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From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 20:37:25 -0400 Subject: Bedeken, Bedek Habayith, and The Rambam I found the recent discussions on BEDEKEN and its meaning interesting especially since it contradicts my laymen's (non researched yet) understanding of BEDEKEN. The following 3 Posookim/Halachas come to my mind: 1) The Rambam in his legal code explicitly states that >>a man should BODEYK (look over) his future wife to make sure she is ` pleasing to him>> 2) Consistent with that statement are the set of laws governing a man who wants to divorce his wife after the wedding night because he found blemishes in her (and during the marriage ceremony he thought he was getting an unblemished wife). The Rambam (following the Talmud of course) answers that he probably knew about it since the man's female relatives could have looked her over in say the Public bathhouses. Without going into the technicalities of this we see from these two laws that there is a concept of "investigation" of ones wifes appearance These Rambam laws occur at the end of Isuth..laws of Wives. 3) The Segolate noun, BEDECK (occuring in Kings) means stress cracks in` building and is obviously related to the verb BDK to look over. It would seem from the Biblical example that BEDECK means looking over for minutae (such as blemishes). Taking all this together the BEdecken ceremony to me was a symbolic affirmation that BEFORE VEILING herself the husband looked his wife over and was satisfied that she pleased him. Russell Jay Hendel; Ph.d.;ASA; rhendel @ mcs drexel edu