[b-hebrew] virgin vs. young woman

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Sat Jul 21 21:21:50 EDT 2007

Not correct, Yigal

The bride is referred to as "Betulta" (aramaic for betula) and she 
gets 200 zuzim.  If she is divorced or widowed, the word "Betulta" is 
simply left out, it is not replaced, and she gets 100 zuzim.  The 
only other word that is used is "Giyorta" if she is a convert and she 
also gets 100 zuzim.

In my case, because I had a child without having been previously 
married, and I was still entitled to 200 zuzim, we had to explain, 
since I had a daughter, why I was still entitled to 200 zuzim, not 
having been married previously, but also not being a virgin at my 
wedding, so Rabbi Riskin told me to write (I am a veteran Ketuba 
calligrapher and artist) "It'ta" (Aramaic for 'woman')


I'll add this to Karl's comment: the traditional Jewish marriage contract,
the Ketubah, reffers to the bride as a "betulah", unless she had been
previously married (in other words, a divorcee or a widow), in which case
she's referred to as "ishah". Today, when most brides are certainly not
"virgins" in the "pure" sense of the word, this often causes some joking,
but I have yet to see either the couple or the rabbi who would dare suggest
that the wording be changed.

Something like wearing a white dress...

Yigal Levin

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