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It is known that according to Halacha it is forbidden to marry your aunt. How come that Amram (Mose's father) married his aunt - Yochevet. As mentioned in Exodus 6:20:

וַיִּקַּח עַמְרָם אֶת-יוֹכֶבֶד דּוֹדָתוֹ, לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה

Moreover, the children of these marriage were 3 holy people and Tzadikim: Moshe, Aharon and Miriam.

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    When did that become the "halacha"?
    – rosends
    Oct 19 '20 at 11:25
  • As far as I know the Avot as well as the 12 tribes and their offsprings obeyed the Halacha before getting the Tora. (There is also a discussion how Jacob married 2 sisters)
    – Avi
    Oct 19 '20 at 11:43
  • Whether the Torah was kept (by whom and where are up for discussion) in part or in whole, voluntarily or by obligation is a separate discussion which might call this question into doubt.
    – rosends
    Oct 19 '20 at 13:24
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    See the end of Nefesh HaChaim Shaar Alef. He says Amram kept the Torah and explains how he married his aunt. I summarize what he says here. Maybe I'll post it as an answer.
    – robev
    Oct 19 '20 at 15:58
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    Does this answer your question? Yocheved is the daughter of who?
    – robev
    Oct 19 '20 at 17:45
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  1. It was before Mathan Torah

  2. A heavenly voice told him to, and he listened and they cleaved to HBKH, and reciprocally the Shekhinah bound to them actually in their very act and never left them and Moshe who went out from him.

Zohar II 11b top

"And a [great] man went" – this is Amram. "And took a daughter of Levi (bat-Levi)" – this is Yokheved. A bat-kol (heavenly voice) came down and told him to be matched with her, for behold the time of Yisrael's salvation has come, via the son that will be born by her. And HKBH helped him, for we've learned a tanya: The Shekhinah rested on his bed, and their will, in one cleaving was in the Shekhinah, and for this reason the Shekhinah never departed from that son they bore, to fulfill the scripture (Lev. 11:45), "Holy yourselves and you shall be holy." A mortal who sanctifies himself below, HKBH sanctifies him above. Just as their will was in the bond of the Shekhinah, so too that Shekhinah bonded in that actual act that they did.

Said R' Yitzchak, Fortunate are those tzadikim that their will is in the bond of HKBH always. Just as they always bind to him, so too He binds to them, and never leaves them. Woe to the wicked, that their will and their bond is in distancing from Him. And not enough for them that they distance from Him, rather they bind to the Sitra Achra. Come and see: Amram who bonded with HKBH, Moshe came out from him, for HKBH never left him, and the Shekhinah clung to him perpetually. Fortunate is their lot!


וילך איש, דא עמרם, ויקח את בת לוי, דא יוכבד, ובת קול נחתת ואמרת ליה לאזדווגא בה, דהא קריב זמנא דפורקנא דישראל על ידא דברא דאתיליד מנייהו, וקודשא בריך הוא סייע ביה, דתנינן שכינתא שריא על ערסייהו, ורעותא דלהון בדבקותא חדא הוה בה בשכינתא, ועל דא לא אתעדי שכינתא מההוא ברא דאולידו, לקיימא דכתיב (ויקרא יא מד) והתקדשתם והייתם קדושים, בר נש דמקדש גרמיה מלרע, קודשא בריך הוא מקדש ליה לעילא, כמה דרעותא דלהון הוה בדבקותא דשכינתא, הכי אתדבקא שכינתא בההוא עובדא ממש דעבדו. אמר רבי יצחק, זכאין אינון צדיקיא דרעותא דלהון בדבקותא דקודשא בריך הוא תדיר, וכמה דאינון מתדבקין ביה תדיר, הכי נמי איהו אתדבק בהו, ולא שביק לון לעלמין, ווי לרשיעייא דרעותא דלהון ודבקותא דלהון מתרחקא מניה, ולא די להו דמתרחקן מניה, אלא דמתדבקן בסטרא אחרא, תא חזי עמרם דאתדבק ביה בקודשא בריך הוא, נפיק מניה משה, דקודשא בריך הוא לא אעדי מניה לעלמין, ושכינתא אתדבקת בהדיה תדיד, זכאה חולקיה:

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