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There was recently a question in which someone makes it clear they accept the Gemara's notion that women can't get pregnant during their first time. Not only has this factually disproven many times, there are people still to this day who believe such rumours and end up with unwanted pregnancy because of it. I therefore wrote a factual answer to dispute the underlying claim of the question and I've been downvoted which is fine, but a Mod has also stated I shouldn't have written this answer.

So I thought I'd raise the question here. Should I not have written an answer that corrects the assumptions since there's a real risk of unwanted pregnancies coming from such disproven ideas in our tradition?

How did Lot's daughters get pregnant from bi'ah rishonah

The question was How did Lots daughters get pregnant from bi'ah rishonah. I answered this question by saying they got pregnant because any girl after puberty can get pregnant on her first time. I don't see how I didn't answer that part of the question.

In the post itself they specify they are trying to get sources on commentators answering this question considering the Gemara says its impossible to get pregnant bi'ah rishonah. And so I feel like I answered the first part of their question, but I'll admit to not addressing the second part.

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    Respectful and serious question: Where do we draw the line between what you said, and l'havdil elef havdalot, a messianic Jew coming and claiming that the whole Talmud is a myth and many people believe it and their souls are damned? Given that you stating here that your point is to raise awareness of a damaging myth, and the answer you gave only "technically" fits with the question, would the missionary also be allowed to grandstand in a "technically ok way" like this?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 0:13
  • If someone were to come and make such a claim, I would respond back with all the verifiable inconsistencies and lies in their Bible. For example we have the actual historical census discussed in the "birth narratives" of Jesus and guess what? No one had to move from different areas of the census. Coming to our forum to stir up dust is obviously different than commenting on a post that could literally cause an unwanted pregnancy.
    – Aaron
    Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 18:45
  • We have one right now. He is here, breaking the site rules, in the name of saving us from God's wrath, which is a lot worse than an unwanted pregnancy. If the rules are followed, he can't do it, but what you are proposing is we allow him to do it, and deal with it by debating him. This is why I am in favour of keeping the rules. It's not Mi Yodeya's job to help people save their souls or avoid unwanted pregnancies
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 12:00
  • Who are you talking about?
    – Aaron
    Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 17:46
  • Please believe me when I say l'havdil havdalot bli gvul: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/138159/…
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 21:14
  • I doubt this person will last here. But the question itself on pregnancy will last and will continue to show up in search results, as will the answers. So I see the damage as being more on my point rather than on yours. Besides this person appears to be struggling with some very real issues, and I don't think we are able to address those. But we are able to address issues in the Gemara that WE as observant Jews and doctors know to be incorrect
    – Aaron
    Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 23:08
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    The site rules are pretty clear that your response belongs in a comment. (+1 to @RabbiKaii)
    – N.T.
    Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 5:37

2 Answers 2

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The question was: “Do any commentators address how they managed to get pregnant even though their relations with their father were the first they had in their lives, and women can't get pregnant from bi'ah rishonah, as brought in the Gemara in Yevamos?”

The OP wanted to know if there were any views which dealt with the apparent contradiction between the Gemara in Yevamos and the report that Lot's daughters got pregnant from their first intercourse. The OP was asking a question which was based on the Gemara in Yevamos and not on the experiential fact that a woman can get impregnated by her first intercourse.

With that in mind, it is not an answer to the question to quote the experiential fact that a woman can get impregnated by her first intercourse.

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  • The question was "How did Lot's daughters get pregnant from bi'ah rishonah". The post goes into more detail and asks about commentators. But I don't see how my answer stating "they got pregnant because women can get pregnant bi'ah rishonah" is somehow not an answer?
    – Aaron
    Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 23:00
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    @Aaron The title is not the question. You have to read the whole thing. Titles are just teasers for the main course.
    – Double AA Mod
    Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 23:53
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Your answer does indeed answer (some interpretations of) the question, and as such is a perfectly good contribution to this site.

The question asks two main things:

  1. how did they get pregnant
  2. Do any commentators address how they managed it

The first question is literally present in the question's title. The body of the question does not literally ask exactly this question, but has the clause, "and women can't get pregnant from bi'ah rishonah". So the question in the header is also a premise of the question in the body of the post.

You addressed the first question adequately by pointing out it's a myth.

You partially address the second point, by suggesting that commentary is not necessary, because such a commentary would have to entertain the myth.

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    I think the post should be read as one, coherent question. If the title asks "X?" and the body asks "Do any commentators address X in light of source Y?", I think the only reasonable reading the question at hand is what it says in the body, while the title is merely a shorthand for that.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 18:16
  • @IsaacMoses Eh, I think my way of reading that question is also a reasonable one. But more important than that, we must address untruthful beliefs (Isaiah 65:16). Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 19:41
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    The way to use our model to address the apparent conflict between a statement in the Talmud and contemporary biological understanding is to post a question about that, rather than to post an answer about that to a question about an apparent conflict between that statement in the Talmud and a Biblical narrative. The two posts can then be linked explicitly.
    – Isaac Moses Mod
    Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 20:10

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