Virginity on a Monetary Scale

The Kethuboth book of the Babylonian Talmud (See Exhibit 119 for title page) is supposed to set down rules relating to married life.

The Kethubah is a contract promising to pay a wife a certain sum of money if the husband divorces her, which he can do at will, according to Talmudic doctrine. Perhaps urged on by the growing Christian propaganda against divorce, the Hillelite Jewish school stressed the husband's freedom to divorce his wife even for some culinary deficiency, or, as Rabbi Aquiba taught, because he had found a better looking woman.

The Kethubah need not be paid if the wife can be proven not to have been a virgin when married. Hence the Jewish custom of the groomsmen waiting outside the bridal chamber door for the bloody sheet to be witnessed, proving the wife's virginity. Elaborate cuts of these Kethuboth appear in the 1943 Universal Jewish Encyclopedia.

Chicago physician and hospital owner, Dr. A.A. Whamond, used to relate to a member of my family about the money he made by putting in false cat-gut hymens for Jewish girls who were not virgins before they were to be married.

The Talmud price for getting rid of a wife who had been a virgin, is "200 zuz," given by the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia as being 200 denarii or about $30.00.

"If the wife refuses sexual intercourse, she can be threatened with a reduction of her claims in the Kethubah, and this threat can be carried out." (Same Encyclopedia) If the husband can contend that the wife had not been a virgin, she gets only "a maneh," or the smallest coin, says the Talmud.

All of this talk about blood and virginity is a favorite Talmudic subject, and seemingly endless. Note, for example, Exhibit 121, Exhibit 122, Exhibit 123, Exhibit 124, Exhibit 125, Exhibit 126, Exhibit 127, Exhibit 128, Exhibit 129, Exhibit 130, Exhibit 131, Exhibit 132, Exhibit 133, Exhibit 134, Exhibit 135, Exhibit 136, Exhibit 137, Exhibit 138, Exhibit 139, Exhibit 140, Exhibit 141, Exhibit 142, Exhibit 143, Exhibit 144, and Exhibit 145 herein, all from the book of Kethuboth.

And, as always in the Talmud, in the book of Kethuboth, asininity is combined with filth. For example, the controlling "Mishnah" or overall rule in Folio 61b (See Exhibit 145) doles out by trades the proper number of relations between husband and wife as: "men of independence, every day; for laborers, twice a week; for ass-drivers, once a week; for camel-drivers, once in thirty days; for sailors, once in six months."

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