Juggler of words and children…collector of pottery shards
Head coverings. Veils. No twirling in the street. There could be no hint of impurity during the betrothal period. Her husband’s reputation was now indelibly linked to hers. If at any time there was any doubt as to her chastity, he had a social responsibility to divorce her despite the fact the marriage had yet to be consummated.
If she were found to be impure, the divorce would be a public affair. The blame would be placed squarely on both her and her father. A scribe would even have been hired to announce the devastating event.
The stigma of impurity would have been impossible to escape for a 1st century girl in a small town. Her fate would have been sealed. Who would want to marry her then? What hope would there be for her future? How would she ever even hold up her head in public again?
Rabbinical literature reveals just how important it was for a young woman to remain pure during the period of betrothal by making an extensive list of acceptable reasons for a husband to divorce his wife. A few of these include appearing in public without her head covering or veil. One other unusual provision? No twirling in the street.