In certain cases, a man might receive a heter meah rabbanim (permission from 100 rabbis) to take a second wife. This may happen for a variety of reasons, but I understand that all of the cases involve the man being de facto separated from his first spouse.

In the case where the man's second marriage comes to an end (e.g. by divorce or death of the second wife), can the man then remarry (which would be his third marriage) or must he seek another heter meah rabbanim first?

  • 1
    It might depend on the wording of the heter
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 19:23
  • @hazoriz Do you happen to know how such a heter is usually worded?
    – Daniel
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 15:37
  • Google search היתר מאה רבנים google.com/…
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 15:43
  • Israeli government law google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://…
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 15:43
  • @hazoriz Interesting. Thanks for providing those. AFAICT the wording of the heter doesn't make it clear what happens if the new marriage ends and the husband wants to marry again.
    – Daniel
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 15:49

2 Answers 2


must he seek another heter meah rabbanim first?

In my opinion NO

From the wording of the heter below it seems to that there will not a reason that he can not marry again, after the end for his second marrige, while he is still married to his first wife.
Since the heter states he can marry another wife while still being married to her sposificly (i do not see, why would his second marrige change somthing?)

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The hetter meah rabbanim sets up permission to marry a second wife, which Rabbeinu Gershom Meor HaGolah forbade 1000 years ago. To make sure that men would not spuriously drop one woman to marry another (since now he could not normally marry two wives), he also forbade giving a get "ba'al korchah"(against her will).

In a situation where he wants to divorce his wife and because of sickness (I.e. Coma) or other considerations (Bais Din has ruled that they must divorce, such as in certain cases of infidelity and she refuses to receive the get), he must obtain permission from 100 rabbanim in at least 3 different jurisdictions. After permission to give the get ba'al korchah is revived (and in the case of sickness, with the stipulation that the husband commits to caring for his first wife's medical needs), the first wife is written a get which is taken in custody by the Beis Din to give to the first wife when she is able to take it. Or, in a case where the Bais Din has determined that they must divorce, it is held in abeyance until she takes it.

The process is there to rescind the Cherem enacted by Rabbeinu Gershom and to give her the get ba'al korchah. Once that process has been enacted, what more could one do? Write another get? That would be superfluous.

My source, I know someone who received a hetter meah rabbanim who started with Rabbi Dov Brisman, the Av Beis Din (rabbinical judge) of Philadelphia.

  • 2
    The divorce isn't enacted until she takes the get even if it's been written. Perhaps the husband must ask permission to marry again even if he doesn't have to write another get.
    – Daniel
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 21:50
  • He received permission to have a second wife in addition to his first wife. The conditions are: (1) 100 rabbis agree (2) the first wife is written a get that she may take at her leisure. Why should he need a second process? This woman, the first wife, has been taken care of! Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 15:59
  • 2
    The first wife hasn't been taken care of until she takes the get. As long as she doesn't (or is unable to), they are still married. You might be right that once the husband has permission to take a second wife, that permission lasts forever no matter how many times the second wife changes, but I would like some evidence to back that assertion up.
    – Daniel
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 16:02
  • As I clarified in the answer, there are only limited reasons why one can be issued a HMR. (1) severe sickness, where she cannot take a get; or, (2) infidelity or (3) obstinance, after Bais Din has determined that the marriage cannot continue. In all cases, the man is an Agun (male form of Agunah). Because he is an Agun, we set up a path, albeit a difficult one, for him to be able to relieve his status and marry. If the second wife dies or is divorced what has changed vis a vis the first wife? And he is still an Agun. Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 16:36
  • I think you're missing the point
    – Daniel
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 16:46

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