Can a Rabbi, marry two people, in the United States,where one is not Jewish, and have this to be valid to receive a marriage certificate by state, and also rabinnical standards.

I looked through the 613 http://www.jewfaq.org/613.htm and did not find the answer.

  • 1
    You're overthinking this, IMHO. No, at least in the eyes of Jewish law, marriage doesn't exist between a Jew and a non-Jew.
    – Seth J
    Jul 11, 2013 at 18:23
  • 1
    Likely dupe: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/14777/5
    – Seth J
    Jul 11, 2013 at 18:26
  • Marriage between a Jew and a non-Jew isn't possible under Jewish law. (Civil is another matter and not our concern.) Are you specifically asking if a rabbi can officiate at such a ceremony? Jul 12, 2013 at 21:32
  • 2
    @EssKay is this a question of USA law or Jewish legal tradition?
    – Double AA
    Jul 13, 2013 at 20:16
  • 1
    I rolled back the question because this site deals with judaism, not secular law.
    – Seth J
    Jul 14, 2013 at 3:41

1 Answer 1



According to Jewish law, if a Jewish man gives a single Jewish woman an item of intrinsic value with both clearly understanding intent of marriage, in front of two ritual witnesses, then they are married.

A rabbi has no intrinsic power to "marry" a couple. He's there to referee that they're following the rules (e.g. make sure he's actually giving her a ring that's his, and not borrowing one from a friend); and as it's a societal mess for 14-year-olds to go running off with their high school crushes, to enforce some sort of social norms.

Please don't use the term "shiksa" by the way, it's offensive. You can simply say "a non-Jewish woman."

Jewish law recognizes no marriage whatsoever between a Jew and a non-Jew. You can march them down the aisle in front of a million rabbis and he can give her the Hope Diamond, but nothing happens.

As far as US law is concerned, there are nuances between states but broadly the general rule is if two people believe that this person is "clergy" and this clergyperson believes they've been married, s/he can sign their marriage license. (In some states, clergy have to register or show credentials with the state first. In others you can pretty much dub someone clergy on your own. In Wyoming I think you can officiate your own wedding.) Thus if a Hindu man and Jewish woman meet and they don't care about intermarriage, if they get a Reform rabbi (the Reform movement allows intermarriage), Hindu pandit, Universalist Unitarian minister, or any other flavor of clergy they want to sign their certificate, the state will take it. (The state may ask to see the Reform rabbi's ordination certificate from Hebrew Union College to prove that s/he is a rabbi, but will otherwise keep itself out of religious matters to ask any more questions about the couple.)

  • 1
    Actually, wouldn't the Hope Diamond invalidate the acquisition? Or, at least I was taught "plain gold band, no ornaments" -- but I don't know the source. Jul 11, 2013 at 21:02
  • 1
    @MonicaCellio AFAIU, that's about being able to estimate the value of the object. Since the Hope diamond's value is well-known, if it was certifiably the Hope diamond, I wonder if this is a counter-example. Jul 11, 2013 at 21:34
  • @MonicaCellio, right we recommend plain metal as good policy, to avoid problems of confusion of value. If everyone clearly agreed this was a million-dollar diamond it would work, but like I said good policy is to say "plain gold or platinum."
    – Shalom
    Jul 12, 2013 at 1:05
  • you are misunderstanding the question
    – Ess Kay
    Jul 12, 2013 at 20:30
  • 1
    @EssKay In what way? What's wrong with this answer?
    – Daniel
    Jul 12, 2013 at 20:52

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .