Parshas Ki Teitzei – Between Betrothal and Marriage

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This week’s parsha presents the concept of Jewish marriage. Rambam prefaces his Laws of Marriage with an account of its proceedings before the giving of the Torah. This Sicha analyzes Rambam’s reason for doing so and explains its practical relevance.

 

Parshat Ki Teitzei discusses the manner in which Jewish marriage takes place. The verse states:

 

Text 1

When a man takes a wife and has relations with her…

Devarim 22:13

 

This description alludes to the process that effectuates a marriage, as Rambam explains in his preface to the Laws of Marriage:

 

Text 2

Before the Torah was given, when a man would meet a woman in the marketplace and he and she decided to marry, he would bring her home, conduct relations in private and thus make her his wife. Once the Torah was given, the Jews were commanded that when a man desires to marry a woman, he must acquire her as a wife in the presence of witnesses. [Only] after this, does she become his wife. This is [alluded to in Devarim 22:13]: “When a man takes a wife and has relations with her….”

Rambam, Laws of Marriage 1:1

 

In the following laws Rambam writes:

 

Text 3

This process of acquisition fulfills [one of] the Torah’s positive commandments…This process of acquisition is universally referred to as Eirusin (“Betrothal”) or Kiddushin (“Consecration”)…Once this process of acquisition has been formalized and a woman has become mekudeshes (betrothed), she is considered to be married even though the marriage bond has not been consummated and she has not entered her husband’s home… If her husband desires to divorce her, he must compose a get [a formal bill of divorce].

Rambam, Laws of Marriage 1:2-3

 

The manner though in which Rambam orders the laws is curious:

Why does Rambam preface the history of the marriage process, as it was before the giving of the Torah—which seems to have no relevance today—rather than immediately writing, “When a man desires to marry a woman, he must acquire her as a wife in the presence of witnesses. [Only] after this, does she become his wife?”

Noahide Marriage

Simply speaking, the difference between the manner in which a person was wed before the giving of the Torah and afterwards is pertinent in today as well, as it is relevant to the manner in which the marriage of a gentile is consummated.

One can postulate that it is for this reason that Rambam prefaces narrative of the marriage process prior to the giving of the Torah,

This is expressed in the following ruling:

 

Text 4

It is straightforward and elucidated in many places, that for a non-Jew, only through (conducting relations) in privacy does a woman become his wife. Once he has relations with her for the intent of marriage, she becomes a married woman, that one’s non-Jewish acquaintance would be punished (for having relations with).

Magid Mishna, Rambam, Laws of Marriage 1:1       

 

This account therefore is not superfluous, as there are practical ramifications today as it pertains to the marriage process of a Gentile.

However, this cannot be a sufficient explanation as to why Rambam would bring this history in the beginning of the marriage laws.

The section of the Laws of Marriage discusses only those laws that concern Jews and not those that concern Gentiles.

Were Rambam to have been keen on explaining the laws that concern Gentiles, he should have stated this where he discusses the Seven Noahide Laws and not in the general guidelines for marriage.

This can be demonstrated from the way in which Rambam formulated his Laws of Divorce.

It can be observed that Rambam indeed followed this model only mentioning the laws that concern Jews and not those that pertain to gentiles.

In the beginning of the Laws of Divorce, Rambam writes:

Text 5

A woman may be divorced only by receiving a bill [of divorce]. This bill is called a get… The Torah’s expression (Devarim 24:2), “And he will… send her from his home,” does not mean that the divorce does not become effective until she leaves his home. Instead, the divorce becomes effective when the get reaches [a woman’s] hand, even though she still is in her husband’s home.

Rambam, Laws of Divorce 1:1-5

 

In this section, Rambam does not record the laws that concern a non-Jew. He instead lists them in the section that the Seven Noahide Laws are discussed:

Text 6

When is a Gentile woman considered divorced? When her husband removes her from his home and sends her on her own or when she leaves his domain and goes her own way. They have no written divorce proceedings. The matter is not dependent on the man’s volition alone. Whenever he or she decide to separate they may, and then are no longer considered as married.

Rambam, Laws of Kings 9:8

 

It is therefore clear that were Rambam’s intent to explain the relevance to a non-Jew, he would not have brought this historical account in the Laws of Marriage, but in the section that discusses the Seven Noahide Laws.

Yet, from the fact that Rambam does indeed bring this account, it must be because it has relevance in understanding the marriage proceeding of a Jew after the giving of the Torah.

The question therefore is: What significance can there possibly be for a Jew, in knowing the process of marriage as it occurred prior to the giving of the Torah?

“Acquiring” a wife

One may be able to explain the perplexity of the seemingly superfluous historical account of marriage prior to the giving of the Torah through an understanding of the following concept:

Before the giving of the Torah, there was no concept of “acquiring” a woman to be a wife, and marriage consisted only of the notion of a man and woman living together as a couple.

The natural concept of marriage is one that precludes the idea of acquisition. The phenomenon of marriage is not one where the husband “acquires” his wife, but one in which the two people join together to create one entity—a married couple.

The Torah presents this concept of marriage—that it is a bond between the couple—in the following verse:

 

Text 7

Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Bereishis 2:24

 

The above verse expresses, that rather than marriage being an acquisition, it is the idea of man and woman being together to “become one flesh.”

Were it not for the Torah’s statement that a person first “must acquire her as a wife… (and only) after this, does she become his wife,” it would be impossible to consider a woman a “married woman” without her being considered so in the traditional terms of a spousal relationship.

It is only the commandment of the Torah regarding the marriage process that creates the concept of “acquiring,” as it applies to marriage.[1]

The commandment of “taking” a wife effects, as Rambam explains, that “even though the marriage bond has not been consummated and she has not (even) entered her husband’s home,” she is nevertheless considered to be a married woman who requires a bill of divorce.

The practical relevance of this idea, that “acquiring” is not a valid method of marriage without the Torah’s commandment in our times is found regarding a non-Jew.

Were a non-Jew to “acquire” a woman as a wife through one of the prescribed methods with which a Jew accomplishes this act, nothing would be accomplished, and the woman would be considered unmarried. This is expressed in Rambam’s words:

 

Text 8

A Gentile is not executed for adultery with his colleague’s wife unless they engage in relations in the normal manner, after she had engaged in relations with her husband at least once. However, if she was merely consecrated or had undergone a wedding ceremony, but had never engaged in relations with her husband, one is not liable for engaging in relations with her.

Rambam, Laws of Kings 9:7

 

Without physical relations, the marriage ceremony for a non-Jew is meaningless, and does not halachikly effectuate a marriage.

According to the above explanation, one can postulate that the reason Rambam introduces the Laws of Marriage with the process prior to the giving of the Torah, is to stress the novelty of the concept of marriage after the giving of the Torah, as it applies to a Jew.

By understanding that the natural course of marriage is that the couple live together, and that the only way to create the marriage relationship before the giving of the Torah was through the act of living together, the accomplishment of the Torah concept of Kiddushin (Betrothal) is more clearly understood. Rambam therefore explained the history of marriage to impart to us the uniqueness of Torah’s law.

This justification, however, is not adequate, as there is no halachic relevance in this explanation to the concept of Jewish marriage. Rambam’s Mishnah Torah is not a history book, nor a book meant to help one appreciate the mitzvot of the Torah. It is a book of laws. If Rambam explained the history of the law, there must be a practical halachic ramification.

This reservation is strengthened by the fact that Rambam does not preface the Laws of Divorce with the manner in which it was conducted prior to the giving of the Torah. This is so, even considering the fact that the differences between a Jew and a non-Jew in regard to divorce, are each dependent on their respective laws and definitions of marriage. Through appreciating the concept of divorce before the giving of the Torah, it would also be more clearly appreciated the concept of divorce that Torah introduces.

In the same way that marriage by a non-Jew is created simply through living as a married couple, so too, the mere act of leaving the marriage and ceasing to live as a married couple is what brings about the divorce. However, concerning a Jewish person who became married through an act of “acquisition,” he must as well nullify this “acquisition” through a divorce contract.

Therefore, in the same way that Rambam prefaces the manner in which marriage was conducted prior to the giving of the Torah in order to stress the novelty of Torah, so too, were Rambam’s intent to give a mere appreciation of the laws, Rambam should have explained the manner in which divorce took place before the giving of the Torah—thereby expressing the novelty of Torah law in this area.

Yet, from the very fact that Rambam does not bring the historical proceedings of divorce as well, it is understood that Rambam is not intent on explaining the novelty of the Torah’s prescription of marriage, but rather has some other purpose in explaining it.

Betrothal and marriage

In order to answer the question above, it is important to point out another difficulty with Rambam’s formulation of the marriage laws.

In the process of Jewish marriage there are two steps: (a) Betrothal (Eirusin), an acquisition through either money, a contract, or marital relations, and (b) Actual Marriage (Nissuin), which is brought about through a chuppah.

Although through Betrothal (Eirusin) alone the woman is considered to be a “married woman,” nevertheless, there are various facets in which the marriage is only completed through Nissuin. Then the woman is considered married in all respects.[2]

Consequently, according to the idea that Nissuin is the culmination of Eirusin (Betrothal), the manner in which Rambam transcribes the laws is troublesome.

Rambam, in the beginning of his Laws of Marriage, only explains the concept of Betrothal (Eirusin) and does not explain the concept of actual marriage (Nissuin) until Chapter 10.

There he writes:

 

Text 9

Even when [the husband] consecrated [his arusah] by having sexual relations with her, he is forbidden to engage in sexual relations with her again until he brings her to his home, enters into privacy with her, and thus singles her out as his [wife]. [Their entry into] privacy is referred to as entry into the chuppah, and it is universally referred to as Nissuin.

Rambam, Laws of Marriage 10:1

 

Why did Rambam wait until chapter 10 of his Laws of Marriage to explain the concept of Nissuin, when Nissuin is the completion of the entire marriage process?

Betrothal is only a step in the marriage process, whose goal is to ultimately reach the stage of Nissuin. Rambam should have instead explained this stage of the marriage in Chapter 1, together with his explanation of Betrothal (Kiddushin), as it is of utmost importance.

Not only is Nissuin an important step in marriage, but the whole Kiddushin (Betrothal) is for the purpose of Nissuin. If so, it is all the more surprising that Rambam only mentions the concept of Nissuin in Chapter 10 of his Laws of Marriageand not at an earlier point.[3]

Kiddushin and the giving of the Torah

Rambam’s view of marriage can be understood as such that the main novelty of the Torah concerning marriage is in regard to the classification of Kiddushin—an innovative concept which was created through the Torah commandment. However, concerning the idea of Nissuin, even after the giving of the Torah, the concept was did not undergo any change.

The concept of Nissuin is the reality of actual married life, as Rambam writes, that Betrothal lasts “until he brings her to his home… as his [wife].” Within this idea, there is no dramatic shift from before the giving of the Torah to after the Torah was given, and the concept of Nissuin is still the idea of a spousal relationship.

This explains why Rambam begins with stating the historical background of marriage, that “Once the Torah was given, the Jews were commanded that when a man desires to marry a woman, he must acquire her as a wife … [Only] after this, does she become his wife,” and goes on to explain the process of Kiddushin, though not the concept of “marriage,” Nissuin.

The reason for this is because concerning the idea of “becoming his wife,” this phenomenon remained as it was before the Torah was given. The only thing that Torah changed was the idea that “he must acquire her as a wife.”

It is for this purpose too, that Rambam prefaces an account of the marriage proceedings prior to the giving of the Torah. This is not only a preface to understand the Torah’s innovative concept of Kiddushin, but it also serves as an explanation for the concept of marriage (Nissuin) as it now exists after the giving of the Torah.

Accordingly it is understood, that not only does Rambam not leave out the concept of Nissuin, but on the contrary, this is the first thing that he explains in his Laws of Marriage. Only after he explains the main part of marriage—Nissuin—does he begin explaining the concept of Kiddushin. Rambam’s explanation of marriage before the giving of the Torah is not historical in nature but should rather be viewed as an elucidation for the concept of Nissuin as it is today.

Now as well, can the question that was posed earlier, as to why, concerning marriage, Rambam explains the manner that it was done prior to the giving of the Torah, while concerning divorce he does not, be answered.

The concept of marriage itself (Nissuin) remained the same before the giving of the Torah and afterwards. It is therefore apropos to explain the concept of marriage as it was prior to the giving of the Torah, as there is relevance now as well.

However, the concept of divorce and leaving the marriage as it was before the giving of the Torah is completely obsolete today (for a Jew), and therefore there is no purpose of explaining it. Therefore, although Rambam found it necessary to explain the idea of marriage as it was before the giving of the Torah, he found it superfluous to explain the concept of divorce, as it was before the giving of the Torah.

Relevance

This point that the concept of Nissuin did not change with the giving of the Torah according to Rambam, has practical relevance in Jewish law as well. By Rambam illustrating this idea of marriage, he clarifies his definition of the concept of chuppah, which is the final step in a Jewish marriage.

Concerning the definition of the word chuppah, there are various opinions that are expressed in the code of Jewish law:

 

Text 10

He cannot have relations with her… until he brings her into his house, is secluded with her and separates her for himself, and this seclusion is known as entering into the chuppah…There are those who say that the chuppah is …(that) the groom must bring her into his house for the purposes of marriage… And there are those who say that the chuppah is when they spread a cloth over her head at the time of the blessing, and there are those who say that a virgin’s chuppah is when she goes out in a headdress and for a widow when they become secluded.  The simple custom nowadays is to call the chuppah a place where they place a cloth on poles and bring the groom and bride underneath in public and he engages her there and they say the blessings of engagement and marriage and then they walk them to their house and they eat together in a secluded places, this is how the chuppah is done now.

Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 55:1

 

The concept of chuppah is one that has many interpretations in Jewish thought.

Rambam’s classification though, that “he brings her to his home, enters into privacy with her, and thus singles her out as his [wife] … (and their entry into) privacy is referred to as entry into the chuppah,” is very similar to the description of marriage before the giving of the Torah.

The reason for this is because according to Rambam, the concept of marriage after the giving of the Torah is the same as the concept of marriage before the giving of the Torah; i.e. the act of married life.

Therefore, the manner in which the woman gets married after the giving of the Torah—chuppah—is the same as before the giving of the Torah. Rambam’s stance, that Nissuin remained the same after the giving of the Torah as before the giving of the Torah, the concept of chuppah, which finalizes a Jewish marriage, can only be the act of living together as man as wife—as only then can they truly be considered married.

There is however, a difference between the process of becoming husband and wife before the giving of the Torah and after the giving of the Torah.

Before the giving of the Torah, (and after the giving of the Torah for a Noahide) in order to consummate the marriage, he “would bring her home, conduct relations in private and thus make her his wife.” However, concerning marriage after the giving of the Torah, Rambam writes,[4] “Once she enters the chuppah, she is called a ‘married woman’ (nesu’ah), although [the couple] has not engaged in sexual relations.”

While the above seems to negate the previous conclusion that marriage post the giving of the Torah is the same as marriage after the giving of the Torah, that they are both expressive of an actual spousal relationship, in truth this is not the case for two reasons:

  1. The act of seclusion that effects a Jewish marriage is similar to the act of marriage, as it needs to be in a way that expresses that he “singles her out as his [wife].” The seclusion needs to be in a way that expresses permanency and not merely that they happen to be secluded.
  2. The seclusion needs to be in a way that there is a potential for physical relations. As Rambam writes,[5] “[The above applies when] it is fitting to engage in relations with the woman. If, however, the woman is in the niddahstate [when relations are forbidden], the marriage bond is not completed and she is still considered to be a betrothed woman, (arusah) although she entered the chuppah and remained in privacy [with her husband].”

Rambam’s rationale for the two above-mentioned points is as was previously explained. According to his view, the concept of marriage is the same as before the giving of the Torah. Therefore, when there is no possibility for the couple to engage in physical relations, the marriage cannot be consummated. When, however, they can engage in physical relations, the marriage can be consummated, even if they actually did not engage in them.

Zmanim and Nashim

Rambam was incredibly precise with the manner in which he wrote his code. It is therefore probable to explain that this exactness is also expressed in the way that he ordered his work.

Consequently, it makes sense that there is a connection between the conclusion of one book and the beginning of the book that follows it.

The marriage laws are found at the beginning of the book of Nashim (Women) which follows the book of Zmanin (Times). One can therefore logically conclude that there is some connection between the conclusion of one—Zmanim—and the beginning of the second—Nashim.

The last law presented in the book of Zmanim is as follows:

Text 11

If [a person has the opportunity to fulfill only one of two mitzvot] – lighting a lamp for one’s home [i.e. Shabbos candles] or lighting a Chanukah lamp, or alternatively, lighting a lamp for one’s home or reciting kiddush – the lamp for one’s home receives priority, since it generates peace within the home.

[Peace is of primary importance, as reflected by the mitzvah requiring] G-d’s name to be blotted out to create peace between a husband and his wife. Peace is great, for the entire Torah was given to bring about peace within the world, as [Mishlei 3:17] states: “Its ways are pleasant ways and all its paths are peace.”

Rambam, Megilla V’Chanukah 4:14

 

Although there is already an obvious connection between the two sections, being that the ending of the book of Zmanim concerns familial peace, which is also the subject of the entirety of the book of Nashim, there is a deeper connection as well, that is expressed in the particulars of the above law.

The law at the conclusion of Zmanim expresses that not only is peace important, but that peace is effected through Torah—“the entire Torah was given to bring about peace within the world.”

This concept that marital peace is specifically brought about through Torah is expressed in the beginning of the book of Nashim as well.

The concept of Eirusin, as discussed in the first law, expresses as well the manner in which Torah brings about spousal peace at is specifically the concept of Eirusin that solidifies the marriage.

When the whole marriage is as it was before the giving of the Torah, that “a man would meet a woman in the marketplace and he and she decided to marry, he would bring her home, conduct relations in private and thus make her his wife,” the connection between the couple was exceptionally weak. Just as the relationship was easily created, it was also easily undone. As soon as the couple separated, their marriage was automatically dissolved.

The novel concept of Eirusin, an “acquisition” in a marriage, was created in order to form a strong relationship that is not easily broken. The marriage cannot be disbanded by the couple merely separating from one another, and can only be terminated through a divorce contract.

It is therefore understood, that the concept of Eirusin in marriage is to create a strong bond between the couple; one that cannot easily be destroyed[6] and brings peace and strengthens the relationship.

Peace in the world

The above concept, that “the entire Torah was given to bring about peace within the world,” as expressed in the end of the book of Zmanim, has a connection as well to the idea that was explained above—that Nissuin remained the same from before the giving of the Torah and that the novelty of the giving of the Torah is found in the concept of Eirusin, as will be explained.

Seemingly though, one can ask another question: Rambam’s statement of “the entire Torah was given to bring about peace within the world” is perplexing:

How can this be true—that Torah brings peace to the world—when the Torah was specifically given to the Jewish people?

 

Text 12

The Torah that Moshe commanded us is a legacy for the congregation of Yaakov.

Devarim 33:4

 

Ostensibly, the Torah only “brings about peace” amongst the Jewish people and not within “the world” at large. What then, is the meaning to the above statement that “Torah brings about peace within the world?”

Teaching the world

This can possibly be resolved through prefacing what Rambam relates concerning the Seven Noahide Laws:

 

Text 13

Moshe was commanded by the Almighty to compel all the inhabitants of the world to accept the commandments given to Noach’s descendants.

Rambam, Laws of Kings 8:10

 

When a non-Jew fulfills the Seven Noahide Laws as expressed in the Torah, he is creating peace in the world. The Jewish people bring about peace through the 613 mitzvot and the non-Jews through the Seven Noahide laws. It is therefore understood that Torah brings peace to the whole world.

This as well explains the redundancy in the following verse concerning the Torah that Rambam quotes:

 

Text 14

Its ways are pleasant ways and all its paths are peace.

Mishlei 3:17

 

The difference between a way (derech) and a path (netiv), is that the former is broad and the latter is narrow. The word “way,” connoting breadth, is expressive of the bulk of the mitzvot, while “paths,” which are narrow, are expressive of the Seven Noahide laws.

Concerning “ways,” the verse states that they are “pleasant,” and concerning “paths,” the verse declares that they bring “peace.” This is due to the inherent difference between the souls of Jews and Gentiles.

Concerning the connection that exists between the Jewish people the verse states:

 

Text 15

And all the men of Israel were gathered concerning the city, as one man in unison.

Shoftim 20:11

 

The Jewish people are one in the very make up of their souls. It is therefore understood, that the effect of Torah in a Jewish person is not to create peace, as the Jewish people are inherently connected.

Rather, the intent of Torah is to bring about “pleasantness”—an additional measure of sweetness.

However, for a non-Jewish person, who does not have this inherent connection, Torah brings about “peace.”

It can therefore be explained that the reason why Rambam writes that “Torah was given to bring about peace within the world,” is because it effects peace within Gentiles as well as Jews.

Yet, this explanation is not satisfactory for the following reasoning:

Rambam writes, “the entire Torah was given to bring about peace within the world.” He does not state that a part of the Torah brings about peace but that all of Torah brings peace. According to the above however, the only component of the Torah that accomplishes this is the region that pertains to a Gentile.

Consequently it is clear that when Rambam writes that the purpose of Torah is to bring about peace in the world, he is not discussing the Seven Noahide Laws, but is rather discussing the “entire Torah.”

Two parts of Torah

Within Torah and mitzvot there are generally two types of commandments: There are those religious precepts that pertain only to Jewish people and have no connection to the world, and then there are other commandments which, although their counterpart is found in regular, worldly life, the Torah adds a new dimension to them in a way that “brings peace to the world.”

Rambam explains that the objective of Torah is not in those mitzvot which makes a person transcend the world, but specifically in those mitzvot that cause peace within worldliness.

This is particularly expressed in the concept of marriage as explained by Rambam.

Rambam stresses that before the giving of the Torah there was as well the concept of marriage, and a fashion through which the marital relationship was brought about. The giving of the Torah though, added another dimension of “peace” and “pleasantness” into marriage by prefacing the concept of Eirusin that proceeds Nissuin.

A deeper dimension

The idea of bride and groom are corollary to G-d and the Jewish people. The connection between G-d and the Jewish people can be likened to the time of Eirusin (Betrothal) and Nissuin (Marriage). In Talmudic parlance, the time of  nthal is called Kiddushin. The meaning of this term is as the Talmud explains:

 

Text 16

Now what does the rabbinical term (for Betrothal of Kiddushin) connote? — That he [the husband] prohibitions her to all [men] as hekdesh (material consecrated for temple use).

Talmud, Kiddushin 2b

 

The idea of Kiddushin, or Betrothal, in spiritual terms is that G-d draws a holiness upon the Jewish people which separates them from corporeality and worldliness.

The concept of Nissuin (actual marriage), however, is the opposite. Instead of being removed from the world, Nissuin expresses drawing down G-dliness into the individual as he is confined to a body, and transforming that vessel into a receptacle for G-dliness.

It is for this reason that the concept of Nissuin is not the novelty which came about after of the giving of the Torah. For, even before the giving of the Torah, G-dliness resided in the world, albeit with a limited form of G-dliness that the world was able to tolerate.

The main innovation of the giving of the Torah was in the concept of Kiddushin, in which a person was effected by a level of holiness that transcended the world.

However, the objective of Kiddushin- Betrothal is for the marriage that follows. So too, the objective of drawing down this degree of holiness that transcended the world was for the purpose that afterwards this holiness should affect the world as well. Ultimately, the objective is not to remain removed from the world, but to draw down this G-dliness into the world.

The ultimate fruition of this accomplishment will occur with the coming of Moshiach—may it be speedily in our times!

 

(Based on Likutei Sichos 39, reworked by Rabbi Dovid Markel.)

 

[1] Obviously it is clear that this does not mean that a woman is the property of her husband, but rather pertains to the conceptual acquisition of the spousal relationship. (Editor)

[2] Such as different death penalties for adultery (Devarim 22:20-24) and the way that her vows are nullified (Bamidbar 30:7).

[3] It is important to note, that at the end of Ch. 2 of Laws of Marriage, Rambam enumerates 20 terms concerning marriage: “Kiddushin, Ervah, Sh’niyah, Issurei Lavin, Issurei Aseh, K’tanah, N’arah, Bogeret, Aylonit, Gedolah, lower sign of maturity, upper sign of maturity, Katan, S’ris Chamah, S’ris Adam, Gadol, Androgynous, Tumtum, Chershim, Pik’chim.” Yet, he does not find it pertinent to mention the term Nissuin.

[4] Laws of Marriage 10:2.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Accordingly it can be explained why Rambam as well discusses the prohibition of a harlot, which was likewise prohibited after the giving of the Torah, soon after this law (Laws of Marriage 1:4). He does so, as is also explained in the Guide to the Perplexed 3:49, since the reason for the prohibition of harlotry is for the sake of peace, which is a continuation of the above law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


[1] Such as different death penalties for adultery (Devarim, 22:20-24 and the way that her vows are nullified (Bamidbar, 30:7).

[2] It is important to note that at the end of Ch. 2 of Laws of Marriage, Rambam enumerates 20 terms concerning marriage: “kiddushin, ervah, sh’niyah, issurei lavin, issurei aseh, k’tanah, na’arah, bogeret, aylonit, gedolah, lower sign of maturity, upper sign of maturity, katan, s’ris chamah, s’ris adam, gadol, androgynous, tumtum, chershim, pik’chim.” Yet, he does not find it pertinent to mention the term nissuin.

[3] Laws of Marriage 10:2

[4] Ibid

[5] Accordingly, it can be explained why Rambam as well discusses the prohibition of a harlot, which was likewise prohibited by the giving of the Torah, soon after this law (Laws of Marriage, 1:4). He does so, as is also explained in the Guide to the Perplexed 3:49, since the reason for the prohibition of harlotry is for the sake of peace, which is a continuation of the above law.

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