n Judaism, according to Rabbi Gold, “Adultery is the ultimate crime against the family.” Contemporary as it may be, adultery is still the leading cause of dismantling the family unit. Rabbi Gold addresses three very interesting problems in the Torah’s view of adultery:
1) Gold argues that there exists a double standard: Halakha defines adultery as a sexual encounter between a married woman and a man not her husband. An affair between a married man and a single woman is not considered adultery.
2) Jewish Law does not forgive: The Rabbis have ruled that a woman who commits adultery becomes forbidden to both her husband and her lover. Nevertheless, Rabbi Gold says, “Tshuva, to return to the path is, a major principle in Judaism, and therefore, after an affair, the couple should get a second chance and rebuild trust–if possible.”
3) Children (the innocent victims) pay for the actions of their parents: A child born of adultery becomes a mamzer or bastard, and is forbidden to marry a legitimate Jew. Mamzerut presents a tremendous problem for Jews today because of the high divorce rate among couples. Women remarrying without getting a Jewish divorce are considered by Jewish Law as engaging in adulterous relationships, and children from such marriages are labeled mamzers. Talmudic Rabbis bend over backwards to ignore proof of Mamzerut, reserving judgment to keep the legitimacy of the child intact. Today, even Orthodox Rabbis look for technicalities to remove the stigma of mamzerut.