Question:

Is a Jew allowed to have a non-Jewish wife who is not a shifcha knaanis but is a BAS NOACH. In other words, even according to the elusive gemara in the name of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai that says it is prohibited (derabannan) to marry an OVED KOCHAVIM, if a non-Jew is NOT one of the seven nations and NOT an oved kochavim, is there an issue to live with such a woman (as a pilegesh/partner, whatever)???

And does this have any social-religious implications for the Jews who have intermarried today in terms of OUTREACH to such people who may be interested in true Judaism (who are usually taken in by Reform and Conservative) and have non-Jewish children OR Jewish intermarried women who have Jewish children? If so, then their marriage may not be a real sin (even if not preferred) if the non-Jew is a “Ben Noach” or not a real OVED KOCHAVIM (according to Rashi and Rema etc).

Answer:

Are you seriously trying to say that it is permitted to marry or have relations with a non- Jew if she isn’t oved avoda zara?!

My apologies but the Shulchan Aruch, Even Haezer 16-1 , says clearly that a person who marries a “goya” meaning ANY gentile violates a clear prohibition of Lo Titchaten Bam. The source of this is the Rambam, and although the Rambam says the word akum, it means any gentile, and not only an idol worshipper. There are opinions that argue on the Rambam, that it wouldn’t be a biblical prohibition in the technical sense, however it is still  no less than rabbinical prohibitions, (see Tur E:H 16).

Additionally, the Shulchan Aruch (ibid 2), says that even a person who doesn’t marry this gentile, but has relations with her, that he is subject to Kares! Moreover, the Rema over there says that if one is forced to do this sin publicly that that it is yehareg v’al y’avor! Quite removed from being permitted.

Aside from the actual prohibition, see Rambam Issurei Biah 12-7, and Rema both say that although this sin (of having relations with a gentile) do not have a formal punishment of death, in a way, it is worse then all of the other prohibited sexual relations, because with all of the other ones, even if the child will be a mamzer, he is still Jewish, but when a man has a child from a non-Jewish woman, the child isn’t Jewish, and that is essentially the destruction of Klal Yisroel.

Additionally, the gemora (Eruvin 19b, brought in Nachlas Tzvi E:H 16-2) says that Avrohom Aveinu stands at the door of gehinnom and doesn’t allow anyone who has a bris to enter gehinnom, except a person who had relations with a gentile woman.

It should be clear though that having a relations with a gentile woman is a sin.

Regarding outreach to the children of such an unfortunate situation, even if someone did sin, H-shem is kind and will accept their repentance, especially the children, who didn’t actually do anything wrong. There are plenty of good upstanding Jews that came from such a back-round, and they can definitely become religious. If however the child’s mother was not Jewish, the child will need to undergo a conversion.

I hope this clarifies this issue

Have a happy New Year

Tags: marital relations with non-Jew

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8 Responses to “Relations with Bnai Noach”

  1. I am a bit unclear as to where the Shulchan Aruch and the Rambam obtained all these positions of severity/strictness including kares. Especially as it applies to non-Jews who are not of the Seven Canaanite Nations OR who are Bnai Noach. What is their source for that specifically?

    • See the Rambam, Tur, and their sources in the Gemora and Rishonim.

  2. PLUS, none of the sources address the particular issue of Bnai Noach one way or the other. They are not Canaanites, not Kusim and not isolators.

    • The terminology of the Shulchan Aruch is “goya” meaning ANY non-Jewess. This is also the understanding in the Rambam.

  3. The entire essence of a Jew should scream out against such an act. We may be the people of the book, but without a Jewish conscience we would have been long gone…

    • I couldn’t agree more.

  4. Couldn’t agree more about what exactly? I wasn’t asking about the SA or Rambam. I wanted to know the source in Chazal in either the Bavli or the Yerushalmi for this interpretation.

    • That comment was to a differant person.
      Those unfortunate people that have intermarried, even if they did it out of total ignorance does not make it not a sin, it makes it a sin in error or by mistake. There should be absolutely no inference whatsoever that it is permitted, as the Shulchan Aruch and Rambam, based in the Gemora state clearly.

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