[b-hebrew] virginity

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Mon Jul 23 18:41:15 EDT 2007


Again.

There are two issues:

1.  Did she or did she not commit adultery, after she was betrothed? 
If she did, she is subject to the death penalty.  HOWEVER, she could 
ONLY be convicted if two witnesses testify against her, and this has 
nothing to do with the bedsheets, no one got the death penalty for 
not producing clean bedsheets.  In this case the subject is not her 
virginity, but when she had sex with the other man - either after she 
was betrothed, or before she got betrothed, while she was STILL 
SINGLE, in which case she is NOT subject to the death penalty

2.  If no one saw her with a man after she became betrothed, but yet 
she was not a virgin because she had sex with someone while NOT being 
betrothed or married, and IF she (and her family) misrepresented 
herself by telling her new husband that she was a virgin, then she 
and her family either have to prove (or not, as the Talmud discusses) 
that she was a virgin, or else she gets punished for HAVING DECEIVING 
HER HUSBAND - by forfeiting her divorce settlement, BUT NOT WITH THE 
DEATH PENALTY.

Remember it always required two witnesses to convict anyone of the 
death penalty.

Shoshanna



Please explain why Ketuboth 1:6 states that she lost her virginity before
they were betrothed.

Ketuboth 1:6

"He who marries a woman and did not find tokens of virginity- `she says,
"After you betrothed me, I was raped, and your field has been flooded," `and
he says, "Not so, but it was before I betrothed you, and my purchase was a
bargain made in error"- `Rabban Gamaliel and R. Eliezer say, "She is
believed." `R. Joshua says, "We do not depend on her testimony. But lo, she
remains in the assumption of having had sexual relations before she  was
betrothed and of having deceived him, `"until she brings evidence to back up
her [contrary] claim."



This appears to state that she is being punished for having relations prior
to her engagement.

Sincerely,

Michael Abernathy

----- Original Message -----

From: "Shoshanna Walker" <rosewalk at concentric.net>
To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>; "Shoshanna Walker"
<rosewalk at concentric.net>
Cc: <leviny at 012.net.il>
Sent: Sunday, July 22, 2007 4:03 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] virginity


> Because only a woman who has committed adultery, not sex without
> marriage/betrothal, is subject to the death penalty.  "Played the
> whore" refers to that, not to modern day ideas of what promiscuity
> consists of.
>
> Shoshanna
>
>
>
> Dear Shoshanna,
>
> Deuteronomy 22:21-22
>     "But if these things be true, 'and the tokens of' virginity be not
> found
> for the damsel; then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her
> father's house, and the men of the city shall stone her with stones THAT
> SHE
> DIE (my emphasis); because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the
> whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel."
>
> Respectively yours,
>
> Rev. Bryant J. Williams III
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Shoshanna Walker" <rosewalk at concentric.net>
> To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>; "Shoshanna Walker"
> <rosewalk at concentric.net>
> Cc: <leviny at 012.net.il>
> Sent: Sunday, July 22, 2007 12:32 PM
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] virginity
>
>
>> As Yigal says, our opinions are faith based, but the Torah never
>> prohibits sex while a woman is not married or betrothed, and
>> therefore would not call it evil.
>>
>> It is not logical to assume that in this case described here, if the
>> husband's accusations are proved correct, that the woman is liable
>> for the death penalty simply for having had sex before she became
>> engaged/married - because  1. no where does the Torah say that a
>> woman is liable for the death penalty if she had sex while she was
>> not married/engaged   2. many women were concubines (no marriage or
>> engagement took place) and there was no stigma against them    3.
>> The Torah itself here, in this very passage, specifically states the
>> reason why she is put to death, in the words (verse 21)  "(BECAUSE) -
>> as'ta nevala b'Yisrael, liznot bais avi'ha"  ie; she committed
>> adultery, and adultery can only be committed by a woman who is
>> betrothed or married.  Ramban further clarifies that the term "z'nut"
>> - "plays the harlot" - refers only to a married/betrothed woman and
>> not to a single woman.
>>
>> Shoshanna
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Dear Shoshanna,
>>
>> the context of this passage of Deuteronomy 22 is as follows:
>>
>> 22:13:    Man takes a wife and cohabits with her and then hates her
>> (KJV),
>> spurns her (RSV), tiring of her (modern language), dislikes her (NIV).
>> 22:14:    Charges are brought against the woman that she was not a "maid
>> =
>> virgin." These charges are in the form of slander, libel, etc.
>> 22:15:   The father and mother then bring the evidence, the proof of
>> virginity of the "damsel" before the city gate to refute the charges
> against
>> their daughter.
>> 22:16-17:    The nature and motive of the charges are presented and
> refuted.
>> 22:18-19:    Since the evidence proves that he accusation is groundless,
>> then the man is punished by the elders of the city, fined 100 shekels of
>> silver which is given to the woman's father and the man is not allowed to
>> divorce her "until death do us part."
>> 22:20-21:    Should the accusation prove to be fact, no proof of
>> virginity
>> is provided, then the woman shall be put to death in front of her
>> father's
>> house by the men of the city. The reason? She played the fool by having
>> pre-marital sex/committed harlotry BEFORE marriage. However one wants to
>> think otherwise, it is quite clear that sex by the woman BEFORE marriage
> was
>> definitely considered EVIL. Thus, the EVIL was to be put away from among
> the
>> people of the city.
>>
>> I also have written notes in my bible giving the following for the entire
>> passage of Deuteronomy 22:13-30,
>> 22:13-17 = Slander
>> 22:18-21 = Harlotry/Fornication (Pre-marital sex/sluttish behavior)
>> 22:22-24 = Adultery with another man's wife
>> 22:25-26 = Rape/Adultery of a "Betrothed woman" (civil contract which
>> considers both parties already married, but NOT consummated), Special
>> Circumstance #1
>> 22:27-29 = Rape, woman who is a virgin, NOT betrothed, Special
> Circumstance
>> #2
>> 22:30       = Incest
>> See also Leviticus 18 and the sexual perversions of the Canaanites that
> the
>> Israelites were not to commit.
>>
>> Respectively yours,
>>
>> Rev. Bryant J. Williams III
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Shoshanna Walker" <rosewalk at concentric.net>
>> To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
>> Cc: <leviny at 012.net.il>
>> Sent: Saturday, July 21, 2007 6:21 PM
>> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] virginity
>>
>>
>> > No, I didn't write that it is "the rabbinic understanding of the
>> > passage, within the context of rabbinic halachah" - you wrote that.
>> > And what it seems to me that you are saying is that - either the
>> > rabbis believed that they were transmitting into writing, the
>> > explanations of the particulars of the Law that was written in Torah,
>> > or that they believed that the Torah was deficient and that they were
>> > compensating for that.  Either belief is still faith based.
>> >
>> > So then let's leave the rabbis out of it (as I did).  Since there is
>> > no law against an unmarried (and unbetrothed) woman having sex, the
>> > TORAH - not the rabbis - must be describing something else in this
>> > passage - as I explained.
>> >
>> > And the distinction of this passage only referring to a betrothed
>> > woman doesn't have to appear in the text per se (but it is implied),
>> > because the text was written for and given to, people who already
>> > knew the distinction, ie; that there is no law against an unmarried
>> > and unbetrothed woman having sex, and that the Torah, therefore, is
>> > describing specific circumstances - ie; a man who decides he doesn't
>> > like his new wife and wants to get out of his divorce obligations, so
>> > he accuses her of adultery - (and adultery occurs only AFTER they
>> > became engaged) - because otherwise, if she had been with another man
>> > BEFORE they became engaged, he knows that the Torah does not prohibit
>> > that, so he couldn't have a case against her.
>> >
>> > What the Torah is talking about here is CLEARLY stated in verses 14 -
>> > 15 (no one needs any rabbis to tell them this) - a man marries a
>> > woman, comes to her and HATES HER - ie; his accusations are based on
>> > the fact that he now HATES HER - the Torah does NOT say - he marries
>> > her and comes to her and he sees that she is not a virgin. The very
>> > next sentence continues, "and he makes a wanton accusation against
>> > her, spreading a bad name against her" - THIS is the subject of this
>> > passage - SLANDER.
>> >
>> > UNLESS she misrepresented herself - told him she was a virgin when
>> > she wasn't a virgin - in that case, if she was already not a virgin
>> > before they became engaged, she is not an adulteress, but she
>> > forfeits her rights to her Ketuba because she misrepresented herself.
>> >
>> > That is why the whole thing has to be investigated, and that is why,
>> > if he is proven wrong, he is liable for slander.
>> >
>> > And another thing - G-d certainly knew when He wrote the Torah, that
>> > some women do not bleed the first time they have sex.
>> >
>> > Shoshanna
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > >Dear Shoshanna,
>> > >
>> > >The long halakhic explanation that you gave is just what you wrote
>> > >it is: the rabbinic understanding of the passage, within the context
>> > >of rabbinic halakhah. Basically, it's the rabbis' way of minimizing
>> > >what they realized is a problematic law; they were aware of the fact
>> > >that there was no law against an unmarried (and unbetrothed) woman
>> > >having sex, so they interpreted this passage as really only refering
>> > >to an arusah (betrothed woman). But the distinction does not really
>> > >appear in the text. If you wish to believe that rabbinic
>> > >interpretation is based on the Oral Torah, given to Moses but of
>> > >which we have no evidence until the rabbis wrote it down, that's
>> > >fine, but please remember that that's a matter of faith, which is
>> > >NOT what this list is supposed to be about.
>> > >
>> > >Yigal Levin
>> > >
>> > >----- Original Message ----- From: "Shoshanna Walker"
>> > ><rosewalk at concentric.net>
>> > >To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
>> > >Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2007 2:58 AM
>> > >Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] virginity
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >>
>> > >> Dear Harold, you are oversimplifying things, and you are inserting
>> > >> your own ideas about morality into the Torah, which is talking about
>> > >> something completely different.
>> > >>
>> > >> It is not a moral passage, it is a halachic and LEGAL passage, and
>> > >> in
>> > >> order to understand it - you have to know Halacha, ie; ORAL TORAH.
>> > >>
>> > >> There are two stages in Jewish marriage - Kiddushin and Nesuin.
>> > >> Kiddushin is effected when the groom gives his bride a ring or
>> > >> something else of value, and makes a declaration that, nowadays is
>> > >> recited under the chuppa.  It is a legal transaction, but there is
>> > >> not a good English translation, so it is sometimes called
>> > >> "betrothal"
>> > >> but betrothal does not indicate properly that Kiddushin establishes
>> > >> a
>> > >> stronger and more legal obligation than an "engagement".  After
>> > >> Kiddushin, the couple is halachically married, and the bride is
>> > >> subject to the death penalty for adultery - even BEFORE Nesuin,
>> > >> after
>> > >> which the couple may cohabit.
>> > >>
>> > >> In this passage, the husband accuses his new wife of not being a
>> > >> virgin - ie; that SHE HAD COHABITED WITH ANOTHER MAN AFTER
>> > >> KIDDUSHIN.
>> > >>
>> > >> If adultery CANNOT be proven, EVEN IF IT WERE TRUE THAT SHE WAS NOT
>> > >> A
>> > >> VIRGIN AT THE TIME OF KIDDUSHIN, she is not subject to any
>> > >> punishment
>> > >> by the court, BECAUSE SHE WAS PERMITTED TO COHABIT WITH A MAN BEFORE
>> > >> KIDDUSHIN, ie; when she was NOT legally married to anyone.
>> > >>
>> > >> Even so, however, she would not be entitled to collect the divorce
>> > >> settlement stipulated in her marriage document, because she falsely
>> > >> misrepresented herself.
>> > >>
>> > >> THE SUBJECT OF THIS PASSAGE IS A HUSBAND WHO COMES TO HATE HIS NEW
>> > >> WIFE AND TRIES TO VOID THE KETUBA BY WANTONLY ACCUSING HER OF
>> > >> ADULTERY (and thereby he violates the prohibition of "Motzei Shem
>> > >> Ra"
>> > >> - defamation)
>> > >>
>> > >> Deut 22:  23-24  and 28-29 - "meOrasha" "Orasha" ("BETROTHED") -
>> > >> same
>> > >> issue as above.  Proof that this is not talking about a "virgin" is
>> > >> that the text says "Betula meOrasha" - a maiden (assumed to be a
>> > >> virgin) who is BETROTHED - ie; LEGALLY BOUND TO A MAN (ie; not just
>> > >> a
>> > >> simple "virgin")
>> > >>
>> > >> Verse 21 is proof that this is talking about a woman who is accused
>> > >> of adultery - "Asta Nevala" - (committed adultery) and not the
>> > >> modern
>> > >> morality of a woman who is not a virgin - remember a woman was
>> > >> ALLOWED to be concubines, ie; living with a man and not married to
>> > >> him - and there is no stigma or legal punishment against her - as I
>> > >> said, a woman is only liable for one of the forbidden sexual
>> > >> relationships outlined by the Torah, and single unmarried woman
>> > >> having sexual relationship with a man not her father, brother, or a
>> > >> woman, or an animal, is fine.
>> > >>
>> > >> In verses 28 - 29, the man who has cohabited with a BETROTHED woman
>> > >> has to marry her, because SHE WOULD THEN NO LONGER (after sex with
>> > >> another man) BE ALLOWED TO COHABIT WITH HER HUSBAND, IE; THE MAN SHE
>> > >> WAS BETROTHED TO.
>> > >>
>> > >> Lev. 21:14  is an ENTIRELY different matter - it is about the
>> > >> special
>> > >> rules for a Kohen, who has to maintain a higher degree of purity,
>> > >> therefore he cannot marry any woman who had been married to, ie; had
>> > >> sexual relations, with anyone else.
>> > >>
>> > >> Shoshanna
>> > >>
>> > >>
>> > >>
>> > >> HH: It is a moral issue in the passage that we
>> > >> have been discussing,
>> > >> Deut 22:13-21. This is the main passage on the
>> > >> subject. It is talking
>> > >> about a moral issue, that of sexual purity. The
>> > >> idea is that men wanted
>> > >> pure wives, not women that other men had possessed
>> > >> sexually. Virginity
>> > >> is also a moral issue in other biblical laws: Deut
>> > >> 22:23-24, Deut
>> > >> 22:28-29. There is an implied moral element in Lev
>> > >> 21:14. The issue of
>> > >> virginity probably lies behind the words in Song
>> > >> of Solomon 8:8-10. One
>> > >> of the Shulamite's attractions for Solomon was the
>> > >> purity of her virginity.
>> > >>
>> > >> Yours,
>> > >> Harold Holmyard
>> > >>
>> > >>
>> > >> _______________________________________________
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