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Was it ever a Jewish custom for the Groom or Bride to be adopted by the parents-in-law, which explains (so I have heard it said), in part, why in Shir HaShirim, the Bride is referred to as Kalah-Achoti, My Sister-Bride? Is there any inkling of truth, partly or wholly, to this?

My question is directed to those who know the Talmud, Mishna, Halacha, etc...., who might know what ancient Jewish law or custom might say about this.

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    Achoti-Kallah is a form of endearment - two different types of closeness. There are many references to the unique closeness between siblings (see the discussion of a brother-sister relationship as "chessed"). \ – Isaac Kotlicky Jul 20 '17 at 15:26
  • Where can one read this? – ninamag Jul 20 '17 at 17:52
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    This is like the modern english slang usage of "bro" to mean friend – Double AA Jul 20 '17 at 17:57
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    I appreciate all the answers, but I am looking for references from Talmud, etc., for all these type of answers. – ninamag Jul 20 '17 at 18:02
  • @ninamag Leviticus 20:17, here's a link that discusses possible interpretations of that verse. – Isaac Kotlicky Jul 20 '17 at 18:05
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There are stories of someone who had adopted a child and when they grew up married the son or daughter of the adopters. However, I do not think it was a normal event as a formal adoption. In talmudic times, one or the other would stay with the in-laws during the year between kiddushin and nisuin, but again it was not a formal adoption. In the Torah, if somone "purchases a Hebrew maidservant Mishpatim 21:7-11 as a minor, she must marry either the master or his son when she comes of age or go completely free.

The situation that you mention does not seem to be considered as a formal matter. Note that even if it was done, this would not effect the laws of inheritance.

[Shir Hashirim 4:10] (http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16448#v=10&showrashi=true) uses the idiom אֲחֹתִי כַלָּה to show love in all of its manifestations as well as the closeness of the relationship. This is used as an allegory for the relationship of Hashem and Yisrael as the either brother and sister or husband and new bride. The use of the two gives context to the closeness and naturalness of the relationship.

Note that since this is allegory it is not a formal legal relationship. However, people are to regard their in-laws with the respect due to parents.There are cases in which the husband of a daughter who has no brothers agrees to use the family name of her father so it would not be lost. However she inherits from her father by Torah law (Bnos Tzelafchad as an example).

  • Thank you. Any Jewish reason why in Shir HaShirim, the Bride is referred to as Kalah-Achoti, My Sister-Bride? – ninamag Jul 20 '17 at 14:03
  • @ninamag look at the pasuk with Rashi at chabad.org I do not have access right now. – sabbahillel Jul 20 '17 at 14:40
  • Fascinating point regarding a shifchah ketana... Are you aware of any sources that read that relationship into the metaphor of Shir Hashirim? – Isaac Kotlicky Jul 20 '17 at 15:27
  • @sabbahillel thank you, but would you kindly give me an exact link that i can click? thanks. – ninamag Jul 20 '17 at 17:53
  • @ninamag I added a link and explanation to the post. Note that since this is allegory it is not a formal legal relationship. However, people are to regard their in-laws with the respect due to parents. – sabbahillel Jul 20 '17 at 18:20

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