26 October, 2004
Thanks so much for this site. I was raised modern-Orthodox and while in college I strayed somewhat from orthodoxy and did engage in pre-marital relations. However, I recently became religous again and wanted to know what the halacha was about the repurcussions of pre-marital sex. In the ketubah does it have to say something? Is there something else I need to do (besides teshuva) to redeem myself? I dont know if these are stupid questions, but any help you could offer would be much appreciated. Thanks so much.
Your questions are quite appropriate and not at all stupid.
The ketubah traditionally states whether or not a woman is a virgin, but we try to avoid embarrassment. In the case of a woman who was never married and is not a virgin, some sources advise to write simply ha'ishah (the woman) or hakallah (the bride). Others rely on the Gaonic reference to a betulah as any woman who has never given birth.
Another difference is the conduct after the first relations – If a woman has had previous intercourse before this wedding, and is not a virgin, she does not become a niddah after relations the first night and need not separate from her husband until her next period.
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