Monday, August 15, 2011


So even though I knew it couldn't be helped, I had been feeling a little bit sad that a dilator, which is just a piece of plastic, broke my hymen rather than my husband. Obviously he is still my first and I gave that first experience as a gift to him, but I had been feeling a bit sad about it.

That was until I found the Midrash Aggadah Bereishit (Buber edition) Chapter 24. It's talking about when Rivkah saw Yitzchok and she fell off the camel.

סימן סד [ סד ] ותפל מעל הגמל . נפילה ממש, ובאותה נפילה איבדה בתוליה. הרהרה שראתה בעלה ולפיכך נפלה:

 סימן סז [ סז ] האהלה שרה אמו . שמצאה כשרה כאמו, ואמרו חז"ל כי על שרה שהיה ענן קשור על אוהלה, וכשהיתה מדלקת נירות בערב שבת, היו הנרות דולקות עד מוצאי שבת, וכן רבקה, וכסה הענן לאהל שרה, כשמתה שרה נסתלק הענן וכשבאתה רבקה חזר הענן, וכשם שהיתה שרה זהירה בשלשה מצות שהאשה חייבת בהם, נדה וחלה והדלקת הנר, כך היתה רבקה זהירה:

ויש אומרים שלא מצאה בתולה שחשד באילעזר /באליעזר/, אמרה רבקה חלילה שלא שכב עמי אליעזר, אבל מפני הנפילה שנפלתי אבדתי בתולתי, ונקום ונלך למקום ההוא שנפלתי, ואולי יעשה ה' נס ותמצא שם דם בתולים, וכן עשו, הלכו ומצאו הדם על עץ אחד, והיתה מוכת עץ, והדם היה גבריאל שומרו שלא יאכל ממנו לא עוף ולא חיה, ולפי שחשד לאליעזר על חנם, והוא עשה שליחות אברהם באמונה, זכה שיכנס לגן עדן חי:

Basically what happened here according to a Rabbi I asked who explained it to me is that when Rivkah fell she was wounded and bled so when Yitzchok had relations with her, she had no signs of virginity. Suspicion fell on Eliezer (that maybe he had slept with her and that was why). But when they went back to the place where she fell and they saw the blood that supported the fact that she had hurt herself, all was well and everyone understood that Rivkah had always been pure after all.

So if Yitzchok can marry someone who lost her virginity falling off of a camel and wounding herself and she is one of our Imahos, then I can definitely have "lost my virginity" to a plastic dilator and still be in good company.


Anonymous said...

amazing how the torah can reach across the millenia to help us!

Anonymous said...

In my learning of Kesubos it seems that for all intents and purposes a woman who loses her besula via riding on a horse or by falling on a stick is still considered a besula for all intents and purposes with regards to marriage and there is nothing to be worried over. They felt the need to make it the subject of several mishnayos and many gemaras, it couldn't have been that uncommon.

Anonymous said...

Um...just because your hymen is broken doesn't mean you're not a virgin. For instance, Rivkah's case. You lost your virginity not when you broke it with some plastic dilator but when you had sexual intercourse with your husband.

Anonymous said...

Hi there.

My wife and I had similar experiences - we're not Jewish but had to deal w/ vag.

Not sure if you've looked into botox - it works wonders. Not sure where you are located but look into it w/ a pain clinic - start asking around. If you can't tolerate needles in your V then you can get put under.

Relaxes the muscles and gives you a few uninterupted months of practice. Good luck

ctownfan said...

I've just recently become aware of you're blog. I'd just like to say that you are not alone. I've been married for 6 months, and although me and my wife have been able to have intercourse and she has recently become pregnant, sexual penetration has always been painful for her, and it is getting worse. I believe it is Dyspareunia. Sexual penetration is painful, but not impossible as in the case of vaginismus. I am all but certain it is Psychological in and not Physiological in nature. I am also a licensed Psychotherapist. (believe it or not)
In my wife's case, she WAS raised in a sexually phobic orthodox Jewish Household, and she new next to nothing about sexual intercourse when we got married.

I cant say I blame her Kallah teacher as much as I blame the institution and the idea of a Kallah teacher in the first place. A healthy household, and a open and sharing relationship with your parents should produce an environment where sex can be spoken about frankly.

By the way, it is very hard to do therapy on your own spouse. I want to take my wife to therapy, but she is averse to the whole idea of going, because therapy is "my thing", and she perceives it in a way in which makes her feel a lack of power.

I understand her thought process, and wish I could go about this in a way in which she could feel good about it. The fact that I have lots of knowledge about sex and she has had (before she met me) virtually none, and that I understand her phobias as well, puts us, at least in this area on an unequal power differential.

It is quite frustrating for both of us. Its very much a quality of life issue for both of us rather than a "official problem" with our marriage. But why should sex have to be painful? Why cant' we just enjoy each other like god intended?

Tova said...

Also, the story shows that Rivka WAS still a virgin when she married the point about "one of the four Imahos not being a virgin when she got married" is moot.

Al said...

US Marines guy here again. With another nice Filipina, I had an experience of getting in just enough so that I was able to get friction where it counted and I even reached orgasm inside that first vestibule part. But her hymen didn't actually break till several encounters later.

It is physically possible for a woman to get pregnant with an intact hymen, they say.

Anonymous said...

Found your blog via a VERY unrelated search but was touched by it; my mother, a devout Irish Catholic, had precisely your problem but felt utterly alone except for my patient, kind Dad (who sounds a lot like your husband) and a cold clinical ob-gyn. Back then (1950s) there was NO support to be found, just puzzlement, secrecy and shame and sadness. They persevered (I guess I'm a 'miracle baby'), and had a long and happy marriage, but never could have done so without their shared faith in G-d; how much easier would things have been with a shared journey like this one! Your candid blog is a great gift to women with this issue today; I may be Catholic, but I know to call it a 'mitzvah.' Bless you and your family!

Aurie said...

Truly sharing your experiences and letting women know they aren't "weird" is a mitzvah! You are doing so much good in just letting people see how very normal it is, and that it's okay to talk about! Bless you!