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Orthodox Judaism/3 year old marital sex.

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Hello, I just read the stuff from the Talmud about marriage with a 3 year old girl. First of all, your statement in regards to "male having sex with a 3 year old," Marriage or not, that is exactly what it is. And, what right do we have to impose our morals on others or judge archaic societies in it; I was once a 3 year old child and have had three girls, all who were 3 years old once. There is nothing clean or worthy of any man, husband or not, having sex with a child that is sexually underdeveloped. Here's my question,how do YOU know Rebecca was just 3? And, how could a 3 year old child make up her mind about going with a husband, when most 3 year olds have trouble deciding if they want PB&J or Tuna for lunch.I could see an arranged marriage, and then a waiting period, as in when the betrothed would go live with her parents or his, but they did not have relations untill a year later, after a ceremony.


Rebecca was just 3 years old when Eliezer came to fetch her to marry Isaac.  Against the wishes of her family, she decided to follow Eliezer and marry immediately instead of waiting 10 years.

Answer
Hi Deborah,

In order for me to see the context, please send me the entire quote that was written about:

"First of all, your statement in regards to "male having sex with a 3 year old," Marriage or not, that is exactly what it is. And, what right do we have to impose our morals on others or judge archaic societies in it".

"I was once a 3 year old child and have had three girls..."  I was such a child as well and still have four girls, all who were 3 years old (one is even called Deborah and is expecting a baby in a few weeks :-), my first grandchild ).

"There is nothing clean or worthy of any man, husband or not, having sex with a child that is sexually underdeveloped." agreed!

"how do YOU know Rebecca was just 3" I don't.  But some of our sages had this opinion, it might be controversial.

"And, how could a 3 year old child make up her mind about going with a husband..." Just because I don't understand it doesn't make it false.  Our sages teach that in the beginning of time, children were born on the day of conception, produce became ready for harvest on the day of planting... do we understand that?  I don't have any problem believing that a 3 year old was once upon a time fully sexually developed.  I once suggested to a religious Jew that if kids would marry in their teens, we would avoid many problems.  He never spoke to me the same way again.  He was appalled.  No Rabbi in their right mind would allow a sexual relationship with a 3 year old girl today.

"Against the wishes of her family, she decided to follow Eliezer..." Just to be clear, her family agreed to abide by her decision.  And if our sages say she was 3 years old then she was 3 years old.  I am very happy to suspend my limited understanding and defer to the great knowledge of our sages.

Best wishes,
David.

Orthodox Judaism

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David Rosenblum

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I am an ex-student of yeshiva and I like to be presented with Torah study problems. If you have studied the Torah and have questions on the subject matter, I want to hear about it. I am not a Rabbi and not qualified to decide halachic issues. I am still interested in halachic questions for which I can sometimes offer general guidelines or present decisions in halachic works such as Mishna Berurah. I welcome questions from non-Jewish people but I cannot respond to religious references that are not part of Judaism. If you are working on a paper or doing research and want general information on a Jewish subject, I may or may not satisfy your need, depending on how comfortable I am with the question. If you have a personal problem, I am not qualified to help you but I will do what I can to offer you some assistance.

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