A trend that was until recently limited to the Hasidic world, is emerging in other parts of the Jewish community. It involves the age at which people are getting married. And it translates into kids (yes, i know thta’s my bias showing) marrying younger and younger.
As recent coverage in Haaretz indicates, 17 and 18 is increasingly normal among a widening segment of the population. Personal experience tells me that the trend is not only limited to the so-called “hill top youth” moving into illegal settlements. The trend includes college-bound 18 and 19 year olds marrying while in school and/or the army. the point is, this is not just the “fringe”.
But are they right? Are they too young to make this decision or are they simply ready earlier than their parents were to do so? Could it be that they think they are ready to make such a significant decison because they live in a culture in which personal decision making is increasingly undervalued and so for them, it’s not such a “big deal” — you more or less marry who is a “good match” and as long as they are “appropriate”, it doesn’t really matter.
How much of this is related to needing an acceptable framework in which to express their sexual desires?
How do we decide when it’s time to get married? when is young, too young?
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About Windows & DoorsAuthor, radio and TV talk show host, and President of CLAL-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, Brad Hirschfield is the author of You Don’t Have To Be Wrong For Me To Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism. Listed as one of the nation’s 50 most influential rabbis in Newsweek, and a regular commentator on Court TV, he is the creator of the popular series, Building Bridges, airing on Bridges TV, and the co-host of the weekly radio show, Hirschfield and Kula.
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