A missionary has brought up the antisemitic accusation that the Talmud permits sex with three year old girls. He wrote: "I use the Talmud online, not some secret Talmud. Please justify the following if possible: MISHNAH. A GIRL OF THE AGE OF THREE YEARS AND ONE DAY MAY BE BETROTHED BY INTERCOURSE ... GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: A girl of the age of three years may be betrothed by intercourse; so R. Meir. But the Sages say: Only one who is three years and one day old. What is the practical difference between them? — The school of R Jannai replied: The practical difference between them is the day preceding the first day of the fourth year."
The Talmud is a law book. Law books explain the law and often present cases that epitomize the law, and the Talmud does this, too.
Consider this: the United States has laws about murder and rape. Does this mean that the United States condones, or even endorses, murder and rape?
Ridiculous -- but this is exactly what the antisemites do when they say the Talmud condones sex with children!
The Torah tells us: "If a man encounters a virgin girl who is not betrothed and is caught raping her, then the rapist must give the girl's father 50 [shekels] of silver (the normal dowry price). He must then take the girl he violated as his wife (only if the girl consents (Yad, Naarah Bethulah 1:3), and he may not send her away as long as he lives." D'varim / Deuteronomy 22:28 - 29.
A rabbi on the website Aish wrote: "The demand is to the rapist to protect the daughter, her reputation and her dowry. The rapist is held accountable and is made to be responsible for his actions. Rape of a single woman carries a heavy monetary fine (depending on the age of the victim), plus the rapist has to pay reparation for damages, as well as for her suffering, embarrassment and emotional anguish. The rapist also incurs lashes. This is all intended as both a deterrent and a punishment (D'varim / Deuteronomy 22:28-29, see also Rambam Rotzai'ach 2:4-5).
"As regards to what you read, it is true that the Torah states that the rapist must marry (and may never divorce) his victim (actually only if she is at a certain young age at the time), but both she and her father can refuse the "match" – which they are extremely likely to do. I believe the message of the Torah is not that the rapist can have whom he wants, but quite the opposite. If he wants to enjoy another human being, he cannot just do so and split. He becomes responsible for her – for the rest of his life."
The Talmud discusses what to do if a male child molests a female adult or if a male adult molests a young female child (Ketuvot 11b). Remember that virginity was highly prized in ancient times -- is the raped 3 year old girl now considered a non-virgin for the purposes of a dowry later in her life? The Jewish judges wisely said that she is still considered a virgin for her sake and future. Jewish law does not condone sex with a 3 year old or children, the opposite is true.
The Talmud states (Kiddushin 41a):
האיש מקדש את בתו כשהיא נערה: כשהיא נערה אין כשהיא קטנה לא מסייע ליה לרב דאמר רב יהודה אמר רב ואיתימא רבי אלעזר אסור לאדם שיקדש את בתו כשהיא קטנה עד שתגדל ותאמר בפלוני אני רוצה
Translation: “A man may marry off his daughter when she is a na’ara / נערה / young woman" When she is a na’ara (young woman), yes. When she is a child, no. This supports the teaching of Rav, for Rav Y’huda said in the name of Rav, and there are those who say Rabbi El’azar, “It is forbidden for a man to marry off his daughter when she is a child, until she grows up and says, ‘I want to marry So-and-so.'” (Talmud, Kiddushin 41a).
Further, Niddah 13b says: ת”ר הגרים והמשחקין בתינוקות מעכבין את המשיח… דנסיבי קטנות דלאו בנות אולודי נינהו
Translation: “The Rabbis taught in a b’raita: Converts and those who play with little girls delay the coming of the Messiah… The latter refers to those who marry [and have sexual relations with] girls who are too young to [safely] bear children.”
Molesting a child, whether above or below the age of three, is forbidden as stated clearly in both Kiddushin 41a and Niddah 13b.
Further, the Rambam (Maimonides, 12th century) in Issurei Biah 21:18 writes: “A man should not marry a minor who is not fit to give birth.”
Jewish law strictly forbids not only child molestation but all kinds of non-marital sexual relations are prohibited. The Rambam wrote in Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Ishut 1:4 "a person who has relations with a woman for the sake of lust, without kiddushin (marriage), receives lashes as prescribed by the Torah."
The Talmud strongly opposed formation of the marriage bond by sexual force (at any age) and punished those who acted in such manner (Kiddushin 12b).
Sanhedrin 55b says IF a girl is raped if she is younger than 3 she is still considered a virgin for the sake of later marriage. If she is older then 3 it is considered RAPE and one of the compensations is that her father may demand the perpetrator marry her as well as pay all the criminal penalties.
Remember that the man is not allowed to have sex with a 3 year old we are discussing what happens if someone DOES. The Talmud goes on to say that the father's right to marry off his daughter was to be used for her benefit. The age and manner of marriage is to a large extent a societal variable but at Kiddushin 41a the rabbis taught: "It is forbidden for a man to betroth his daughter while she is young [but rather he should wait] till she has grown and says 'This is the one I want [to marry]" and this teaching is repeated elsewhere in the Talmud.
The Laws of Niddah pertain to family purity (think menstruation or giving birth and once again becoming ritually clean by immersing in a mikvah). This chapter is discussing how old a person (male or female) can be ritually impure.
"This mishnah teaches that in a legal sense, sexual relations with a girl over the age of three counts as sexual relations. I should emphasize that this mishnah in no way condones such an act (which is certainly rape) it just teaches that this counts as an act of intercourse. At the core of this notion is their understanding of the physical consequences of intercourse for the first time namely the breaking of the woman's hymen. As we can see at the end of the mishnah, if a girl has intercourse (i.e. is raped) before the age of three her hymen will repair itself. After the age of three, it will not. This, to the rabbis, means that after the age of three, intercourse "counts" in a legal sense. Before the age of three, it does not. Having taught this mishnah (and others like it) many times, I realize that this is a very sensitive issue. To talk about sex with young girls is very troubling. I certainly don't want people to read this and think that the rabbis thought that it was okay for men to have relations with little girls. As usual, the mishnah uses a clinical, emotionally distant tone. That's just the way the rabbis composed much of the mishnah." Modern commentary from Sefaria on Niddah 5.4.1.
So if a young girl three years old (or older) is raped the rapist may be forced to marry her and take care of her -- IF the father agrees, and the girl (when she is old enough) must also agree. Sex with a young child is not allowed in this situation -- it is a legal requirement on the part of the rapist.
The Talmud is stating that a girl younger than 3 is still considered a virgin for the purposes of a later marriage dowry (dowries were monies paid by a prospective husband to the girl's parents). Dowries for a virgin were higher priced than dowries for a widow or other non-virginal woman... A girl older than 3 who was raped would thus be financially impacted, and this law states that the father can demand that the virginal dowry price be paid...
There is no real Talmud online unless you are reading it in Aramaic. The highly abridged ones online are very poor translations -- and again, highly abridged. |
Arranged marriages with children was very common – particularly among Christians. In July 1543, Mary of Scotland was betrothed to be married to Edward, son of King Henry VIII of England. She was 6 months old.
SIX MONTHS OLD.
It doesn't mean they had sex -- it was an arranged marriage.
Someone asked me: You have said "This oil was never used on Jesus, and since he was not in an unbroken and uncontested line to the throne he would have to have been personally anointed with the very specific compound of spices and oil whose exact composition is stipulated in Sh'mot / Exodus 30:22-33 for use in the “anointment” of Jewish kings or priests:" But According to the Talmud Horayos 12a the anointing oil was compounded only once in Jewish history, by Moses, and the supply made by him sufficed for the whole period from the anointing of Aaron and his sons until the residue was hidden away by Josiah. Anointing oil was therefore not used for the kings and high priests after Josiah, and it was one of the five appurtenances used in the First Temple but not in the Second. So Are you saying the the hidden temple items including the oil must be back before the messiah?
Yes, that is what I'm saying. The holy anointing oil was hidden along with the אָרוֹן הַבְּרִית / Aron HaBrit (Ark of the Covenant) before the Babylonian Exile.
The Torah tells us of a special oil which was used to anoint kings and priests. was a special mixture of spice and olive oil that was used for “anointing” of kings and priests. This special oil is called שֶֽׁמֶן מִשְׁחַת קֹדֶשׁ shemen mish'ḥat kodesh (“Oil of Anointment of Sanctity”) and is given in the passage of Sh'mot / Exodus 30:22-33 which gives the formula for making it and how to properly use it. . .
"G-d spoke to Moses, saying: 30:23 You must take the finest fragrances, 500 [shekels] of distilled myrrh, [two] half portions, each consisting of 250 [shekels] of fragrant cinnamon and 250 [shekels] of fragrant cane, 30:24 and 500 shekels of cassia, all measured by the sanctuary standard, along with a gallon of olive oil. 30:25 Make it into sacred anointing oil. It shall be a blended compound, as made by a skilled perfumer, [made especially for] the sacred anointing oil. 30:26 Then use it to anoint the Communion Tent, the Ark of Testimony, 30:27 the table and all its utensils, the menorah and its utensils, the incense altar, 30:28 the sacrificial altar and all its utensils, the washstand and its base. 30:29 You will thus sanctify them, making them holy of holies, so that anything touching them becomes sanctified. 30:30 You must also anoint Aaron and his sons, sanctifying them as priests to Me. 30:31 Speak to the Israelites and tell them, 'This shall be the sacred anointing oil to Me for all generations. 30:32 Do not pour it on the skin of any [unauthorized] person, and do not duplicate it with a similar formula. It is holy, and it must remain sacred to you. 30:33 If a person blends a similar formula, or places it on an unauthorized person, he shall be cut off [spiritually] from his people." Sh'mot / Exodus 30:22-33.
Moses was ordered in Sh'mot / Exodus 30:22-25 to make personally (he was not to delegate the task to an assistant), which was to last “for all our generations” (Sh'mot / Exodus 30:31), and which was never to be duplicated ever again by anyone else (Sh'mot / Exodus 30:22-33).
So the Torah says this oil was only made once and will never again be duplicated -- but it also says it will be the sacred anointing oil for all generations -- so it will never be used up either.
The questioner mentioned Horayot 12a. The answer to his (her?) question is found in Horayot 11b:
אמר לו רבי יהודה וכי נס אחד נעשה בשמן המשחה והלא תחלתו שנים עשר לוגין וממנו היה נמשח משכן וכליו אהרן ובניו כל שבעת ימי המלואים וכולו קיים לעתיד לבוא שנאמר (שמות ל, לא) שמן משחת קדש יהיה זה לי לדורותיכם
Rabbi Yehuda said to him: And was it merely one miracle that was performed with regard to the anointing oil? But wasn’t it initially only twelve log, and from it the Tabernacle, and its vessels, Aaron, and his sons were anointed for the entire seven days of inauguration, and all of it remains in existence for the future, as it is stated: “This shall be a sacred anointing oil unto Me throughout your generations” (Exodus 30:31)? Since the entire existence of the anointing oil is predicated on miracles, it is no wonder that its preparation also involved a miracle.
THUS SHALL BE A SACRED ANOINTING OIL UNTO ME (G-D) THROUGHOUT YOUR GENERATIONS...
Horayot 12a goes on to say:
"Rav Pappa said: They anointed Jehoahaz with pure balsam oil, not with anointing oil. "
It does not say that the שֶֽׁמֶן מִשְׁחַת קֹדֶשׁ shemen mish'ḥat kodesh (“oil of anointment of holiness”) was made only once or that it was used once and only once. It also doesn't say that it will never be used again after Y'ho'aḥaz / Jehoahaz. It simply says "They anointed Y'ho'aḥaz / Jehoahaz with pure balsam oil, not with anointing oil."
Y'ho'aḥaz / Jehoahaz wasn't properly anointed by a known prophet (as is required) either. See M'lachim Beit / 2 Kings 23:30, where it was the people who anointed him - no mention of a prophet or priest: "And the people of the land took Y'ho'aḥaz / Jehoahaz the son of Josiah and anointed him and made him king instead of his father."
The people would not have had the holy oil -- and they are not the ones who can properly anoint a king -- that honor falls to a known prophet... In other words -- his anointing was not done properly according to the Torah (known prophet and the shemen mish'ḥat kodesh “oil of anointment of holiness" being used).
There are three situations that "trigger" the requirement that the messiah be actually anointed with a very specific type of holy oil (which was never used on Jesus). The three situations are:
Again, see Horayot 11b which confirms my three points:
ואפילו כהן גדול בן כהן גדול טעון משיחה ואין מושחים מלך בן מלך ואם תאמר מפני מה משחו את שלמה מפני מחלוקתו של אדוניה ואת יואש מפני עתליה ואת יהואחז מפני יהויקים שהיה גדול ממנו שתי שנים ואותו שמן קיים לעתיד לבוא שנאמר שמן משחת קדש יהיה זה לי לדורותיכם זה בגימטריא שנים עשר לוגין הוו
The baraita continues: And even a High Priest, son of a High Priest, requires anointing, but one does not anoint a king, son of a king. And if you say: For what reason did they anoint King Solomon (see I Kings, chapter 1), who was the son of a king? It was due to the challenge of Adonijah, who sought to succeed their father David as king. And they anointed Joash due to Athaliah (see II Kings, chapter 11). And they anointed Jehoahaz due to Jehoiakim, who was two years older than he was (see II Kings 23:30). In all these cases, it was necessary to underscore that these men were crowned king. And that oil remains in existence for the future, as it is stated: “This [zeh] shall be a sacred anointing oil unto Me throughout your generations” (Exodus 30:31). The numerical value of zeh is twelve log, indicating that this amount of oil remains intact despite its use."
There would have been no need to anoint a king who was inheriting from his father unless it was contested or was not a direct line of descent. Horayot 11b specifically mentions the שֶֽׁמֶן מִשְׁחַת קֹדֶשׁ shemen mish'ḥat kodesh (“oil of anointment of holiness").
There are only two explicit accounts of proper anointment of kings beyond King Solomon. One account describes the anointing of Jehu King of Israel by one of the disciples of Elisha - M'lachim Beit / 2 Kings 9:8. The other account describes the anointing of Joash King of Judah by Jehoiada the priest - M'lachim Beit / 2 Kings 11:12 & Divrei Hamayim Beit / 2 Chronicles 24:11. It is most likely that the other kings of Judah were properly anointed being legitimate descendants of King David through King Solomon. It is doubtful that the kings of the northern kingdom of Israel were properly anointed, since the special oil of anointing was kept in the Temple in Jerusalem.
Sophiee Saguy has been countering false missionary claims about Judaism and the T'nach (Jewish bible) for nearly twenty years. You may find her on FaceBook and at the Messiah Truth forum.