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Naarah Betulah - Chapter Two

Naarah Betulah - Chapter Two

Halacha 1

The fine of 50 silver pieces represents merely the payment for the pleasure of sexual relations. In addition, a seducer is obligated to pay for embarrassment and damages1 in addition to the fixed amount mentioned by the Torah.

A rapist, moreover, also pays for the pain [he caused the girl]. [A seducer is not required to make this payment,] because a girl who willingly engages in relations does not [suffer] pain. A girl who is raped does, as reflected by [Deuteronomy 22:29]: "because he violated her."2

Halacha 2

Thus, a seducer makes three payments: the fine, and compensation for embarrassment and damages. A rapist makes four payments: the fine, and compensation for embarrassment, pain and damages.

Halacha 3

The fine is the same in all instances. Whether one has relations with the daughter of the High Priest, or the daughter of a convert or a bastard,3 the fine is 50 silver pieces. The amount paid for embarrassment, damages and pain is not uniform, however. Instead, the amount must be evaluated [by the court].

Halacha 4

How is this evaluation made? With regard to embarrassment, everything is dependent on the identity of the person who is embarrassed, and the identity of the person who embarrasses her. The embarrassment suffered by a girl of high repute from a family of known lineage cannot be compared to the embarrassment suffered by a poor, ignoble maiden.4 And the embarrassment suffered at the hands of an important person of great stature cannot be compared to that suffered at the hands of a base and empty fellow.5

Halacha 5

On this basis, the judges consider the stature of [the rapist or the seducer] and his victim. They evaluate how much a father and the girl's family would give to prevent [these relations] from taking place with this individual. This is the amount [the man] is obligated to pay.

Halacha 6

Damages [are evaluated] according to [the girl's] beauty. We look at her as if she were a maid-servant being sold in the marketplace: what price would she fetch as a virgin, and what price would she fetch as a non-virgin. For a man would like to buy a virgin maid-servant to give him to his servant, whose welfare and satisfaction he desires. [The rapist or the seducer] should pay the difference in the price.

The compensation for pain is evaluated based on her youth and the size of her body, and his age and the size of his body.6 We evaluate how much a father would be willing to pay so that such [a daughter] would not suffer pain from such [a man], and [the rapist is obligated to] pay [this amount].

Halacha 7

A seducer must compensate [the girl's father] for the embarrassment and damages immediately. He is not, however, required to pay the fine unless he does not marry [the girl], as [Exodus 22:16] states: "If her father refuses to allow him to marry her, then he must pay...."

A rapist, by contrast, must make all four payments and marry her immediately. Therefore, whenever the woman desires to divorce7 or when she becomes widowed, she does not receive anything.8

Halacha 8

[The following laws apply when] two men entered into relations with her, one through vaginal intercourse and one through anal intercourse. If the man who had anal intercourse with her was first, he is liable for embarrassment and for damages.9 If he was second, he is liable only for embarrassment, because she has already suffered damages.

The one who engaged in vaginal intercourse, whether first or last, is liable for the fine and all other payments. Nevertheless, the embarrassment and damages to a girl who had never engaged in relations at all cannot be compared to the embarrassment and damages to a girl who has engaged in anal intercourse.

Halacha 9

We have already mentioned10 the girls for whom a fine need not be paid: They are ten: A bogeret, a girl who dissolved her marriage via mi'un, one who was divorced, an aylonit, a mentally incompetent girl, a deaf mute, a convert, a girl who had been taken captive, a freed slave, and one who has a tarnished reputation. A fine must be paid for all other girls.

Halacha 10

Whenever a fine is required to be paid for a girl, compensation is also required for embarrassment and damages, and if she was raped she must also be compensated for the pain.

Conversely, whenever a fine is not required to be paid for her, she is not entitled to compensation for embarrassment and damages11 if she is seduced or raped. Exceptions to this are a bogeret, a girl who had dissolved her marriage via mi'un, a mentally incompetent girl and a deaf mute. [If they are seduced, no payment is required at all.]

Halacha 11

What is implied? If a man rapes a bogeret or a girl who had dissolved her marriage via mi'un, although a fine is not required to be paid, compensation is also required for embarrassment damages and pain.12 And a man who rapes a a mentally incompetent girl or a deaf mute is required to make compensation for pain.13 One who seduces any of these girls is not liable at all.14

Halacha 12

A person is not ever liable to pay a fine because of his own admission. Instead, he is made liable by the testimony of witnesses.15 Therefore, [if a man] says: "I raped or seduced the daughter of so and so," he is not liable to pay a fine. He must, however, make restitution for the embarrassment and the damages [he caused].16

Similarly, when a maiden files a legal claim against a man, saying "You raped me," or "You seduced me," and he denies the matter entirely, he is required to take a Rabbinic oath17 to support his claim, for if he admits his culpability, he would be liable for the embarrassment, the damages and the pain.18

Halacha 13

If a girl claims, "You raped me," and the man claims, "No, I seduced you," he is required to take an oath mandated by Scriptural law with regard to [the compensation for] the pain, and he must pay the damages and the embarrassment. [The oath is required] because he admitted a portion of the claim [made against him], as will be explained in [the section dealing with that subject].19

Halacha 14

The three payments made because of seduction, and the four payments made because of rape are made to the girl's father, for all the monetary benefit that accrues during a girl's youth belongs to her father.20

If her father is no longer alive [at the time of the rape or the seduction], [these payments are made] to her.21

Halacha 15

When a girl who was raped or seduced does not file a claim until [either] she reaches bagrut, she marries, or her father dies,22 she herself is entitled to the three or four payments [mentioned above].23

If she appeared in court and filed a claim for payment, and then she reached bagrut or she married, the father is entitled to the payments. If the father dies after she files a claim for payment in court, the payments belong to her brothers, for they are her father's heirs. [The rationale is that] once she files a claim for payment in court, her father is considered to have acquired the payments.

Halacha 16

When a girl was consecrated and then divorced, she is entitled to the fine, but only that.24 If she was raped or seduced, and afterwards, she becomes consecrated to another [man], her father is entitled to the fine and the damages, for consecration does not take a girl out of her father's domain [and nullify his rights over her].

Halacha 17

I maintain that [the intent of] the Torah's statement [Leviticus 19:29], "Do not defile your daughter to have her play the harlot," is that a father should not say: "Since the obligation of the Torah for a seducer or a rapist was solely that he should give the father money, I will hire my virgin daughter to someone to have relations with her for whatever price I desire, or I will allow him to have relations for her without charge. For a man has the right to forgo monetary rights to him to any person he desires." To counter such thoughts, it is written: "Do not defile your daughter."

The Torah obligates a rapist and a seducer to pay money rather than be punished by lashes when the matter happened by chance, without the knowledge of [the girl's] father, and she did not ready herself for [the relations]. For this is an extraordinary and uncommon matter.

If, however, a person leaves his virgin daughter accessible for anyone to engage in relations with her, this will cause the entire earth to be filled with sexual immorality.25 For [ultimately], a father will marry his daughter and a brother his sister, [for in a sexually permissive society] a [girl] may become pregnant and give birth without knowing who the child's father is.

When a person has his daughter act in this manner, she is considered to be a harlot, and both the man and the girl who engage in relations should be punished by lashes, as [Deuteronomy 23:18] states: "There shall not be a harlot."26

[In such an instance,] the man is not required to pay a fine, for the Torah prescribed a fine only in the instance of seduction or rape. When a girl prepares herself [for relations] either on her initiative or on that of her father, she is a harlot. And the prohibition against harlotry applies both with regard to a virgin and a non-virgin.

For this reason our Sages stated that a girl who was reputed to have conducted herself immodestly while young is not entitled to a fine, as we have explained,27 for we can assume that she willingly opened herself to this experience.


As explained in the following halachot.


Inah, the word translated as "violated," more specifically means "oppressed." Significantly, Exodus 22:15, which describes the fine of the seducer, does not use this term.


The Rambam is employing the instance of the daughter of a bastard primarily as a figure of speech. The commentaries have noted that if in fact one has relations with the daughter of a bastard, in most instances the transgression of a negative commandment is involved, and the violator should be lashed rather than fined, unless a warning was not given.


Obviously, the penalty to be paid to the former exceeds that to be paid to the latter.


Rav David Arameah explains that the intent is that the embarrassment suffered at the hands of a person of stature is more significant. The commentaries note, however, that in Hilchot Chovel UMazik 3:1, the Rambam states that the embarrassment suffered at the hands of a base person is more severe.


The younger and smaller a girl, the more painful is the experience. Similarly, the older and larger the rapist, the more painful the experience is.


The Rambam mentions the divorce as being dependent on the woman, because the rapist cannot initiate divorce, as stated in Chapter 1, Halachah 3.


In contrast to other women, who would receive payment for their marriage contracts.


The girl's value is reduced even through anal intercourse, albeit less than through vaginal intercourse. As mentioned in Chapter 1, Halachah 8, a fine is not required for anal intercourse.


Chapter 1, Halachot 9 and 10.


The Tur (Even HaEzer 177) differs with the Rambam and maintains that these women are entitled to damages. The fact that they are not granted a fine has no bearing on this manner.


A fine is not required for a bogeret, because the verse mentions a na'arah, a younger maiden. Nevertheless, if one seduces a bogeret, no fine is required, because she willingly accepted any damages and embarrassment.

With regard to a minor who has dissolved her marriage through mi'un, we are obviously speaking of a girl who did not engage in sexual relations as a minor and was still a virgin. Although she is not entitled to a fine, since she was a virgin, she does receive damages. The commentaries have questioned the distinction between such a woman and a woman who is divorced after nisu'in, but is still a virgin.


He is not liable to make compensation for the embarrassment and damages because these women are not entitled to damages, because they have no financial worth; they would not be purchased if sold as slaves. (See Ketubot 32a, Bava Metzia 80a.) And with regard to embarrassment, since they are mentally incompetent, they suffer no embarrassment.

(Compare, however, to Hilchot Chovel UMazik 3:4, which states that a mentally incompetent person is not reimbursed for embarrassment, but a deaf mute is.)


For, as mentioned previously, a girl who is seduced does not suffer pain, and she either forgoes or need not be reimbursed for damages and embarrassment.


This is a principle that applies not only with regard to the fine in question, but with regard to all k'nasot levied by the Torah. To explain: There are two types of monetary penalties levied by the Torah: a) nezek, damages - i.e., compensation for personal injury and/or loss of property - and k'nas, a fine, payment required by the Torah over and above what a person would be held liable for damages.

Although a person is liable for nezek when he makes an admission of guilt, he is not held liable for a k'nas unless his guilt is established by witnesses. (See Hilchot Nizkei Mammon 2:8 and Hilchot Geneivah 3:7.) Moreover, even if he admits his guilt and then witnesses come, he is not liable for payment of the k'nas.


As mentioned in the Kessef Mishneh, the Rambam's statements here are in direct contradiction to his statements in Hilchot Chovel UMazik 5:6, where he states that when a person admits injuring a colleague, but there are no witnesses who testify to the matter, he is not liable for the damages and the pain, but is liable for the injured's unemployment, embarrassment and medical treatment. (As reflected by the commentaries on Hilchot Chovel UMazik, this ruling is contested by many authorities.)

The Rambam's descendant, Rav Yehoshua, attempts to reconcile the Rambam's rulings, explaining that the laws governing the injuries suffered by a raped or seduced maiden differ from those governing other types of injury.


More precisely, the term used is sh'vuat hesset, a Rabbinic oath of lesser severity. See Hilchot Sh'vuot 11:13 and Hilchot To'en V'Nit'an 1:3.


The Rambam is emphasizing that if the only issue were the k'nas, the man would not be held liable for an oath, because this oath was instituted to encourage the defendant to admit his guilt. With regard to the k'nas, this admission would be of no significance, because his liability is dependent only on the testimony of witnesses. Nevertheless, since there is also a claim for damages, and on that matter his admission would make him liable, he is required to take an oath.


As explained in Hilchot To'en V'Nit'an 1:1, whenever a person admits a portion of the claim against him, he is required by Scriptural law to take an oath stating his lack of liability to the remaining portion of the claim.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam, because, as mentioned in the following halachah, the payment for these damages goes to the girl's father and not to her herself. Hence, the situation resembles the case (Sh'vuot 38b) where a person claims "You owe my father 100 zuzim," and the defendant states, "I owe him only 50," in which instance the defendant is not required to take an oath, because the person making the claim is not the one to whom the money is paid.

It is possible, the Ra'avad continues, for the father to make a definite claim that his daughter was raped. But it must be established that this indeed was the case.

The Kessef Mishneh justifies the Rambam's ruling, explaining that this instance is unique. Although the money goes to the girl's father, she and not her father is considered to be the plaintiff.


When the girl manifests physical signs of maturity at the ordinary times, the period of "youth" mentioned here continues until she is twelve and a half. During that time, as mentioned in Hilchot Ishut 3:11, the father is entitled to consecrate his daughter and receive the money given for consecration, and to receive any benefits from her labor.


And not to any other heirs of her father's estate. With regard to the k'nas, the money is not considered to be owed the father until the defendant denies the debt in court (for if he agreed to the claim, he would not be obligated to pay the fine). Therefore, the money owed because of the fine is not considered part of the father's estate. See Or Sameach.


The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam on this point, stating that this money is considered part of the father's estate, and belongs to his heirs. The Kessef Mishneh and others, however, question the reason for the difference, noting that the Rambam's opinion is based on an explicit mishnah.


In all the instances mentioned, she leaves her father's domain and assumes independent responsibility for her own financial concerns. Although the event for which the person becomes liable took place before the girl has assumed financial independence, since a claim was not issued at that time, she and not her father (or his heirs) is entitled to the money.

Kin'at Eliyahu states that this supports the thesis of the Kessef Mishneh mentioned in the notes on Halachah 13, that the girl herself is the plaintiff.


But not to the payment for damages; that is awarded to her father. As mentioned in the notes on Chapter 1, Halachah 9, our Sages derived from the exegesis of Deuteronomy 22:29 that when a girl has been consecrated, she is entitled to the fine. But that applies only to the fine and not to the damages (Kessef Mishneh). Rabbenu Asher differs and maintains that she is also entitled to the damages, for she is no longer within her father's domain.


The Rambam is referring to the wording of the verse in Leviticus cited previously.


The Ra'avad differs and maintains that a woman is not considered to be a harlot unless she is a professional prostitute. See the discussion of this issue in Hilchot Ishut 1:4.


Chapter 1, Halachah 9.

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