Pisqa’ 213

Pisqa’ 2131


“And she shall remove from herself the garment of her captivity” (Dt.21:13).

This teaches that

they remove from her any fine clothing,

and dress her in widow’s garb.

For the gentiles

—curse them!—

prettify their daughters during battles

so that others will whore after them.

“And she will stay in your house” (Dt.21:13)—

in the house he normally uses,

so that he will trip over her upon entering,

and he will trip over her upon leaving,

like an old piece of pumpkin.

And he will notice her disgrace.


“Then she shall weep for her father and mother for a month of days” (Dt.21:13)—

this refers to her actual father and mother:

words of R. Eliezer.

R. Akiva says:

Actually, her father and mother [represent]

images in a foreign cult,

As it is said:

“They say to a piece of wood: You are my father!” (Jer.2:27)

“For a month of days” (Dt.21:13)—

for thirty days.2


Another word:

“A month”—that’s one;

“Of days”—the plural indicates two more months,

Yielding a total of three months.

This is enough time for

lavish clothing to wear out,

and to establish the paternity of

any fetus she may be already carrying.

[Three months is sufficient time]

to determine if the fetus [is the offspring]

of the first husband or of the second:

in accord with the words of R. Akiva.

R. Eliezer says:

“A month of days” (Dt.21:13)—

It means just that!

Now, why [do we put her through] all this?

So that Israelite daughters may rejoice

[in anticipation of marriage],

while this one weeps;

so that Israelite daughters

may luxuriate [in preparation for marriage],

while this one is degraded.


“And afterwards you may consort with her and mount her” (Dt.21:13)—

indeed, if he doesn’t impose these procedures upon her

and nevertheless mounts her,

this is considered a lustful mounting!3

“And afterwards you may consort with her and mount her” (Dt.21:13)—

there’s nothing left to do

but [to fulfill] the commandment to mount her!

“And she shall be your wife” (Dt.21:13)—

as it is said on this theme:

“He may not limit her meat, her wardrobe, or her pleasure” (Ex.21:10).

  1. H:224-225; JN2:114.
  2. Cf. T. Yev. 6:7 regarding the proper time delay between the death of a childless husband and his widow’s marriage to the levir. For textual discussion, see F:246, n.
  3. These paragraphs are unevenly attested in mss. and editions. See F:246, n.10.