Yom Rishon, Elul 5, 5767
As is often the case, the Torah seems brutal on this subject. Given a moment’s thought however it seems that our law was probably rather progressive for its time with regards to this subject. Our text on this subject states that if you participate in the defeat of a people and amongst that people you find a woman you desire, there are certain rules regarding your treatment of this woman.
You have to take her into your home and allow her to tidy herself up and give her a morning period for her loss. Then, you may “possess” her and marry her. If, after a time, you decide you are no longer interested in her, you may not sell her as a slave. You must let her go totally free as though you have divorced her.
I like the implied equality of the foreign woman. She is to be treated with dignity and given a mourning period. If you no longer want her, she is to be treated as if she were any Hebrew wife.