Are there any prohibitions against or stipulations for conducting a marriage between a woman and the man who recently impregnated her, assuming they are otherwise fit for marriage.

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    Could you add a bit of background to this question? What are some reasons why you think it might be allowed or forbidden? Understanding where this question comes from can help inspire relevant answers.
    – Daniel
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 12:39
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    See R. Ovadiah of Bertinoro’s eye witness account on the status of contemporaneous brides in Palermo (Darke Zion, bottom of page).
    – Oliver
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 21:10
  • @Oliver I note that the situation in R. Ovadiah of Bertinoro’s report was slightly different than contemporary forms of premarital sex. He writes ורוב הארוסות תבאנה הרות לחופה. I understand this to mean, that they were legally betrothed to each other when they engaged in relations, which may have allowed them to rationalize their amorous activities. Nevertheless, the problem was that they had not yet fully consecrated the relationship with the final step of Chupa. Contrast this with contemporary forms of premarital relations, where there isn’t any prior religious sanctification at all. Commented Mar 13, 2020 at 14:59

2 Answers 2


Short answer -- it's allowed.

You'll find a discussion elsewhere on this site about if someone impregnated a woman, do we recommend that he marry her. Which implies that the rabbi can certainly do such a wedding.

The discussion becomes a little more complicated if the pregnant fiancee was not Jewish at the time, and the rabbi now wants to convert her and marry them. (See Igros Moshe EH4:47).

The only question remaining is exactly what word to use in the kesubah (marriage document); theoretically you could refer to the bride as a "maiden" if she was never before married, and all her past partners were Jewish; there's a recording on yutorah.org from Rabbi J. David Bleich who said it looks wrong for a rabbi to sign his name on that language if the bride is visibly pregnant, so instead the text should just refer to her as an it'sa ("woman"). But if the whole conversation revolves around exactly what words to put in the document, it's clear that doing such a marriage is allowed.

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    Heh, I guess it would be technically correct to write besulta (virgin) if she conceived though IVF, even if she is very obviously pregnant.
    – Adám
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 15:39
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    @Adam from a strict halachic perspective, besulta simply means "eligible to marry a kohen." Still Rabbi Bleich says not to use that word if the rabbi is also a witness on the Kesubah and the bride is visibly pregnant.
    – Shalom
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 19:01
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    That's just plain wrong. A widow is definitely not a besulta and is definitely fit for a kohen. Even a woman who had relations with a Jew should could marry (but didn't) is fit for a kohen. Only the kohen gadol is restricted to a besulta.
    – Adám
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 19:55
  • @Adám sorry, good point. Armelasa is used for widows. You are discussing the word Besulah in the Chumash vis-a-vis the prohibition; the only time she must be a besulah is to marry a kohen gadol. When it comes to writing besulta in a kesubah, Poskim have stated clearly the reverse: if she's kohen-eligible, write besulta. Igros Moshe OC4:118 advises an anonymous Jewish couple who've been "together" in college to go ahead and write besulta without even telling the officiating rabbi about their history.
    – Shalom
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 21:42

Shemot 22:15 states:

וְכִֽי־יְפַתֶּ֣ה אִ֗ישׁ בְּתוּלָ֛ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר לֹֽא־אֹרָ֖שָׂה וְשָׁכַ֣ב עִמָּ֑הּ מָהֹ֛ר יִמְהָרֶ֥נָּה לּ֖וֹ לְאִשָּֽׁה

If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall provide her with a marriage contract as a wife.

If pregnancy is assumed as a possibility of sex, this should mean this is not only permissible but mandatory.

  • Even if the bride is pregnant from the groom, there is no indication that he was the one who took her virginity. She could have been together with other men, before she was impregnated by the groom. - Also, in the case of seduction of a virgin, marriage was mandatory upon the man, only if the woman wanted to marry him. The choice is hers. Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 12:35

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