3

My friend showed me her conversion document. The last sentence was [almost identical to the following]: "She may marry any Jewish man except a Kohen."

Why would the conversion document go out of its way to specify that she can marry "any" Jewish man, with the single exception of a kohen? First of all, it's not necessary; second, it's not true. She can't marry, for example, a Jewish man who has another wife, even if he is a yisroel. She can't marry a Jewish man who is incapable of consent, nor one she was suspected of living with before she converted -- even if each of these men is a yisroel. (Also, I am guessing there would be some sort of pushback if she tried to marry her Jewish father, or her biological brother who also became a Jew, whether they were kohanim or yisroelim ... and I doubt I have mentioned all the exceptions.) In short, there are very many opportunities to falsify the categorical statement printed on my friend's teudat ravakut, which she received from a prominent and reliable beit din. I am therefore asking why they write it.

Does this statement have any possible effect, besides confusing the convert and potentially her future partners?

  • 3
    On a Biblical level, she could marry an already-married Jewish man, or her biological relatives. The former became assur by Rabbeinu Gershom (Sefardim are still mutar), and the latter by Chazal. – DonielF Sep 13 '18 at 13:51
  • @DanielF Yes, of course. However, we don't follow what is permissible on a Biblical level; we follow rabbonim. – SAH Sep 13 '18 at 21:00
  • "She can't marry a Jewish man with a bad enough injury or deformity" says who? – wfb Sep 14 '18 at 15:52
  • If you are referring to פצוע דכא & כרות שפכה, she may marry them – wfb Sep 14 '18 at 15:53
  • @wfb Yes, it looks like you are right. I had thought this was why they prohibited the marriage of Ruth and Amram Blau in Neturei Karta, but apparently it was for another reason – SAH Sep 17 '18 at 17:57
9

They meant "other than a Kohen, she can marry any Jewish man that a born-Jewess can marry"; her status as a convert poses no additional issues. (In fact, she can marry more men than a born-Jewess, as she can marry a mamzer if she so desires, for whatever that's worth.) That's just how they wrote it, that's how the form is set up (and what the rabbanut will look for before she gets married), and it won't give her any problems.

  • Thanks for the answer; however, this is not quite true (i.e., "she can marry any Jewish man that a born-Jewess can marry") in that she can't marry someone she cohabited with before the conversion. – SAH Sep 13 '18 at 21:03
  • That's not because of a "thou shalt not marry" issue; according to many opinions it's because we don't want to shout from the rooftops that a Jewish man had cohabitated with a non-Jewish woman. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein has several responsa where he establishes wiggle room on that. a.) If the couple put their marriage announcement in the New York Times and lived together as man and wife for ten years, and now she wants to convert, Rabbi Feinstein says the cat is out of the bag already, she can convert and marry him. – Shalom Sep 13 '18 at 23:37
  • Another case (true story from Buenos Aires): she is sincere about Jewish observance and preparing to convert, but now her Jewish boyfriend got her pregnant. Option A: Convert her and marry them, everyone in shul sees her pregnant and feels sheepish and knows what happens. Nobody else knows anything. Option B: Tell him he has to "dump" her, and wait for her to go sue for child support through the courts. Which of these options minimizes the shame? He therefore allows Option A. – Shalom Sep 13 '18 at 23:40
  • Interesting, thank you. ...I understand it is not an arayos situation, but I still think this case problematizes "She may marry any Jewish man" – SAH Sep 14 '18 at 12:11
  • Regarding the Buenos Aires scenario you cited: I was close to people in an almost identical case in an American chareidi community recently. There, the rabbonim took the opposite ruling – SAH Sep 17 '18 at 18:28
-2

At www.yeshiva.co the question was asked “How can a cohen marry a convert?”

The answer is (in part)

The laws of a cohen are very special, and beyond the special duties he will perform in the Temple (when it is rebuilt), even today he carries out a special function amongst the Jewish people. The blessings of the cohen and the honor accorded to him, still mark him and his lineage as very important for the spiritual welfare of the Jews.

Together with this task and honor, come certain obligations and restrictions. The most famous of these is that he cannot come in contact with a dead body. There are also restrictions on whom he may marry. He may not marry a divorcee, a convert, or a chalalah (a women of defective priestly status).

A possible reason why a sentence like "She may marry any Jewish man except a Kohen." was included would be to point out that the female convert is restricted in her choice of husband in the same way as all other Jewish women with the sole addition that she may also not marry a Kohen.

  • Sorry for the confusion; it looks like everyone has misunderstood my question. Your last sentence gets at it to some extent, although the mystery remains, insofar as "any Jewish man" is not accurate by any stretch. I shall try to edit my question for clarity – SAH Sep 13 '18 at 9:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .