I've heard that Rabeinu Gershom (a 10th-11th century scholar) banned 3 things, and I know one of them is polygamy. Does anyone know what the other two are?

  • 2
    Why do you say there are 3? (You're right, of course, but a source would be nice to boost the value of your question. The other two of the 'famous three' are divorcing your wife against her will, and opening others' mail. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gershom_ben_Judah#Synod_and_bans)
    – Double AA
    Aug 31, 2012 at 14:43
  • 1
    @DoubleAA, per the Be'er HaGolah (brought in Gershon's answer), there are more than 3.
    – Seth J
    Aug 31, 2012 at 15:26
  • 1
    @SethJ Hence my 'famous three'. It might be interesting to determine what set these three aside historically.
    – Double AA
    Aug 31, 2012 at 15:32
  • See Kol Bo siman 116
    – b a
    Aug 31, 2012 at 16:18

2 Answers 2


Be'er Hagolah at the end of Yoreh Deah 334 lists the following:

  • Not to marry more than 1 wife.
  • Someone who is in Cherem should not be a Shaliach Tzibur.
  • A person should not be away from his wife more than 18 months.
  • Not to rent a house from a non Jew if a Jew is living there.
  • Not to cut off the margin of a page of a Sefer, even to write on it.
  • Not to embarrass a Baal Teshuva about his previous sins.
  • Not to look at his friends letters without permission.

There are many more, see the link above.

  • 2
    How is embarassing a Baal Teshuva not Ona'at Devarim mideoraita already? See Mishna BM 4 10: אם היה בעל תשובה לא יאמר לו זכור מעשיך הראשונים
    – Double AA
    Aug 31, 2012 at 15:05
  • 1
    (follow up question here: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/18868/759)
    – Double AA
    Aug 31, 2012 at 15:11
  • "D" is mentioned as a Takanah, btw.
    – Seth J
    Aug 31, 2012 at 15:22
  • "G" also has a qualifier that I've never heard anyone mention before. Thanks for providing the link, because I think some of these are misunderstood. (Even more reason for this other question to be asked.)
    – Seth J
    Aug 31, 2012 at 15:24
  • 3
    at the end of the list the Be'er Hagolah writes that he copied the list from the Teshuvat Maharam, who lists additional gezerot, not brought by the Be'er Hagolah due to lack of space.
    – Menachem
    Aug 31, 2012 at 18:28

I have heard that he wrote all of sha"s and said that that is the authoritative girsa and was gozer not the change it.

(from sefer פירושי רבינו גרשום printed by אור החיים, in the הקדמה)

  • from sefer פירושי רבינו גרשום printed by אור החיים, in the הקדמה.
    – moses
    Aug 31, 2012 at 17:57
  • 5
    Is there a reason you put your source in a comment and not in the answer?
    – Double AA
    Aug 31, 2012 at 18:04
  • Sorry for my illiteracy what does sha"s stand for?
    – hazoriz
    Feb 18, 2016 at 6:47

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