A (not-so-observant) friend of mine recently told me that his great-grandfather was put into cheirem and, not being able to have children while in cheirem, his descendants (including my friend) are unable to marry halachically. I’d never heard of anything like that but, unable to find a comprehensive explanation on what exactly cheirem entails, I thought I’d ask a few related questions that come to mind:
Does the fact that a Jewish court put someone in cheirem mean that they are universally see as being in cheirem, separated from the entire Jewish people, or is it only that particular community that they are restricted from certain interactions with?
Can you really not have children in cheirem?
Is cheirem something that your descendants are stuck with forever, or does it only apply to the person it was placed on originally?