Ketubot, Chapter Three, Mishnah Three



In the chapter that describes rape in Deuteronomy the Torah refers to a “young girl, a virgin who has not been betrothed”.  As we stated above, the rabbis understand that this verse means that the laws of paying the fine are limited to a “young girl” that is a girl between the ages of 12 and 12 ½ and a virgin.  Our mishnah discusses the meaning of the phrase “who has not been betrothed”.


Mishnah Three

A girl who was betrothed and then divorced—

Rabbi Yose the Galilean says:  she does not receive a fine.  

Rabbi Akiva says: she receives the fine and the fine belongs to her.



In the case in this mishnah, a girl was betrothed and then either widowed or divorced, and then she was raped.  The question is—does she receive a fine?.  Note that if she was betrothed but not divorced or widowed and someone raped her, he would be liable for the death penalty for having committed adultery (she would of course not be liable since she did not willingly commit any crime).  In this case, since he is liable for the death penalty, he does not pay a fine. 

According to Rabbi Yose the Galilean since the Torah states, “who has not been betrothed” the rapist in this case does not pay the fine. 

Rabbi Akiva reads the phrase “who has not been betrothed” to be a stipulation for when the father receives the fine.  If she has never been betrothed, then her father receives a fine.  If she has been betrothed, but she is still a virgin, for instance she was divorced or widowed before full marriage, the rapist is liable to pay a fine and he pays it directly to her.