Is a Kohen allowed to marry a woman who is the daughter of a Jewish woman and non-Jewish man?


According to Shulchan Aruch, Even Ha'Ezer 7:17 and commentaries there, they should not marry. However, if they did so, they may remain together and need not divorce.

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  • Does the Cohen lose any Cohanic privileges? I would assume not, or else the commentaries would have said something. – Menachem Jun 22 '11 at 19:30
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    @Menachem: that, plus anyway I don't think he loses Kohanic privileges for something like this which is just pegam but not an outright issur. – Alex Jun 24 '11 at 5:48
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    @Menachem The better question is whether his sons with this woman are Cohanim. – SAH Dec 3 '15 at 23:35
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    @sah why is that question better? – Double AA Dec 4 '15 at 0:13
  • Having learned more, I'm quite sure that in this case and only this case, the sons are cohanim and the father doesn't lose his privileges. @Menachem – SAH Oct 11 '16 at 11:33

This issue is disputed both in the Gemara and in the Rishonim. The ruling of the commentators of the Shulchan Aruch is that lechatchila a kohen should not marry her, but if he did marry her he is not required to divorce her. There have been cases where authorities have been lenient that even if a kohen was only engaged to her, he may marry her.

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For further discussion about whether a Beit Din may sign off/administer the wedding, see the Machloket between Rav Moshe Feinstein (Iggerot Moshe Even HaEzer vol 1 Siman 5), who forbade it, and Rav Shalom Meshash (Shemesh U’Magen vol. 3 Even HaEzer 58) and Rav Shlomo Amar (Shema Shlomo vol. 5 Even HaEzer 8), who permitted it, as discussed in by Rav J.D. Bleich, Rav Elyashiv Knohl, a Beit Din in Haifa, and Rav Howard Jachter. Rav Ovadia in later years was mattir outright based on a double Safek: whether he's really a kohen or not and if the Halacha follows the Rishonim and Shulchan Aruch who hold a Bat Nochri is pegumah or like those who disagree. (Yabia Omer vol. 11 Even HaEzer 34)

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