I was learning with a friend the first mishnah of Kesuvos and we disputed the first word!!! I thought that Besulah had not only to be a virgin but was legally a girl between 12 and 12.5 years old. I am backed by the footnote on my Blackman's Mishnah and my Jastrow mishnah, although the was no note in the Artscroll. However, over shobbos we asked two choshvah rabbis in his community who said that there was no age restrictions whatsoever on the definition of a besullah, and that this refered to virgins of any age. If this is the case, do you know where Jastrow and Blackman have picked up this age restriction. Shavouah Tov.
Gary Wernick, London
The Bartenura explains that 'Ta'anas Besulim' (the claim that she was not a Besulah) referred to by the Mishnah, is two-fold. One, that there was no blood; two, that the womb was open. Only, whereas the latter is confined to a Ketanah or to a Na'arah (who has not yet reached the age of twelve and a half), the former pertains even to a Bogeres (who has).
Clearly then, the Chashuvah Rabbis were basically correct. On the other hand, there is an aspect of Besulah that terminates at twelve and a half, and that is where Jastrow and Blackman picked up this age restriction (though they should not have applied it to the beginning of the Mishnah, which refers to all possible aspects of virginhood).
May you and yours merit a Kesivah va'Chasimah Tovah.
Be'Virchas Kol Tuv