Photo by M.ADA.
The depths to which overwhelming debt will push some people are vividly illustrated by a story covered by CNN this weekend.The headline zeroed in on the public-interest and human-rights angle, decrying a Saudi judge's ruling refusing to annul an arranged marriage of an 8-year-old girl to a 47-year-old man. The part most interesting to me was a passing comment on the reason why this girl's father had arranged the marriage of his young daughter: to settle his debts with the 47-year-old man, "a close friend" of his. Whatever one might think about arranged marriages, child marriages, or marriage in general, using this institution as a means of settling debts doesn't strike me as consonant with the ideas behind the institution in any religious tradition. Using children as payment devices can't be consistent with what either G*d or the Prophet had in mind . . .