Suppose a Cohen is dating a Jewish girl, and both parties have had relations with non-Jewish people. Normally, a woman who's had relations with non-Jews is forbidden to a Cohen. Does the fact that he had relations also with non-Jewish people remove his Cohen sanctity and permit them to each other or can they not get married?


3 Answers 3


The answer is that a Cohen who has relations with a non-Jewish woman is not removed from his sanctity and therefore not permitted to marry a woman who's had relations with non-Jews.

רמבם הלכות איסורי ביאה פרק יט:א

איזו היא חללה: זו שנולדה מאיסורי כהונה; וכן אחת מן הנשים האסורות לכהונה שנבעלה לכוהן, נתחללה. אבל הכוהן עצמו שעבר העבירה, לא נתחלל.


What is meant by a challalah? [A woman] born from [relations] forbidden to the priesthood.1 Similarly, any woman who is forbidden to the priesthood who engaged in relations with a priest becomes a challalah. A priest who commits a transgression himself, however, is not deemed a challal.

  • Yup, Cohen status is something you're stuck with, you can't choose to relinquish it.
    – Shalom
    Nov 27, 2014 at 8:11
  • A Kohen never loses his status with regards to the prohibitions, even if he has lost the privileges due to his actions.
    – CashCow
    Nov 27, 2014 at 10:52
  • I've heard of a Kohen who fell in love with a giyoret. He then went out of his way to invalidate himself as a challal by qualifying his mother as a zonal (she had been a B"T). Nov 27, 2014 at 16:09

I do believe that the accepted definition of halala women, as a women who profaned herself only for being a wife of a cohen, by having a relationship with non-jew, or with some one with who her marriage is prohibited, can not be considered accurate and doesn't cover all cases. 1. Being with some one who is prohibited, simply puts her into zona category. Example: Vaikra, 18.17 talks about zima, and zima is caused by zanuth (Vayikra 19:29). 2. Zanuth is caused by sexual denegradig of women, same Vayikra 19:29. " . Halala she becomes with any 1st relationship before marriage to a different person. Intention and number of parners may or may not move her from halala into zona spectrum. Just trying to decode chumash regardless of convention on the subject.

  • I don't understand this, or understand how it would address the question. || If you concede she is in the zona category, and you concede that a zona is prohibited to a kehen, then the only question is whether his activities have removed the zona prohibition; which was the OP's question. How does this address that?
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 8, 2018 at 15:28
  • @mevaqesh Probably i put too many words.
    – user16501
    Jan 9, 2018 at 3:40
  • @mevaqesh Probably i put too many words. 1. My short answer to the question: <<<<< No. There is no way to remove permanent status of halala, because the spiritual damage materialized , so, it's impossible that she can be a wife to a cohen in this life. >>>>>>--------------------- I am very "amused" how in mishna they remove a mamzer status, it's just mind boggling and not entertaining whatsoever.
    – user16501
    Jan 9, 2018 at 4:28
  • What Mishna are you talking about? Note that the default assumption here is that users are looking for a rabbinic perspective unless otherwise specified. || Clarifications should be made in posts themselves; not comments. You can do this with the edit function.
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 9, 2018 at 4:39
  • 1
    actually, you can still edit the post.
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 10, 2018 at 2:35

According to chumash, the only non-virgin allowed to cohen for wife is widow. This is a sufficient answer to the question. Even if she was with a jew before, any cohen has no permission to marry her. Him being with non-jewish girl/s doesn't change his cohen status.

  • That is not true
    – hazoriz
    Jan 7, 2018 at 8:57
  • Moshe welcome to MY. Since MY is different from other sites you might be used to, see here for a guide which might help understand the site. One useful thing would be to clarify where in Chumash you saw this - and which halachic codes support your point of view. Hope to see you around!
    – mbloch
    Jan 7, 2018 at 9:09
  • Vayikra (21:7):
    – moshe
    Jan 7, 2018 at 11:15
  • Vayikra 21:14 lists 6 types of women considerable for marriage: 5 - explicitly: " A widow, or one divorced, or a profaned woman, or a harlot, these shall he not take; but a virgin of his own people shall he take to wife. " and 1 -implicitly: a virgin NOT of his own people. Vaikra 21.7 excludes 3 non-virgins for a kohen: "...shall not take a woman that is a harlot, or profaned; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband". so, the only remaining non-virgin women, allowed for kohen, is widow.
    – moshe
    Jan 7, 2018 at 11:55
  • 1
    21:14 seems to be addressing the high priest in particular, as opposed to priests in general.
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 7, 2018 at 13:50

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