Monday, March 22, 2010

Early marriage


Last year, a matchmaker approached Ayala Suchi, 18, from Yitzhar, with a potential husband. While many people feel a woman her age is too young for marriage, in Ayala's family and circle of friends, no one was surprised by her decision to become a teenage bride. Her younger sister had married at 17, and a cousin did so at an even younger age.

"Here in the hills of Judea and Samaria, this is the way we are raised," explains Suchi, who now lives in the illegal outpost of Givat Ronen, south of Nablus. "People are more idealistic and they have a very clear idea of their priorities. A 15-year-old girl in the hills region doesn't go to movies like city girls; instead, she takes part in the fight for the Land of Israel. And that kind of activity makes you mature rapidly."[...]


  1. "Early marriage is not for everyone, but it is very suitable for some. Although there are girls who will give you superficial reasons for getting married young, there are also those who are truly ready for it at that stage of their lives."

    Says it all.

    Most 17 year olds are not ready for marriage.

    Marriage is an adult endeavor that requires a certain kind of maturity, interpersonal skills, experiences and wisdom that teenagers simply do not have. Being frum does not endow an individual with maturity, interpersonal skills and relevant life experiences.

    Frumkeit may prepare an individual for marriage but when all is said and done the individual must be ready.

    The divorce rate in frum communities has skyrocketed because too many young people are simply not ready for marriage.

    Frumkeit, like love, is not all you need to have a successful marriage.

  2. ...the real reason that divorce has skyrocketed among the frum is because 20-40 year olds are getting married without any training in responsibility. A 16 year old with training in responsibility has a far greater chance of success in marriage than a 35 year-old who has just drifted along the social currents, and frum people (religion trains in duty) living in rough terrain are a great breeding ground for the former.

  3. "Most 17 year olds are not ready for marriage."

    Self fulfilling prophecy.

    I for one wouldn't try to persuade secularists that people that age should be prepared for marriage if they stopped telling us that kids younger are old enough to decide to engage in sexual activity.

    If your old enough to decide to engage in procreation your old enough for marriage.

  4. Yirmiahu-

    "If your old enough to decide to engage in procreation your old enough for marriage".

    Excellent point.

    I can hardly wait for 12 year old child brides.

    Real Reason-

    So the reason there is so much failure and marital dysfunction in the Charedi community is because even the Chardim are all riding chiloni "social currents" of today?

    Or could it be that even frum teenagers kids aren't ready for marriage? The vast majority of 16 year olds, no matter how much 'training in responsibility' are simply ill equipped for marriage.

  5. "I can hardly wait for 12 year old child brides."

    Why do you support 12 year old sexual relations but not 12 year old brides?

    There is good reason the Chareidi divorce rate is far far below average.

  6. Growing Up,

    Yes, Chareidim have over the last century followed the trend of society as a whole postponing marriage and other responsibilities.

    Whether this is a good thing or not is one thing, but what isn't a question is that secular society is refusing to encourage the postponement of sexual activity until an age at which they are prepared to face the consequence of sexual activity.

  7. "So the reason there is so much failure and marital dysfunction in the Charedi community is "

    Interesting you bring up the "Chareidi community," yet the places cited in the article and the girls interviewed are certainly not Chareidi.

    Chazal had a recommendation for a time to get married. Postponing that lechatchila by a decade as the radical feminist from Kolech recommends certainly cannot be considered wise.

    Let's acknowledge the fact that (unlike certain chassidishe circles), their society is not forcing these girls to marry early. On the contrary, this is a "bottom-up" phenomenon. The girls themselves are choosing to oppose the cultural trend and marry earlier because they feel ready and willing, and the establishment people are only reacting to that. In that case, all you can do is judge each individual case and make sure the right level of maturity is involved and the right reasons are being given. Who says a person can't embrace life challenges on his/her own schedule as opposed to what someone else tells him? There are always people who are ahead of the curve, average, and behind the curve, in terms of maturity at each age level. Let's let those who excel go forward.

    Giving an "ETA" for marriage is only an estimation and obviously cannot apply equally to every single person.

  8. David- You said,

    "Why do you support 12 year old sexual relations but not 12 year old brides?"

    Where and when exactly did I say that?

    Also, that charedim have a lower divorce rate is true. It is also true that the divorce rate is escalating.

    Deal with facts and not made to order conjecture and not misrepresentation.

    Student V- The recommendations of chazal were for a different time and different society.

    Further, 'ready and willing' does not mean the girls (or the boys) are ready for marriage. I did say (in agreement with you) that there are exceptions but for the most part, 17 year olds are not ready for marriage.

    You don't have to be a rocket scientist to look at the average 17 year old charedi today and realize he needs a wife like a fish needs a bicycle.

  9. Again you are talking about a 17 year old charedi (maybe because that is the society you know well through experience), yet the people cited in the article are *not* charedim.

  10. Growing up - You wrote "Where and when exactly did I say that?"

    You implied it.

  11. Student V

    You have a point, though I submit it is fair to extrapolate that the phenomena extends beyond those the article talks about and into the charedi community.

    In any event, I believe we can safely say that as a rule, teenage marriages are ill advised.

  12. My remarks were directed at Yirmiahu's statement. That is quite clear. There is no implication otherwise.


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