We know that if a man has relations with a non-Jewess, the halacha is

  1. A zealot may kill him in the act (Sanhedrin 82a).
  2. Both R' Schneersohn (the last one -- in Sichos) and R' Tzadok haCohen miLublin (in Takanas Shavim) seem to imply there is a penalty of kares on the act.

If a Jewish woman has (consentual) relations with a gentile man, do either of these punishments apply? The difference seems to be that the child born of this latter connection is Jewish, while in the former case it is not.

(It would appear from R' Schneersohn's piece that it does make a difference, but I could not understand if it means the first, the second, or both punishments do not apply.)

  • 1
    It can only be done if the zealot is in the room and is witnessing the action being done. Not before and not after. If the zealot asks a beith din to kill them they are not allowed to give him an ok because that is murder without trial. Commented Jun 23, 2013 at 17:19
  • @MoriDoweedhYaAgob yes, but this was not what i was asking for...
    – gt6989b
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 16:44
  • @ShmuelBrin I have a Russian compilation of a bunch without original locations in Likkutei Sichos, unfortunately. Let me know if the Russian citation would be of help
    – gt6989b
    Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 4:33

3 Answers 3


Most opinions hold that the Kares applies only to a Jewish man who has relations with a non-Jewish woman (see Shulchan Aruch Even HaEzer 16), however, there is one minority opinion that it even applies to a Jewish woman who has relations with a non-Jewish man and that is the opinion of Rabbeinu Avrohom HaGadol (quoted by the Shiltei HaGiborim to the Hagahos Mordechai to Yevamos Ch. 4, no. 6, I think. I am doing this by memory).

  • 1
    From memory that's pretty good! Verify and it'd be better!
    – Yehoshua
    Commented Jun 24, 2013 at 5:20
  • 1
    Who is R Avrohom HaGadol?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 15:06
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    @DoubleAA R' Avraham HaGadol of Regensburg was a Tosafist in the late 12th and early 13th century (see here and here). The Mordechai cites him sometimes.
    – Fred
    Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 5:17

This is basically a question on a Mishna Sanhedrin 9, 6, and is concerning difference between Jewish men and women concerning the prohibition for relationship with non-Jewish partner. I will divide the topic in 3 (based on Baal Hamaor and Ramban Rabenu Yona and Ran for the moment):

  1. A man with a non-Jewish woman;
    1. Ramban in Milchamot stated that it is similar to death penalty or cut off because avengers are allowed to kill him. There is also a din of cut off, learned from the verse in prophets (Mal'achi 2, 12) in Gemara Sanhedrin 82a.
  2. A non married Jewish woman with a non-Jewish man;

    1. for a Jewish woman who have a relationship with a non-Jew, there is no law of "avengers are allowed to kill her"(1). It seems from the Yerushalmi (cited in Mel'echet Shlomo here that the reason for cut off is the consequence, birth of enemies of Israel, Ramban in Milchamot explain that the inverted situation, a JW with a NJM leads to birth of a Jewish son which will not be enemy of Israel. So no cut off and no avengers against a JW in relationship with a NJM).

      But the Ran at the beginning of the paragraph in Chidushin 74b Sanhedrin think that there is no gender discrepancy and a Jewish woman (even not married) in relationship with a non-Jew man in relationship is included inside the rule of "the avengers ...". (See here at the right top). __ See also Mel'echet Shlomo Mishnayot Sanhedrin 9, 6 here in name of Tur CM 425 in name of Shilte Hagiborim Perek Hacholets on Mordechai, in name of Rav Avraham Hagadol the same opinion.

  3. A married Jewish woman with a non-Jewish man.

    1. Following the Baal Hamaor in Sanhedrin Gilui Arayot as married woman with a Jewish man. He said that Esther (with Achashverosh) was Gilui Arayot because of her marriage to Mordechay. But he consider further that it may be different from Eshet Ish because of the verse

      "וְאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִנְאַף אֶת אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִנְאַף אֶת אֵשֶׁת רֵעֵהוּ מוֹת יוּמַת הַנֹּאֵף וְהַנֹּאָפֶת.‏"

      in which אשת רעהו indicates that both, husband and lover are Jews (Rabenu Yona rejected this proof from the verse and said that this verse excludes Eshet Goy only). But his opinion is as described above. Ramban said that French Scholars also think that Ester was Giluy Arayot (and Rava stated that the allowance despite Arayot and Farhesia was because a conjonction of Karka Olam (for Arayot) and Hanaat Atsman (for Farhesia)). The Rav Avraham Bar David also thinks as them. The Rabenu Yona in Chidushim cited Gemara Sanhedrin 57b that a Non-Jew who has a relationship with Ervat Israel(2) is penalized by strangulation. He concludes that he is killed, she is also killed.

    2. The Ramban in Sefer Milchamot Said that with a non-Jew it is not similar to Naara Meurasa (no death penalty, and no cut off(3)) so, not Yehareg veal yaavor. a married Jewish woman who have a relationship with a non-Jew, there is no law of "avengers are allowed to kill her".

(1)Ramban explained in Milchamot that for a Jewish man who has a relationship, considering that avengers are allowed to kill him, it is equivalent to death or cut off penalty (מסתברא דישראל הבא על הנכרית מיקרי גילוי עריות משום דקנאים פוגעים בו והוה ליה כחייבי מיתות דשייך בהו מיתה וכרת כדאיתא לקמן במכילתין)

(2) Rashi: ‏ בעריות דידן. באשת איש ישראל: ‏

(3)והא דאמרינן גבי אסתר דלהנאת עצמן מותר משום דלאו גילוי עריות הוא ‏וכדאקשינן בגמרא והא אסתר פרהסיא הואי ולא אקשי גילוי עריות הואי משום דלא מקרי גילוי עריות אלא בנערה המאורסה שזינתה אי נמי אשת איש אבל נכרי הבא על בת ישראל לא מקרי גילוי עריות דלאו מיתות ולאו חייבי כריתות נינהו לא אתיא מנערה המאורסה דקרא אלא חייבי לאוין [נינהו] כדמפורש בשמעתא לעיל. ‏

  • Do you have a source for 2? || Is the baal HaMeor discussing karet? If not, why is it relevant; if he is, consider editing that in. || "that a Non-Jew who has a relationship with Ervat Israel" what do you mean by ervat Yisrael? A Jew he is related to? a married Jew? Something else?
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 16:12
  • edited the milchamot
    – kouty
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 16:29

There's a Ramban in the Milchames that says it's not the same outrage because the offspring of such a union will still be Jewish.

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