I realize that when the torah discusses אשת יפת תואר it specifies

כִּי-תֵצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה, עַל-אֹיְבֶיךָ (Devarim 21:10).
When you go out (of the land of Israel) to wage war on your enemies (this implies not your own kin)

But I would still like to know if the halacha of אשת יפת תואר could theoretically apply to a Jewish woman. Meaning either during an internal civil war or where there is a Jewish woman, married to a Jewish man who are living among, and aligned with a non-Jewish national enemy. In any of those instances would a soldier be permitted to take that Jewish woman under the law of אשת יפת תואר?

  • Shevet Benyamin took Jewish wives in warfare. (Shoftim 21:21) But I'm not sure if that was the exact same case as the eishes yefas to'ar.
    – ezra
    Nov 6, 2018 at 15:50

4 Answers 4


An Eishet yefat toar is not Jewish because there is no Kiddushin for her. Kiddushin 68b:

א"ק (דברים כא, יג) ואחר כן תבוא אליה ובעלתה וגו' מכלל דמעיקרא לא תפסי בה קידושין

Only After she has cut her hair let her nails grow and cried for her mother and father or avoda zara, then you are able to marry her and become her husband this implies that there is no Kiddushin on her beforehand.

A Jewish man can marry a Jewess (who is not an erva) with Kiddushin straight away Kiddushin 2a


The reason that a Jew can take a non-Jewish married lady is because there is no ishus (halachic marriage) for non-Jews. This obviously would not apply to a married Jewish lady, but leaves the question open to an unmarried one. In general, many of the halachos, drashos, and psukim that deal with the yefas toar all revolve around the assumption that we are dealing specifically with a non-Jew, but the fact that no source seems to say this explicitly gets you an up-vote.

  • You're not going to remove the upvote if you discover the sources do say it, are you?
    – WAF
    Aug 29, 2014 at 12:58
  • No way! If its such hard work to find an explicit source then the question is validated and apreciated.
    – user6591
    Aug 29, 2014 at 15:19
  • 3
    This seems to affirm the question, rather than answering it.
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 25, 2016 at 5:15
  • 2
    See Kiddushin 21b, and Tosfos there. There is an element of Ishus by a goy (evident from the fact that immorality is forbidden as one of 7 Noahide laws), and nevertheless there is a dispensation of יפת תואר.
    – chortkov2
    Nov 6, 2018 at 18:36
  • 1
    It does. If you'd check up the Gemara I quoted, the Gemara is specifically referring to a Jew's hetter to marry a Yfas Toar, and needs a specific dispensation to permit a married woman.
    – chortkov2
    Nov 6, 2018 at 20:14

From the Biblical story of Yosef and the wife of Potifar it would seem that even amongst goyim There is a concept of marriage. Yosef did not want to commit adultery and not to commit adultery is one of the seven laws of bne noach It would appear that marriage with a yefat toar Is a special heter. Maybe because it is war time. Jewish soldiers in vietnam fell in love with Vietnamese yefat toar. Many of these ladies were converted According to halacha and their children are in yeshivot today. Perhaps the story of David Hamelech can shed some light on your question. We see that there was a pesak halacha from the head of the sanhedrin for melech Shaul to give michal in marriage to paltiel son of laish, eventhough david and michal were still married. The reasoning was since David was considered a rebel against the king and king shaul had the right to kill david it could be argued that David was already a dead person. This is not the same case as yefat toar, but it does shed light that perhaps in some special cases a pesak halacha could be made for a man to marry a woman who is married to someone else.


It's prohibited. It's understandable from the Gemara Sanhedrin 57a and written explicitly in the comment of the Meiri.

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