Can mamzerim become orthodox rabbis? If so, under what circumstances?
The Gemara teaches that a mamzer talmid chacham takes predence (in the order of saving a life) over a kohen gadol who is not a talmid chacham. Concerning appointment as a dayan, we also find that a mamzer is valid (Sanhedrin 36b), with regard to monetary law. However, in Jerusalem the custom was to appoint only dayanim who were meyuchasim (Kiddushin 76b; the same applies to charity collectors), and Besamim Rosh (no. 18) writes that a mamzer should not be appointed to positions of authority, on account of the honor of the community. However, this ruling is not widely quoted, and based on the Gemara, there is no halachic problem for a mamzer to be a rabbi, and