Has there ever been anyone who forbid interracial marriages when the girl is caucasian and the man is black on Halachic grounds?

  • 4
    There is no problem of them marrying in such a case. Why would you think otherwise? Jan 4, 2014 at 20:11
  • I am looking for opinions against it. I am sure these opinions exist. I've read them somewhere. But I do not remember where.
    – ari
    Jan 4, 2014 at 20:13
  • 4
    I highly doubt that such an opinion exists.
    – Daniel
    Jan 4, 2014 at 21:06
  • 2
    If they were not Jewish, then it is a completely different story and everyone would agree that a Jewish person is not allowed to marry a non-Jewish person. Jan 4, 2014 at 21:30
  • 1
    @ Reb: the reason was the "race" difference, not religion. this why I asked. @avi: I want to ask both. In the case in which they're not jewish and in the case they are.
    – ari
    Jan 4, 2014 at 21:55

2 Answers 2


Halacha recognizes the difference between Jews and non-Jews. "Race" is such a hard-to-define concept that it would be pretty much impossible for any laws to exist in such general terms. You really would need to explain what you mean by "interracial" for us to give a concrete answer, but I would imagine that in any case, the answer to your question is that nobody forbids it.

Jews are allowed to marry Jews. There is no argument that some Jew could not marry another Jew because of his/her race. As far as non-Jews go, I really don't think that any restrictions exist besides the already-mentioned restriction that Jews should not marry non-Jews (I am not sure who the onus is on there) and the restrictions laid out in Leviticus about forbidden relations (e.g. between two men or between close family members, among other examples).

It is not entirely unlikely that some Jewish leaders more than 50 or 60 years ago in the United States opposed interracial marriage, as that type of relationship was frowned upon by a significant portion of the American population at that time; however, I have never heard of any halachic arguments to justify such an opinion in general, nor can I think of any.

  • Thanks ! Was it frowned upon by the jewish religious communities too ?
    – ari
    Jan 5, 2014 at 17:44
  • @afi I wasn't around back then, so I couldn't tell you for sure. I doubt the Jewish community was completely free of racism when the rest of the country was full of it; although notable Jewish leaders were definitely part of the civil-rights movement in the '60s. That notwithstanding, I do not doubt that there were Jewish leaders who were on the opposite side. I am unaware that they used any halachic justification for their positions, though. Like I have said, though, it is hard for me to imagine a legitimate halachic opinion banning interracial marriage between Jews or between non-Jews.
    – Daniel
    Jan 5, 2014 at 21:32
  • Thanks you very much Daniel. The problem is I am sure I have read it somewhere... Maybe it is a very old opinion. Anyways, as I see it, it is still frowned up in some jewish communities. And I want to the justification.
    – ari
    Jan 6, 2014 at 16:40
  • @ari Racist people can always come up with justifications for their behavior, but I don't think you will find the answer you are looking for here. As multiple people have noted, there is no halachic justification for prohibiting interracial marriage between two Jews or two non-Jews.
    – Daniel
    Jan 6, 2014 at 18:49

There's a book of very old responsa of the Conservative movement where this question was asked about a hundred years ago. (I assume the answer was that it's permissible.)

As the comments point out, Jews are supposed to marry Jews; but there are Jews of every color.

The question is pretty open-and-shut, however. Tendler and Loicke have an essay on defining humanity vis-a-vis Jewish law, but even without that, if we were to apply the laws of cross-breeding animals, the Talmud gives a few criteria for determining that two species are in fact sub-species (and therefore may be cross-bred); e.g. gestation period and mating behavior. I am allowed to breed any type of dog (but not wolf) with any other type of dog, for instance; so all the different "flavors" of Homo sapiens sapiens would be recognized as one species and therefore pose no problem of cross-breeding.

  • Thank you very much ! The opinion I read was orthodox (haredi) and considering conservative judaism as judaism is not as easy as it seems to be, but here is not the question. What about non-jews ? Are you sure that an analogy between animals and humans is halachically possible ?
    – ari
    Jan 5, 2014 at 3:42
  • @Afi "what about non-Jews", meaning what: can a non-Jewish man of one race marry a non-Jewish woman of another race?
    – Shalom
    Jan 5, 2014 at 3:46
  • @ Shalom: Exactly
    – ari
    Jan 5, 2014 at 3:50

You must log in to answer this question.

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