Recommended Posts

Parsha Mitzvot: Ki Teitzei: Mitzvot 542 & 574 – Concepts 132 &133

“If a man will find a virgin maiden who was not betrothed, and takes hold of her and lies with her, and they are discovered, then the man who lay with her shall give the father of the girl fifty silver shekels, and she shall become his wife, because he had afflicted her; he cannot divorce her all his life.” (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) The rapist must marry the maiden. (Concept 132) He may never divorce her. (Concept 133, Rambam, Hilchot Na’arah u’Betulah – The Laws of Young Maidens)

The Maharal compares applies this law to the Talmud’s (Shabbat 88a) description of Sinai: “And they stood under the mount,” R. Abdimi b. Hama b. Hasa said: This teaches that the Holy One, blessed be He, overturned the mountain upon them like an [inverted] cask, and said to them,‘If you accept the Torah, it is well; if not, there shall be your burial.’ R. Aha b. Jacob observed: This furnishes a strong protest against the Torah.

The Maharal explains that the Torah is teaching us that if someone forces a relationship on another, he may never withdraw from the relationship. He is permanently obligated to the other. God imposed Sinai on the Children of Israel when He held the mountain over their heads and said, “‘If you accept the Torah, it is well; if not, there shall be your burial.” The Mitzvot of the rapist apply here; God imposed the relationship and may never ‘divorce’ Israel.

Rabbi Aha takes it one step further: The victim may choose whether to marry the rapist. Israel may choose to not ‘marry,’ or enter the relationship with God. Therefore, “This furnishes a strong protest against the Torah.”

Go Back to Previous Page

  • Other visitors also read