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13 votes
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Rabbi Shlomo Goren and the Langer Case

R. Goren wrote a 200 page book explaining his position (linked in Joel K's answer). If you're looking for something shorter and easier, R. J. David Bleich discussed this topic in the first volume of ...
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9 votes
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How do Chazal know that the descendants of a Mamzer may never marry into the general populace?

Torah Temimah (text here) cites the Sifri here (my loose translation): גם דור עשירי – נאמר כאן דור עשירי ונאמר להלן בעמוני ומואבי דור עשירי (פ׳ ד׳) מה דור עשירי דלהלן עד עולם אף דור עשירי שבכאן עד ...
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9 votes

If two Jewish sisters marry one's son to one's daughter, are their descendants all mamzerim forever?

Marriage between first cousins are allowed in Judaism. aish.com writes explicitly It is permitted under Torah law for cousins to marry. In fact, the Sages seem to view marriages between ...
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9 votes

Are civil divorces not recognized by Orthodox rabbis?

There are only two ways out of a kosher marriage: a kosher get or death of a spouse. (Kiddushin 2a) It doesn't sound like any semblance of the former (a document handwritten by a Jew for the divorce ...
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7 votes

'Agunoth and Mamzerim after the Holocaust

Even though it's an old question, still I would like to answer it, as my native country was heavily involved in this very sad historical event. One of the most important work on the issue is the essay ...
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6 votes

Is a Child Born to Jewish Mother and Father Outside of Marriage a Mamzer?

No. The rule is stated in Shulchan Aruch Even Haezer 4, 13: איזהו ממזר? זה הבא מאחת מכל העריות, בין בחייבי מיתות בין בחייבי כריתות, חוץ מהבא מהנדה, שאף על פי שהוא פגום, אינו ממזר אפילו מדרבנן:‏ Who ...
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6 votes

Rabbi Shlomo Goren and the Langer Case

You can read Rav Goren’s own explanation of his pesak din here.
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5 votes

Children of post-adulterous forbidden union - mamzerim?

If she is still having relations with her husband at the time and is only one off relations G-d forbid with someone else we say in Sotah 27a and Shulchan Aruch even haezer 4,15: אשה מזנה ...
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5 votes

Is there a gentile Mamzer?

A mamzer (bastard) is born from an illegal (forbidden) marriage or adultery. However, regarding a gentile, BT (Sot. 26b) states: דאמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי ישמעאל מנין לעובד כוכבים ועבד שבאו על הכהנת ...
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5 votes

Isn't the concept of mamzerut in violation of Ezekiel 18:19-20?

Mamzerut is not a punishment for the deed, the punishment ends with the death of the parents, if it applies. Mamzerut is a situation, a מציאות . I think of it as a genetic disease, or a social/...
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4 votes

Can a kohen be a mamzer?

The Chelkas Mechokek Even Haezer 7, 24 says that the halacha follows the vast majority of acharonim and all Rishonim (that discuss the concept) which include Himself, Bach, Prisha Who quotes the Magid ...
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4 votes

Until or even down to the Tenth Generation

Since the term "mamzer" is not what the current English term "bastard" is used for, I will use the correct legal term. One should be aware that in many places the term "mamzer" is translated as "...
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4 votes
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Is the son of a non-Jewish father a mamzer?

The halacha is that he is not a mamzer. See Yebamot 16b: On account of the slaves of Solomon,' the reason is quite intelligible, because he may hold the opinion that the child of a heathen or a ...
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4 votes

What is the status of a man who fathers a mamzer?

Neither parent becomes mamzer. The man does not be changed because of this act. The definition of mamzer according to The Halacha is a man who is born from a prohibited relationship between two casher ...
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4 votes

Is the child of a mamzer and a convert mamzer?

Yes. Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 4:18 יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁנָּשָׂא מַמְזֶרֶת, אוֹ מַמְזֵר שֶׁנָּשָׂא יִשְׂרְאֵלִית, הַוָּלָד מַמְזֵר לְעוֹלָם: Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 4:19 גּוֹי וְעֶבֶד ...
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  • 1,988
4 votes

Non-observant Jewish Couples Having Halachic Weddings

You pretty much hit the nail on the head here. If a couple is Halachically married, and they don't get a Halachic separation, they remain married and all further relations are adulterous (with all the ...
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  • 6,693
3 votes

If two Jewish sisters marry one's son to one's daughter, are their descendants all mamzerim forever?

received an answer from Rabbi David Sperling of yeshiva.co: Shalom, Thank you for your question. First cousins are allowed to marry according to Jewish law. The children of two sisters (i.e. ...
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3 votes

Status of person with two different DNAs

The product of adulterous relations between a married Jewish woman and a Jewish man who is not her husband is a mamzer. Genetics shchmenetics. (The more common question is the converse -- married ...
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  • 127k
2 votes

Mamzer from a rape

Let's start with the definition of a mamzer, e.g., from chabad.org the Hebrew term mamzer [...] refers only to the offspring of people whose relationship would be punishable with karet (excision). ...
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2 votes

Would Jerry Seinfeld's kids be mamzerim

I don't know anything about this person's particular situation. For theory's sake: the product of an "adulterous union" is a mamzer. It would have to be a Jewish woman who was still married according ...
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  • 127k
2 votes

Is un-pedigreed Jew assumed mamser for marrage to Orthodox girl even after he becomes Orthodox?

I've never in my life heard of any rabbi, no matter "how Orthodox" he is, asking a regular person who did not grow up orthodox to show papers to prove he's Jewish - as long as he claims his mother is ...
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1 vote

Does lacking a get affect children before conception, at conception, or at birth?

You ask: Does lacking a get affect children before conception, at conception, or at birth? The answer is: At conception. The problem of mamzerut is when conception of a child results from a specific ...
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  • 22.3k
1 vote

Is un-pedigreed Jew assumed mamser for marrage to Orthodox girl even after he becomes Orthodox?

No. It is completely normal for frum-from-birth Jews to date and marry ba'alei teshuvah (aside, perhaps, from particularly insular charedi groups). The safek mamzer issue arises in very specific and ...
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