Back at my camp, we have an evening program (or Peulat Erev, if you will) called Mock Wedding, that is a favorite of everyone. Every kid gets an invitation and is told to dress up in a certain character. You know, drunk uncle; homeless man who snuck in; old grandmother who thinks it’s her wedding day, etc.
It’s a cool program because not only do the kids get to dress up but they are also taught the Jewish wedding ceremony. It’s basically the ideal “Jewish teachable moment.”
Now, there was always a risk factor in all of this. Technically, if the “bride” and “groom” did all the proper exchanges, according to Jewish law, they’d be married. So we were always careful to make sure that no wedding actually occurred.
In Israel this week, this fear became a reality. The only exception? The kids did it on purpose.
A 14-year-old Israeli girl became the youngest divorcee in the history of the state when, without her parents permission or knowledge, she married her 17-year-old friend. A ring was even exchanged.
When her parents found out, they demanded she get divorced. She initially refused. Only after the parents of the groom offered to pay her and her family money was the divorce granted.
That’s right teenage boys of Jerusalem. She’s back on the market. Unless you’re a Kohen. Then you’re straight out of luck.