I am wondering what the process is to be eligible to marry a kohen. I converted a few years ago and I believe my heritage is Jewish but i have not completed my family history.

  • @closers, this question has very few details. – msh210 Nov 2 '14 at 19:56

The only way would be to get absolute proof that you are really Jewish. You would have to be able to document (with proof that a bais din can accept) that every woman in the female line (mother to daughter) was Jewish with no gaps.

That is, there needs to be absolute proof that each woman in the chain is indeed the daughter of the preceding woman in the chain as well as absolute proof that the first woman in the chain was Jewish.

For example, if one of the mothers did not have a birth record, then she could perhaps have been the child of a first marriage or adopted. Since we no longer have the proof, then we cannot continue down the chain.

If one of the women had married a Jew, divorced (without a get), and then had a child by a different man, that child would be a mamzer. This is because the first marriage (according to Jewish law) would not have been ended and the children of the second "marriage" are children of a married woman by a man who is not her husband. tThis would disqualify all the following women in the chain.

Can a Kohen Marry a Woman with a Non-Jewish Father? also points out that a kohen cannot marry a woman with a nonJewish father, though if he has done so he is not required to divorce her.

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    Don't you just have to prove that one of the women in the female line was Jewish? – Daniel Nov 2 '14 at 15:08
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    @Scimonster how do you get a gap? That is, what causes a woman born of a Jewish mother to not herself be Jewish? If one's mother completely rejected Judaism and didn't even tell her kids, their Jewish maternal grandmother still makes them Jewish. – Monica Cellio Nov 2 '14 at 15:25
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    @Scimonster If my grandmother 8 generations back was Jewish, how could the one 5 generations back not be Jewish? If I can prove indisputably that one of my grandmothers was Jewish, then it is automatic that all the ones that follow her were Jewish. – Daniel Nov 2 '14 at 15:29
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    @sabbahillel If that's what you meant, then we're saying the same thing, but that's not what you wrote in your answer. Your answer implies that you know who your mother-daughter chain is and you have to do find some active proof that each and every one of them was Jewish. Of course, the mother-daughter chain implies Jewishness, but your phrasing of no gaps makes it seem like there could be a non-Jew in the chain of mother-daughter from a Jew. – Daniel Nov 2 '14 at 16:02
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    @Daniel OK I will clarify that in the answer. – sabbahillel Nov 2 '14 at 16:03

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