Suppose a young Jewish couple, Bob and Jane dated, and had sex. (Yes, I realize premarital sex isn't ideal under orthodox Judaism, but I am interested in the halachic and spiritual implications given that this is going on between people.) Then, they did not get married but split up and began seeing other people. The girl then got into a relationship with another guy, where they had sex. Eventually the Bob and Jane realized they actually made a mistake and really wanted to spend the rest of their lives with one another. Can they get married?

Halachically, I know that a man who has divorced his wife cannot go and re-marry her if she went and became the wife of another man in the meantime. Since so many relationships today involve sex but not marriage, I want to ask what the situation is when there was no marriage.

I understand that, in the past, sex (in fact "yihud") was one way to acquire a wife, but I don't think any rabbi today would consider a couple married because they had sex. If that would have been the case then a Jewish man would have to give his girlfriend a get when she leaves. So I do not think that particular law applies. But what does Judaism say about the situation spiritually as well as whether the couple can get married after all that?

  • related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/48344/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 18:56
  • @DoubleAA - Just curious re "protocol" or preference. You liked to a question that itself was marked as a dupe. Why not link to the original question?
    – DanF
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 18:59
  • 1
    Gregory, I'm not clear what didn't answer your question with the current answer. You write in your question "If that would have been the case then a Jewish man would have to give his girlfriend a get when she leaves." So no Get, no issue, which is what the current answer says.
    – Yishai
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 1:34
  • 1
    Gregory, No, the second case only applies in a marriage relationship. judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/sotah-secluded-woman
    – Yishai
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 14:35
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    Gregory, I think the question of waiting three months to acertain paternity is interesting, actually. I don't know the answer off hand. But it isn't the question that you asked in the post.
    – Yishai
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 16:07

1 Answer 1


Both the first relationship and the second one would have to be formal marriages (the kind that requires a Get to dissolve) for the prohibition of remarrying your divorcée to come into effect. (ShA EH 10:1)

You already asked elsewhere about giving Gittin to girlfriends after breaking up with them.

  • 5
    I don't see why you assume it's so clear cut that a "relationship" with relations doesn't raise any concern at all of ishut. The source you reference refers to a "one-night-stand" or prostitution. The institution of "living together" is a fairly recent invention and mirrors most closely what used to be called "marriage". Hence the psychology where the "boyfriend" would be upset if the "girlfriend" "cheated". At the very least I would think there should be a safek dependent on whether relations in the context of a committed relationship effects a kinyan.
    – Loewian
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 19:24
  • @loewian I never assumed anything like that? What are you talking about?
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 19:25
  • :) The OP was asking about committed relationships, which at least raises the question of being distinct from no-commitment-relationships, which is the simple understanding of the source you cite. As such, it doesn't really answer his particular question. You would have to first prove that halacha is not concerned with the psychology of the relationship before using your source as a proof.
    – Loewian
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 19:32
  • @loewian My source completely addresses the situation: if it is a formal marriage requiring a get to dissolve, the prohibition of machzir grushaso applies. If not, not. What is wrong with my source?
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 19:37
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    @loewian, the question assumes that no get is needed in this scenario. If you want to address that, it would be better as a comment on the question. This answer avoids taking a position on the issue, which is fine, IMO.
    – Yishai
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 19:51

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