According to Orthodox Judaism, pioneers may not marry kohanim, as stated in Yevamot (2:4):

איסור קדושה אלמנה לכהן גדול גרושה וחלוצה לכהן הדיוט

A prohibition [stemming from a need to be] holy includes a widow marrying a high priest, and a pioneer marrying a normal kohen.

Why are pioneers treated like second class citizens? Why can they not marry kohanim? Why does "holiness" preclude this? Are they considered inferior?

This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.


3 Answers 3


Because a pioneer moves himself to a different primitive area, he is like a ger, which means a foreigner. And we know that a ger is not allowed to marry a kohen. (Kiddushin 78a)


It discusses this in Eruvin (56a). The Gemara says

אליעזר איש ביריא אומר יושבי צריפין כיושבי קברים ועל בנותיהם הוא אומר (דברים כז, כא) ארור שוכב עם כל בהמה מאי טעמא עולא אמר שאין להן מרחצאות ורבי יוחנן אמר מפני שמרגישין זה לזה בטבילה מאי בינייהו איכא בינייהו נהרא דסמיך לביתא

The Gemara asks: What is the reason for this harsh statement with regard to the daughters of those who dwell in huts or travel in deserts? Ulla said: They do not have bathhouses, and therefore the men have to walk a significant distance in order to bathe. There is concern that while they are away their wives commit adultery, and that consequently their children are not really their own. And Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Because they sense when one another immerses. Similarly to the men, the women must walk a significant distance in order to immerse in a ritual bath. Since the settlement is very small and everyone knows when the women go to immerse, it is possible for an unscrupulous man to use this information to engage in adulterous relations with them by following them and taking advantage of the fact that they are alone.

This discusses the daughter but we can use the same idea to discuss the wife.

According to the second reason, the only concern is that that someone will stalk them and have relations against her will. While she would be permitted to a regular Jew, she would be forbidden to a Kohen.

  • Is this too serious of an answer?
    – Leitz
    Mar 3, 2017 at 19:49
  • 1
    I think it is a wonderful answer. I will wait a few days before marking it correct, but it is difficult to imagine any answer beating it.
    – mevaqesh
    Mar 3, 2017 at 20:05
  • 1
    Marked correct. If a better answer ever comes along I can always switch the vote.
    – mevaqesh
    Mar 5, 2017 at 6:13

Pioneers like to be the first to discover new ideas. Their nature tends to have them travel around the world seeking empty land and establishing a new settlement there. This was esp. true in Israel and is still this way.

Kohanim have an obligation to stay put serving duty in the Temple in some way. They may be on call to actually serve or mentor others (if they've passed age 50.) So, there's a conflict of interest, here. Thus, the rabbis discouraged the "movers" from marrying the "stillers".

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