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Forced Marriage

Torah in verse Deuteronomy 22:28 requires a man who has relations with a woman who is a virgin and is discovered to marry the woman and pay 50 shekels of silver to the father. He can not divorce in all his days.
An arab on the internet has spoken in my views arrogantly and discussed that a jewish man who rapes a woman who is not married and a virgin is subject to making a subject to this law and marrying the woman.
What is the rabbinic interpretation of this type of situation?

Answer:

The halachah must be understood in its historical context.

The intention of the halachah is to ensure that the woman in question, who is ‘stained’ by having been raped, will be looked after in her future life by marriage to a man. It is for the benefit of the woman, and not for her detriment. In a society where women were traditionally very weak, this was a great “innovation” in women’s rights.

This is why the application of the halachah depends on the free will of the woman in question. If the woman does not want to be wed, we certainly don’t force her into it. Only if she wants the “protection” of marriage do we force the man to wed her.

Naturally, it is unheard of for this halachah to be practiced today.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for your reply. I had not known if that was the situation. I had interrpreted this to indicate that a man who lays with a woman prior to marriage who is a virgin must marry her or else his providence will be an issue in his future. This to me makes sense. I did not think that a rape must marry the woman, but I can see your insight.
    And since it indicates the phrase “if it is discovered”, I interrpreted this to mean that this law is in the way that if a man does have relations with the woman and they are out of wedlock and another person either sees it or is validly informed that this has happened, by being discovered, Israel is afflicted and thus there is a consideration that the only way to relieve the affliction is to marry the willing couple who willingly had relations prior to marriage. This is interesting as to me this sets up a situation where the man must indeed not engage in any premarital relations with anyone at all. (Though as it does indicate a virgin, does this mean that a man can have relations with a woman who is not a virgin and thus not be required to marry). Just a consideration and many thanks for your reply.

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