionally a ring), and consummated the relationship.

The court said the divorce would be reported to the Interior Ministry, which means that when the girl receives her identity card at age 16, it will state she is divorced. In terms of Jewish law, this means she cannot marry a Cohen, since it prohibits marriage between Cohens and divorced women.