[b-hebrew] virginity

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Tue Jul 17 07:53:39 EDT 2007


I believe it. By fourteen Dinah was probably a mother, and by thirty  
a grandmother.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Jul 16, 2007, at 9:16 PM, bet_yaakov wrote:

> I am sure in the old days some girls just dripped a little red  
> grape juice
> of sum form on the sheets to keep everyone happy!! This was proof  
> of their
> virginity!
> But the chastity of a Jewish or Israelite Girl was precious.
> The Rabbis say Dinah was like only twelve or so, so this is not  
> really about
> premarital sex. Its abuse and Simeon and Levi had a right to be angry.
> Its how they did it that was wrong, not what they did!
> The information in the text is sparse and difficult to prove much,  
> but the
> reaction of the two brothers is to the wrong their little sister  
> had and
> seems to indicate a wrong had been committed. Then the fact that  
> the man
> could not do it again due to his member being out of action after
> circumcision seems a good idea! Jacob never forgave these two  
> brothers even
> at his death bed, which seems harsh! But he must have had his  
> reasons!!
> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Isaac Fried
> Sent: Tuesday, 17 July 2007 7:20 a.m.
> To: Tory Thorpe
> Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] virginity
> Tory,
> There is no, and there can not be, any reference in the Hebrew bible
> to physical virginity as it MEANS NOTHING. We know, and the ancient
> Hebrews certainly knew as well, that a girl may inadvertently lose
> her virginity for no fault of her own. Some girls are born non
> virgins, some girls need a certain medical intervention to facilitate
> their blood flow during menstruation which may lead to virginity
> loss, and a good number of girls loose their virginity by some common
> non sexual activities. Lack of physical virginity is surely no
> admissible evidence against any woman. You can rest assured that the
> ancient Hebrews never stoned a woman to death for sheer lack of
> virginity.
> Isaac Fried, Boston University
> On Jul 16, 2007, at 2:10 PM, Tory Thorpe wrote:
>> On Jul 16, 2007, at 8:51 AM, K Randolph wrote:
>>> Tory:
>>> You are guilty of pushing a particular reading for what historically
>>> have been ideological reasons.
>> I disagree that the reading "young woman" in Isa. vii 14 is
>> ideologically driven. In fact, I have never heard or read any modern
>> Hebrew scholar make that claim. This reading allows for physical
>> virginity.
>>> It is my understanding that there was no problem among Jews with the
>>> understanding of (LMH meaning "virgin" until after the Christian
>>> claim
>>> that Jesus was born of such. The belief that Messiah would be  
>>> born of
>>> a virgin continued among some Jews as late as the 1400s AD  
>>> (mentioned
>>> in Rafael Patai "The Messiah Texts", I'm citing from memory having
>>> read the book decades ago
>> I have this book and I've been searching but cannot find where a
>> belief in a virginal conception and birth of the Jewish Messiah was
>> maintained in Judaism from ? down to the 15th century. And you must
>> understand, saying there was "no problem among Jews with the
>> understanding of (LMH meaning 'virgin' until after the Christian
>> claim that Jesus was born of such" is unfounded and highly offensive.
>> It reminds one of a similar libelous claim that Jews altered their
>> Bible in response to Christian claims.
>>> The reasons that I and many others claim that (LMH means "virgin"  
>>> are
>>> both linguistic and ideological:
>> The reason for reading "young woman" is simply linguistic and does
>> not exclude your ideology. That's why the reading "young woman" is
>> nonpartisan.
>>> The claim that Mariam the mother of Jesus was a virgin at the time
>>> she
>>> got pregnant and gave birth.
>> I am not disputing this claim.
>>> By prior agreement, we are enjoined from pushing the ideologic
>>> reasons
>>> (the only reason I mention them above is to admit that they exist  
>>> and
>>> that they are not linguistic), but we can mention the linguistic
>>> reasons which, contrary to your claims, is not "pushing our
>>> ideology".
>> If you translate almah as "virgin" in Isa. vii 14 you leave no room
>> for much else. That is why it is a partisan translation. The "young
>> woman" is not because physical virginity is not ruled out.
>>> For you to deny that the linguistic reasons exist can only be
>>> understood as pushing your ideology,
>> I don't think this part of your argument can be taken seriously. I
>> have not denied that you have linguistic reasons for your reading.
>> However, your reading, which you yourself admit is part ideology,
>> denies me mine. I stand by my claim that "young woman" cannot be
>> construed as an ideological reading.
>> Tory Thorpe
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