What is the status of a cohen who intermarries? He would not be able to eat Trumah, but does he continue to receive the first aliyah, and can he duchan (assuming he observes all other mitzvot)?

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    I think all his cohen privileges are suspended until he gets rid of his wife. He still has to avoid corpses. This is also technically true of a cohen who is merely not observant but many are lenient. Feb 14, 2014 at 3:29
  • In theory I would imagine @ClintEastwood is right; in practice, though, I have seen such kohanim indeed receive the first aliyah. Not clear whether this was a mistake or done for some other reason, such as not to embarrass him
    – SAH
    Oct 11, 2016 at 11:37

1 Answer 1


A Kohein who marries a woman who is forbidden to him because he is a Kohein or a Kohein who defiles himself with corpse-related impurity does not bless the people and does not get any of the special privileges of being a Kohein (eg. called to the Torah first) until he stops doing the forbidden action and accepts to never do it again. (Shulchan Aruch OC 128:40-41)

A Kohein is forbidden to marry a non-Jew as a Zonah (Rambam Issurei Biah 17:6) so it would seem an intermarried Kohein loses all his priveleges.

  • Thank you. However, is merely have relations with the non-jew considered marriage, halachically, if the relationship would otherwise be forbidden? Your sources relate to marrying a grusha, who would presumably be jewish.
    – cmose
    Feb 14, 2014 at 15:01
  • @cmose I'm not sure what your asking. The Rambam I linked to shows it's a violation of a Priestly prohibition. That should be enough to warrant not honoring him.
    – Double AA
    Feb 14, 2014 at 19:41
  • The source you quoted dealt with a grusha, and if he divorces her, his status returns. My original question related to a civil marriage, but I'm not sure that it is a halachic one...so if stops having relations, then does his status return?
    – cmose
    Feb 16, 2014 at 2:25
  • @cmose He needs to divorce (where applicable) and also "accept[] never [to] do it again", in this case, in the form of a public vow prohibiting anew to himself all the women he was forbidden to already.
    – Double AA
    Feb 16, 2014 at 2:28

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