I’m an Italian noahide.

In Mishneh Torah-Issurei Biah 12:1, the great Rambam says (English translation by Rabbi Eliyahu Touger):

When a Jew engages in relations with a woman from other nations, [taking her] as his wife or a Jewess engages in relations with a non-Jew as his wife, they are punished by lashes, according to Scriptural Law. As [Deuteronomy 7:3] states: "You shall not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughter to his son, and do not take his daughter for your son." This prohibition applies equally to [individuals from] the seven [Canaanite] nations and all other Gentiles. This was explicitly stated in Ezra3 [Nechemiah 10:31]: "That we will not give our daughters to the gentiles in the land and that we will not take their daughters for our sons."

Rabbi Touger has inserted for this step the following and important note:

Although the verse the Rambam cites as a prooftext refers to the seven Canaanite nations, all other Gentiles are also included as reflected by the verse from Nechemiah. The Tur (Even HaEzer 16) differs with the Rambam, explaining that the verse should be understood within its limited context, referring only to the seven nations. (The Rambam's opinion has a source in the Sheiltot D'Rabbenu Achai Gaon, while that of the Tur is found in the Sefer Mitzvot Gadol) The crux of the difference is the exegesis of the continuation of the verse cited by the Rambam: "For he shall sway your son away." Kiddushin68b quotes Rabbi Shimon as focusing on the motivating rationale for the verse and thus including all those who might sway a person's heart. Thus it refers to all gentiles. The Sages, however, do not accept this perspective.

Here are my questions:

  • At the outset, is the position of Rambam or that expressed by Ba'al ha-Turim prevalent in the Jewish tradition on this point?

  • Does the prohibition to all Gentiles include, on the halachic plane, even non-Jews who observe the seven Laws of Noah in accordance with the prescription of Mishneh Torah Melachim uMilchamot 8:11?

4 Answers 4

  1. Observing the 7 Mitzvos does not change their status as Gentiles.

  2. The prohibitions of marrying gentiles (just like all other illicit relations) do not differentiate between righteous and wicked ones. The relations are forbidden in any way.

PS I feel very uncomfortable discussing the details of the Jewish Halachah with a Noachide as it is not endorsed by the Halacha, to say the least. While you can ask general Halachic question, sorry I can't get into details on Halachic arguments you expect.

  • 2
    most authorities allow discussing halacha pertaining to B'nei Noach with them; how else do you propose they learn it? Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 0:06
  • 1
    As per R’ Yaakov Weinberg quoted here there’s no problem with discussing Torah with non-Jews, as whether they violate the prohibition is on their intent, not your sharing. See further there as to why this isn’t even לפני עור.
    – DonielF
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 1:46
  • @DonielF I specified "details on Halachic arguments". I'm glad to talk in general terms but not argue with a gentile about differences between Tur and Rambam.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 11:13
  • @AlBerko Again, according to Rav Yaakov, there doesn’t seem to be an issue with that whatsoever. If you’re not comfortable with doing it, that’s a different matter entirely, but there’s no halachic issue with it according to him.
    – DonielF
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 11:24
  • @DonielF Does he welcome gentiles into his Yeshivah?
    – Al Berko
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 12:17

It is absolutely forbidden, whether by marriage or through prostitution, that the only way one is permitted is by virtue of some of the methods in Parashat Ki Tetzeh in the Pentateuch. Moreover, the marriage of a gentile is essentially different from that of a Jew, marriage to a Jew is a property act made by money, a bill or a marriage of a wife, and also a chupah and income to the husband's home. The marriage is annulled only by a written get. Marriage with the nations of the world is made by the consent of both parties and is mutually nullified. There is no possibility of marriage between a Jew and a gentile. Translated by Google Translator from Hebrew

  • Thanks for the reply. A clarification: then in The Tur (Even HaEzer 16) is a minority opinion expressed?
    – Amos74
    Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 12:46
  • הטור מדבר על מלקות, ובזה נחלקו אם יש איסור לא תתחתן בם בשאר אומות, וגם אם איסור לא תתחתן בם נוהג קודם גירות, אבל גם אם אין איסור מהתורה יש איסור מדרבנן מדברי חכמים, או איסור שאסרו בית חשמונאי או בית הדין של שם בן נח. עיין בתלמוד מסכת עבודה זרה דף ל"ו.
    – אלחנן
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 16:41
  • Even if there is no prohibition from the Torah, there is a rabbinical prohibition from the words of the Sages, or a prohibition that was forbidden by the Hasmonean or the Beit Din of Shem ben Noach . See the Talmud Tractate Avoda Zara, page 36. Translated by Google Translator, hope there are no errors!
    – אלחנן
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 16:42
  • Thank you very much!
    – Amos74
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 16:53

The specific commandment found in Deuteronomy 7:3 to "not give your daughters to their [gentile] sons, or have your sons take their [gentile] daughter for your son" is pretty clear cut.

This being said, the very next line in 7:4 gives the reasoning for this:

"For they will turn away your son from following Me, and they will worship the gods of others, and the wrath of the Lord will be kindled against you, and He will quickly destroy you."

So for sake of argument, if the Gentile has rejected every manner of Idol worship, and accepted all the mitzvot which apply to them for the explicit purpose of fulfilling gods will, what actual danger is there that the intermarriage will result in the children of this union being lured away to the worship of foreign gods?

I believe the Talmud (Avodorah Zorah 65a)sheds some light on the issue Here we find a situation in which a Jew is prohibited from giving to a Gentile a gift on their feast days (assuming they will use the gift in an act of idolatry, or praise their false god on account of it) and an Amoriam trusts this Gentile enough to provide him with a gift, only to later find him "up to his neck" participating in celebration of a pagan holiday.

"Rava brought a gift to a minister named bar Sheshakh on their festival day. Rava said: I know of him that he does not worship idols. Rava went to him and found him sitting up to his neck in rose water, and naked prostitutes were standing before him. Bar Sheshakh said to him: Do you have anything as fine as this in the World-to-Come?"

So he trusted a man that he "knew" not to worship idols, and wound up placing himself in a situation where he inadvertently transgressed a commandment through the actions of the man that he trusted.

What I read from this is that a Jew has a responsibility to not place themselves in such a vulnerable position that the actions of a non-jew (even one who repudiates idols) will put them in violation of the Torah.

And who is one in a more vulnerable position of trust with, other than the spouse that they share a home and raise children with? Even an inadvertent mistake on part of this hypothetical spouse could have catastrophic repercussions.

Besides, the greatest distinction between a Noahide and a Full convert, is that the Full convert becomes part of the Jewish people. By marrying a Jew, you're defacto becoming part of the Jewish people. So it only makes sense that a full conversion would be a necessary perquisite for marriage.

This does raise several other questions, such as who are these handful Noahides that are scattered across the globe and who have cut themselves off from their own people, actually expected to marry without exposing their own children to the very same idolatrous practices that they've already rejected? Who will their children marry?

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    – Community Bot
    Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 12:41

One only becomes a Jew by tevillah for a woman, and tevillah and milah for a man (with a valid beis din, obviously). As a Noachide you recognize and serve the one creator of the entire universe, without being Jewish. The without being Jewish is the main part. A Jew is still forbidden to marry a Noachide, as they are not a Jew.

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