adultery

Muslimwoman

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Shalom guys

I have been learning about adultery in different cultures today and was surprised to read that early Jews believed that the 7th commandment only referred to married women and it was perfectly ok for married men to have intercourse with unmarried women. Is this accurate?

If so has it ever changed and on what was this original opinion based (as I have never read 'thou shalt not commit adultery ..... if you are a married woman but if you are a married man it is fine') and also on what basis was it changed?

Does your law now allow women to get divorced if their husbands are unfaithful?

It has been an eye opening experience, although very sad. It seems in most societies throughout history only married women could commit adultery but married men could not (obviously they were just doing what men do :mad:).

Salaam
MW
 
I have a feeling it was 'ok' for men in general since they could hide their 'sin'. Women would probably starting showing thier 'sin' at about the 3 to 4 month mark.;)
 
I do hope BB or Dauer pipe in to explore this.

My view on thou shall not commit adultery is that it is not limited to sex outside of marriage.

We shouldn't adulterate anything.

If one waters down wine, one 'adds another' to it, dilutes the whole and pure, waters it down.

If we don't follow our principles, we are committing adultery, diluting our faith.

So in my mind, argue all the semantics one wants, but if anyone is engaging in any behaviours that detracts from their vows to each other, it is adulterating the union.
 
It is quite fascinating when you start to look into the subject. So many different societies accepted adultery by men (in fact it wasn't seen as adultery when it came to men). From what I am reading Jesus (pbuh) was the first Prophet to express that adultery was not to be committed by either women or men. It seems to go back to the idea that a families honour rests entirely on women.

I was just very surprised to hear that the 7th commandment had been interpreted in that way (if what I read is correct). I look forward to BB or Dauers input.
 
Wil...I believe you've nailed it. I'd never considered it all from the perspective you've expressed. Yes...wholeness, purity. What does that even mean any more ?

flow....:rolleyes:
 
Having sex with a woman WAS "marriage" back then: unless the relationship was concealed (in which case it was "whoredom") or unless the woman already "belonged" to another man. No ceremony or oath-exchange was an essential part of getting "married" then; a public celebration would be common, since public acknowledgement, along with the sexual act itself, was essential to "marriage". A man who already had a wife was perfectly free to "marry" another one (as, of course, Islam still allows), but a woman could not have another man (unless her husband publicly renounced her).
 
Tao..... you need help, man>LOLOLOLOLOLOL.
Wil...... I understand what yu are saying (purity) etc its an interesting comparision. I agree entirely.
MW...... do you think it was because women werent really regarded as equal back then or that men were faultless to a degree when it comes to adultery. I know history is full of "bastard children". especially when it comes to ppowerful/royal families. Of course regular people had illigitamate children but obviously not mentioned in history books. ( I should know, its a family tradition for me) LOL
 
Having sex with a woman WAS "marriage" back then:

I cannot see how that can be a correct interpretion of what was happening at the time. Rabbi Gold said "Halakha defines adultery as a sexual encounter between a married woman and a man not her husband. An affair between a married man and a single woman is not considered adultery".

Here Rabbi Gold refers to a man having an 'affair', not to him practicing polygamy, so there must be a difference. If I remember correctly Liviticus states that both the adulterer and the adulteress should be put to death. This is why I asked the original question - ie what did G-d say and what did 'man' interpret that into.

Ancient Roman law permitted sex with slaves, keeping of concubines and using prostitues, none of which were considered marriage but existed in many ancient cultures.

I also believe there is a difference between Judaism and Islam regarding marriage. A marriage in Islam is a civil matter, whereas I read that in Judaism a marriage joins two souls into one. How then could they interpret the 7commandment to allow men to have affairs?

MW...... do you think it was because women werent really regarded as equal back then or that men were faultless to a degree when it comes to adultery.

This is what I am trying to understand at the moment Grey, how could G-d say one thing and man make such a botch up of it? Was it purely the patriachal society that rejected the commandment of G-d or is there somethig in the Scriptures I have missed on the subject?

(I should know, its a family tradition for me) LOL

I do wish you would stop talking about yourself in this way. You are a wonderful, strong, sensitive woman - go look in the mirror and then celebrate who you are. :D
 
oh dont get me wrong. its a family joke and its ok. Now that my eldest has married I can chastise him for breaking the tradition. LOL. see to me its not a big deal. I can totally understand others getting married etc but it just wasnt an option for me. I do believe in marriage and it should be forever. thats probably one of the reasons I never have married. Ill never rule the option out though. (ya never know.....) I know Im great. just ask me, Ill tell ya. LOL
 
this *is* an interesting discussion. is this the rabbi gold you're talking about, sally?

MyJewishLearning.com - Ideas & Belief: Traditional Sources on Non-marit

i guess my starting point here would be slightly odd unless you understand where i'm coming from. as far as i can tell, nearly all the laws around marriage are for the benefit and protection of everybody concerned, husband, wife and children. however, the technical term here translated as "adultery", TiNAPh is not what the english term means. the hebrew term signifies literally "moving from one to the other" and, as the rashi commentary explains:

Adultery applies only [to relations] with a married woman, as it is said: "[And a man who commits adultery with the wife of a[nother] man, who commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor,] [both] the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death" (Lev. 20:10); [and it says,] “[You are] the adulterous wife, who, instead of her husband, takes strangers” (Ezek. 16:32). [In both these verses, the term “adultery” is used in reference to the extramarital relations of a married woman.]
so what is being penalised here on one hand is a married woman who moves between men - and the most *important* reason why this is not allowed is because of the risk of having a baby who would suffer the stigma of mamzerut, being the result of an illicit relationship which would mean the child could only marry a convert or another mamzer. however, the child of a relationship between a married man and a woman other than his wife is not subject to this status.

the next important thing to remember is the man that has had relations with a married woman is subject to *exactly the same penalty* as the woman concerned; this is not a penalty that falls on the woman alone, as the Torah clarifies in the verse rashi mentions in leviticus.

if neither man nor woman are married to anyone else, it isn't adultery - although it is possible that they might become married thereby, as bob points out, so it's hardly encouraged, despite the clear fact that premarital or "licit" non-marital sex often took (and continues to take) place! which brings us to the point which seems to interest everybody, about whether a married man can legitimately have relations with a woman other than his wife. the basic answer is *yes* (look at abraham and jacob here!) but there are certain important caveats:

firstly, the wife must agree to this; it cannot be done without her knowledge. secondly, if the marriage contract signed by the man specifies that it is not permitted, then he must abide by this. i believe the penalty is that he'd be compelled to grant her a divorce and pay damages, there might be lashes as well - nowadays this would be considered a matter of course were it not covered by the ban of rabbenu gershom (see below)

there are two other important issues. one is, of course, the ability of men to marry more than one wife, as in the case of jacob. this is hedged about with many, many qualifications, e.g. the husband must be able to afford it, may not show preference to one over the other and must additionally be able to provide them both with as much sexual satisfaction as they require! and, before anyone gets any ideas, he can't have a threesome with them both (that would come under the "licit non-marital but discouraged" rubric). moreover, multiple wives have been prohibited in ashkenazic tradition since the C13th i believe by rabbenu gershom of mayence, who (i believe) held that it would make christians jealous. no such situation obtained in the jewish communities of the islamic world, of course, which meant that some of the yemeni jews who arrived in israel in the 1950s had more than one wife and were allowed to keep them. incidentally, they weren't allowed more than four, as this would have made muslims jealous. however, nowadays, as far as i am aware, everyone abides by the ban of rabbenu gershom, including both sephardim and eidoth ha'mizrah (the "eastern communities").

the penultimate issue is that of pilagshut or "concubinage". technically, this is permitted; a man may take a woman as a concubine for as long as *both of them* wish it. this entails *no religious* stigma to either man or woman (provided the woman isn't married and the man's wife doesn't object) but, as far as i know, married men aren't allowed to take concubines either and, of course, it falls foul of another rabbinic stricture which disapproves of what is considered promiscuous conduct. concubinage, however, is no longer used, although i'm not entirely sure why if not for the reason that there was a *social* as opposed to religious stigma attached. nachmanides (ramba"n) tried to have it reintroduced, but this failed. reading between the lines, i think that this probably always translated into "don't get caught having it off before you get married or at any rate don't advertise the fact", at any rate that is what still goes on even in much of the (non-ultra) orthodox community; the attitude is "well, it's all well and good until someone decides to take someone else to the beth din (religious court) and then there'll be a horrible mess."

finally, i should note that it is technically possible to engage in any number of sequential, monogamous marriages, but what a lot of hassle! i certainly know a religious bloke that is on his fourth and may yet come to five and i believe there was one talmudic sage who used to travel for a living and would get married for the duration of his short stay in a town; personally, i think a degree of informality need not be entirely discouraged as long as it does not harm your marital prospects in the long term or undermine one's commitment to lifelong marriage - but then again, my own pre-marital history would have been considere
d unconscionably lax!

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
however, the technical term here translated as "adultery", TiNAPh is not what the english term means. the hebrew term signifies literally "moving from one to the other"
Now we are getting somewhere. I appreciate the commentary on the reasoning in the past and the legalese of it all. Surely that does not apply today?

But more than that I'd like some clarification on the word used. Is it only used in marriage situations? Or does it have other significance as adulterate has? ie is the watering down the wine, diluting one's principles applicable to the original word usage?
 
i couldn't tell you if it's only used in marriage situations, but i'd have thought not - basically it implies not being able to make up your mind, not being able to settle on one thing, wavering, that sort of thing. not so much dilution. hebrew has a large vocabulary to describe forbidden mixtures (meat/milk, sacred/profane, tahara/tuma) and it always involves a pair of concepts as far as i am aware.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
Namaste BB,

So basically it implies not being able to make up your mind, not being able to settle on one thing, wavering, that sort of thing. not so much dilution.

Ok, back to around an expanded metaphysical bent on thou shall not commit adultery, I was saying don't dilute your principles. Are you indicating that from the original Hebrew you could see one tempting the commandment if they lost focus of their beliefs, wavered from their path?
 
an interesting point. in fact, a different word is used for when the israelites go "whoring after strange gods". but there it indicates deliberate promiscuity, not inconstancy.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
BB... Hi

Do you think maybe the "whoring after strange gods" concept crept into the Hebrew traditions as a result of the Babylonian diaspora ? I've wondered a lot about the long term effects of that uprooting about 600 bce.

flow....:)
 
no, flow, i don't. it's in there from the very beginning of the exodus; what is the golden calf episode if not precisely this? one might even say earlier; esau and ishmael take canaanite wives and this causes them to adopt their religious customs to some extent.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
this *is* an interesting discussion. is this the rabbi gold you're talking about, sally?

Thank you so much for your explanations BB, things are beginning to fall into place.

Yes it was Rabbi Michael Gold I was reading (thanks for the link it was an interesting read).

As an interesting sidenote (from my perspective) this issue is a perfect example of how none of us should take one verse or one comment from a scholar and think we understand it. We have to understand everything that surrounds it.

so what is being penalised here on one hand is a married woman who moves between men

So would this, in Engish terms, mean a long term affair (ie moving regularly between 2 men) rather than a quick one nighter? Because surely men are permitted to move between women? (sorry to sound so crude but without any knowledge of Hebrew I am trying to put it into plain words I can grasp).

suffer the stigma of mamzerut, being the result of an illicit relationship which would mean the child could only marry a convert or another mamzer.

Does this stigma still exist today? Also how does a child born to an unwed woman not fall into this category? Is it about proof of who the father is that makes the difference?

however, the child of a relationship between a married man and a woman other than his wife is not subject to this status.

So taking Bob's explanation, would this be because if a married man had a baby with a women other than his wife they would actually be considered to be married? Would he be responsible for supporting the woman and child in Jewish law? Would the child take the name of the father?

the next important thing to remember is the man that has had relations with a married woman is subject to *exactly the same penalty* as the woman concerned; this is not a penalty that falls on the woman alone, as the Torah clarifies in the verse rashi mentions in leviticus.

Okay here I get a little lost. If the man and woman are both married and receive the same punishment what is the man actually being punished for? He is allowed to have 'relations' outside of his marriage, so is it because he has encouraged a married woman to commit a sin? Or does it come down purely to 'she is married therefore offlimits - you crossed the line buddy)?

firstly, the wife must agree to this;

Ah-ha, now it gets very interesting as we begin to see the fuller picture.

Is there anything to suggest why a wife may want to agree to this arrangement? For example a barren woman or one that isn't that interested in this aspect of marriage (Eastenders can be very addictive :D).

If what I am reading is correct you and Mrs BB 'joined souls' into one when you got married - is that correct? If so, would this not mean that even if Mrs BB agreed to such an arrangement then her soul would also be carrying out the act? (badly worded but trying to get my head round the spiritual implications).

secondly, if the marriage contract signed by the man specifies that it is not permitted, then he must abide by this. i believe the penalty is that he'd be compelled to grant her a divorce and pay damages, there might be lashes as well - nowadays this would be considered a matter of course were it not covered by the ban of rabbenu gershom (see below)

Now I begin to see the thread running through both of our faiths, except with Islam it is termed as polygamous marriage, not sexual relations outside of the marriage.

there are two other important issues. one is, of course, the ability of men to marry more than one wife, as in the case of jacob. this is hedged about with many, many qualifications, e.g. the husband must be able to afford it, may not show preference to one over the other and must additionally be able to provide them both with as much sexual satisfaction as they require!

Fascinating, without wishing to insult any of my Muslim brothers and sisters, I often read in Islamic books that it was Islam that introduced this system of equality for wives - clearly not. From my perspective of course I see this as an example of how G-d does not change His message but accept that non Muslims will see it as pure plagiarism.

moreover, multiple wives have been prohibited in ashkenazic tradition

ashkenazic meaning? Is it a sect?

no such situation obtained in the jewish communities of the islamic world, of course, which meant that some of the yemeni jews who arrived in israel in the 1950s had more than one wife and were allowed to keep them. incidentally, they weren't allowed more than four, as this would have made muslims jealous.

So do you know if Israeli civil law still permits polygamy?

I am intrigued by the idea of adapting your faith in order not to make other religions followers jealous. As Jews do not accept Jesus (pbuh) as the Messiah or Mohammad (pbuh) as a Prophet why would it concern your faith whether gentiles were jealous? Was it simply respect for fellow man and if so, how does that sit with following G-d's laws? Maybe I am not quite grasping what G-d's laws are on this subject in the Torah?

the penultimate issue is that of pilagshut or "concubinage". technically, this is permitted; a man may take a woman as a concubine for as long as *both of them* wish it. this entails *no religious* stigma to either man or woman (provided the woman isn't married and the man's wife doesn't object) but, as far as i know, married men aren't allowed to take concubines either

Sorry you have lost me there. A married man can have concubines if the wife agrees but married men aren't allowed to take concubines. :confused:

So is there any stigma on the concubine? What if she has a child, is the man responsible in any way for providing for them?

A new question - is there anything in Judaism that instructs society to care for widows and orphans (eg through polygamy)?

and, of course, it falls foul of another rabbinic stricture which disapproves of what is considered promiscuous conduct.

Jolly pleased to hear that, I was starting to get some very strange images in my head.

So really there are no hard and fast rules on the subject, other than the wifes permission and married women are a no-no? It sees if you accept the 'allowed sex outside marriage' thing then you can be as promiscuous as you like (if your wife agrees) but if you hold to the 'disapproval of promiscuous conduct' then you are stuck in the house watching Eastenders with the Mrs - therefore becomes a moral decision for the man rather than a matter of law?

i think that this probably always translated into "don't get caught having it off before you get married or at any rate don't advertise the fact",

But that doesn't account for the married men issue does it? You would think after all these centuries married men would learn to keep it in their pants, it's really not that much to write home about. :p

the attitude is "well, it's all well and good until someone decides to take someone else to the beth din (religious court) and then there'll be a horrible mess."

ahhh, the old 'blind eye' attitude. Okay, so given what was said previously I am now struggling to see what the beth din could or would do - unless the wife doesn't like Eastenders and isn't getting her share or the woman involved is married.

but then again, my own pre-marital history would have been considered unconscionably lax!

Hmm, hands up who isn't going to fry for that one!! The less said the better (cough, cough).

salaam
Sally
 
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