Asking because it is not answered here:

If, as suggested in the linked question, a Cohen may b'dieved (but not l'chatchila) marry a woman whose father is a non-Jew, will the sons from such a marriage be full Cohanim?

  • 2
    Pretty sure if the marriage is acceptable even bdieved, the children are full kohanim. Otherwise, he would still be violating the prohibition of being mechalel his children.
    – Loewian
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 1:27
  • 1
    @sabbahillel But as we see from the sources in the question I linked, that's not how it works in practice: a cohen is not required to divorce his wife who is the daughter of a non-Jewish father; the marriage is only forbidden l'chatchila.
    – SAH
    Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 2:07
  • 1
    I made a mistake on the analysis. The mother (who had a child with a non-Jew) would be considered a zonah and forbidden to a kohen (and any children with the kohen would be challalim). Their daughter (of the non-Jew and the woman) never did anything wrong and only has a flaw in her lineage. Thus, you are correct and the children of a kohen and the daughter would not be challalim. Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 2:24

2 Answers 2


Based on Yevamot 44a to 45b

The settings are as follows. First, there are opinions in the Gemara Yevamot 44b that even for Shimeon Hatimni he is Mamzer, as it is a forbidden affair where Kiddushin cannot be.

​​ Secondly, if it is said that he is not Mamzer, due to the fact that he is not Isur Erva Veanush Caret, as Rabbi Shimeon Ben Yehuda says, there is the question of the Psul Lakehuna. Some consider him Pasul Lakehuna as there is a Kal Vachomer from the Almana Lecohen Gadol. Indeed, this one is not forbidden to all the Cohanim and her child is Challal, a fortiori that the non-Jew who is forbidden to all, her child is Pagum Lakehuna.

​​ Some understand that we are only talking about female children (Rashi, Rif, so it seems from Yerushalmi Yevamot 4.15). Indeed, the boy not being Cohen, which Isur Kehuna can he have? A Cohenet woman is not forbidden to marry a Pasul.

Others understand that the boys are also spoken of (Rosh, Ramban in the Sefer Hazechut), since the Almana Lecohen Gadol has Pesulim children, both boys and girls, here as well. If so, that boys are Pesulim, and they should make their sons Pesulim from generation to generation, even if they marry an Israelite (there is a Gemara in Yerushalmi Kiddushin 3.12 which seems to disprove this to the Second Generation according to the reading of the Pene Moshe).

​​ A question arises from the fact that Rav (Yevamot 45a), is reported in the Gemara afterwards, and it seems that the man who addresses him is considered Kosher entirely, likewise for the other Amorayim who tell him to hide his defect.

Some reply that the Gemara in conclusion abandoned the Qal Vachomer of Almana Lecohen Gadol (this is the opinion of the Rashba, the first of the two opinions quoted in the Rif).

Some do not know how to comment on the contradiction between these two parts of the Gemara Yevamot 45a (this can be said both for those who say that the question is only about the girls (the Rif) and for those who say that the question is for girls and boys (The Magid Misne)).

Some think that this Qal Vachomer is a nickname Qal Vachomer, he is Miderabanan.

Others say (Yevamot 45a) that the Almana Lecohen Gadol makes Pesula the girl and not the boy, and as Rav and the Amorayim quoted after him deal with the problem of a boy, there is no contradiction, the girl is Pesula and the boy is fully Kosher (Rashi, Rambam).

Another question arises from the fact that the son of a non-Jew with a married Jewish woman is Kosher because he is not fit to give Kiddushin according to one Girsa (Yevamot 45b), and according to another because his offspring with a Bat Israel does not relate to him at all. Some, according to this Gemara think that the whole problem of Psul of children of a non-Jew with a Bat Israel is canceled (It seems that this is the opinion of Sheiltot 25, Haemek Davar, following the Nimuke Yosef, Rashba and Ramban in 45b). ​​ ​​

For the Halacha, see Shut Maharshal at the end of siman 17

לפי מה שהוכחתי בראיות ברורים בפרק החולץ דבת גוי ועבד מן הישראלית אינה פגומה אלא לכתחילה אבל נשאת לא תצא. ...‏,

I already demonstrated with clear proofs in Perek Hacholets[1] (see Yam Shel Shlomo no 38[2]) that a daugther from a non Jewish or a Slave and a Jewish women is dammaged only lechatechila but if she is already spoused [to a Cohen], she has not to divorce.

This Shut is cited by the main Poskim, in Chelkat Mechokek (sk 26) and in Bet Shmuel (sk 39), Baer Heitev (sk 47) Even Haezer Siman 7, Sayf 17. And also the sons may not be Chalalim or Safek Chalalim, not as the Ramban stated. The Kal Vachomer is not a true scriptural Kal Vachomer following the Maharshal.

[1] Gemara Yebamot 45a:

רבי יהושע בן לוי אומר הולד מקולקל למאן אילימא לקהל הא אמר רבי יהושע הולד כשר __אלא לכהונה דכולהו אמוראי דמכשרי מודו שהולד פגום לכהונה__‏

... for all Amoraim who declare the child fit admit that he is ineligible for the priesthood.


‏ אבל אם נשאת אותה הבת לכהן אין הבן מהן חלל.‏


EXPLANATIONS: It may be helpful to explain a little more the topic through Gemara. The first step is to read this Mishna (in Gemara Yebamot daf 49b):


Who is deemed to be a bastard? [the offspring of a union with] any consanguineous relative with whom cohabitation is forbidden; this is the ruling of Rabbi Akiba. Simeon the from Timnata said: [the offspring of any union] the penalty for which is kareth at the hands of heaven; and the halachah is in agreement with his view, ... etc.

###Gemara 44b:

Rabbah Bar Bar Hana said in the name of Rabbi Johanan: All agree that where a slave or an idolater had intercourse with a daughter of an Israelite the child is a bastard. Who is meant by 'All agree'? - Simeon from Timnata. For although Simeon from Timnata stated that the offspring of a union forbidden under the penalty of flogging is not a bastard, his statement applies only to the offspring of a union forbidden under the penalty of flogging, since the betrothal in such a case is valid but here, in the case of an idolater and a slave, since betrothal in their case is invalid, they are like those whose union is subject to the penalty of kareth. (Diverse opinion are cited, ... " the 'Elders of the South') - who stated that if an idolater or a slave had intercourse with a daughter of an Israelite, the child born is untainted!" ... "Rabbi Joshua Ben Levi said: The child is tainted." ... for all Amoraim who declare the child fit admit that he is ineligible for the priesthood. "And Rab also ruled that the child is legitimate." ... "Rab Mattena also ruled that the child is legitimate. Rab Judah also ruled that the child is legitimate." ... "Rav Shesheth said: Rav Gaza told me that it was not Rabbi Jose Bar Abin but Rabbi Jose son of Rabbi Zebida, and that he declared the child to be legitimate, both in the case of the married, as well as in that of the unmarried woman. " "Go and conceal your identity or marry one of your own kind." ... " Either go abroad or marry one of your own kind."

There is an apparent contradiction between the fact that they say that the children are "damaged" (pegumim) and the fact that the advice is to marry "go to a place where you are unknown and where you might in consequence pass as a legitimate Israelite and be allowed to marry a Jewess! (Yevamot 45a" In such case, if the daughter marry a Cohen, the offspring would be Chalal. Some Rishonim discern here a Machloket. Ramban and Rashba, Meiri and Ritba here are oftenundecided, and do not decide what opinion will be retained and Bedieved the son will be Safek Chalal (my words are greatly simplified) (see also Magid Mishne issure Bia, 15, 3, for him the doubt regards girls and boys). ( Maharshal is expressly opposed to Ramban and says that the stringency of Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi is Miderabanan and Lechatechila only. So the son is not Safek Chalal. {We can answer the kushia of Shaar Hamelech, how does Ramban allow safek deOrayta bedieved, perhaps the Ramban also think that the stringent opinion is a stringency miderababan.} ). But Rif (not so clear), Rambam (and Shulchan Aruh himtself) in Issure Bia 15, 3 share the later opinion. He allows the daughter to marry a Cohen and the daughter of the boy to marry a Cohen. The offspring will be considered as Kasher. See Shut Hayim Shaal Chelek 2, 42, 16. You can see a lot of Sheelot Utshuvot ins the Rabanut of Israel, from Rav Shalom Messas, from Rav Ovadia Yosef, and Rav Moshe Feinstein is quoted in some of them.

  • I wrote it in french and used Google translate. I hope it makes sense.
    – kouty
    Commented Apr 5, 2022 at 20:34

Pasting from https://judaism.stackexchange.com/a/87149/13871

For further discussion about whether a Beit Din may sign off/administer the wedding, see the Machloket between Rav Moshe Feinstein (Iggerot Moshe Even HaEzer vol 1 Siman 5), who forbade it, and Rav Shalom Meshash (Shemesh U’Magen vol. 3 Even HaEzer 58) and Rav Shlomo Amar (Shema Shlomo vol. 5 Even HaEzer 8), who permitted it, as discussed in by Rav J.D. Bleich, Rav Elyashiv Knohl, a Beit Din in Haifa, and Rav Howard Jachter. Rav Ovadia in later years was mattir outright based on a double Safek: whether he's really a kohen or not and if the Halacha follows the Rishonim and Shulchan Aruch who hold a Bat Nochri is pegumah or like those who disagree. (Yabia Omer vol. 11 Even HaEzer 34)

Regarding the children's status, see the links, as that is also up for debate. The Beit Din in Haifa quotes a previous ruling negating their status and then argues in favor of them being Kohanim.

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