Does a Kohen have to seek the same halachic criteria for a peligesh as he would for a wife?

Case one: He is not married (so he's not seeking polygamy). He's simply seeking a "lesser-married status" for the purpose of being with someone who is otherwise not permitted to him.

Case two: He is looking for a second wife. (If so, this raises a new and greater problem with the concept in general: would any child from a relationship with any married man and a peligesh be considered a mamzer?)

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    Why was this downvoted? It's a serious question and, while would not have any ramifications now, still is interesting. Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 9:28

1 Answer 1


The Rambam says in הלכות מלכים ומלחמות פרק ד that only a King may marry a Pilegesh.

אבל ההדיוט אסור בפילגש

Since a Cohen cannot be a King (הלכות מלכים ומלחמות פרק א), there is no basis for the question according to the Rambam.

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    This answer is incredibly not interesting and seems to miss the point.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 15:08
  • So, other words ONLY a king would have one? that simplifies things a bit. Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 16:15
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    What about a Hasmonean king? (They were kohanim.)
    – Chanoch
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 21:28
  • Where in the torah does it say that only king can have concubines?
    – user4951
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 7:20
  • @JimThio, if the Rambam says so, then he learned it from the Talmud which learned it from a verse the Torah, or an oral tradition. The commentators on the Rambam have provided a source for every single one of his statements. Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 9:50

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