Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Prohibition of Intermarriage (Daf 68b), with Chanukah & Parsha Message

Some basic sources of "Lo Tischaten":
  • Chinuch 427
  • Rambam Sefer Hamitzvos Negative 52, Yad Issurei Biah Chapter 12
  • Avoda Zarah 36b, Yevamos 76a, Sanhedrin 82a, Kiddushin 68b
  • A good discussion on this topic may be found in Rabbi Dr. J. David Bleich's Contemporary Halakhic Problems, Volume II Chapter XIII.
The Rambam & Tur argue how we pasken the Gemara Avodah Zarah. Rambam paskens that "Lo Tischaten" prohibits one to marry a non Jew of any nation. Tur argues that "Lo Tischaten" only prohibits marriage to a member of the 7 nations who converted to Judaism. (Sancheirev mixed up all of the nationalities with massive population redistributions so the halacha is no members of any of the ancient nationalities exist anymore.)

See Sanhedrin 81b regarding "Kanaim Pogim Bo." Rambam in Hil. Issurei Biah (ibid) and in Perush Hamishna Sanhedrin Chapter 9 says if one was not nifga during the act, he gets Kares. This would be for the act itself, even without a marriage. I saw Kehati, Mishna Megilla 4:9, brings Rashi, that to imply boel aramis is chayav kareis is a non-Halachik thought. (My words in the Kehati; I did not see this Rashi inside.) UPDATE 4/14/10: Rashi, Megilla 25a s.v. ha'omer says if you translate the psuk of mizaracha lo sitein le'haavir lamolech as "don't have relations with a non-Jewish woman, becuase that child will serve avodah zarah" is changing the meaning of the pasuk, and giving kares to a ba al hakusis etc. We see Rashi holds haba al hakusis does not get kareis, not like the Rambam. However, Maharsha ibid. brings the Aruch who says the reverse of Rashi: the pshat of that pasuk is that haba al hakusis does get kareis, and if you say th epasuk deals with bringing your child as a human sacrifice, that is perverting the Torah. Furthermore, Targum Yonasan on Vayikra 18:21 explains the pasuk like the Aruch. The Aruch and Targum Yonasan, then, argue on Rashi and agree with Rambam. And, if you look at the context of the psukim, the Aruch & Targum Yonasan make more sense because all the psukim before it and after it discuss sexual sins. According to their explanation, this pasuk also deals with a sexual sin. However, according to Rashi, this pasuk deals with avodah zarah, and seems out of place.

There are definitely Rabbinic prohibitions against any sexual contact with a non-Jew, even outside wedlock. Gemara in Kiddushin 81 (lo tovah hashmu'a), Brachos 58a & Taanis 24b discuss that malkus dirabanan were administered for it.

Explanation of Lo Tischaten from an unexpected viewpoint:
Radak Melachim I 11:2 - "As it says 'v'Lo tischaten bam, do not give your daughter to his son and do not take his daughter for your son' even though this was said for the seven nations, it also applies to the other nations but because they were coming to their [the seven nation's] land, the pasuk warned against them. But if you will turn them to the Jewish religion it would not be prohibited if they converted sincerely and not because of fearor love. This matter is a dispute in the words of our sages as we wrote earlier (3:1)."

Radak Melachim I 3:1 "..."[A]nd that which is written 'lo tischaten bam' some of our sages say that only refers to them while they are gentiles but if they convert they are permitted. And some say while they are gentiles there is no marriage (chittun) and marriage is not relevant. And similarly it is written 'lo tischaten bam' because they were converts (megayri - I don't understand his tense) and Shlomo converted the daughter of Paroh. And to the one that they did not accept converts in the days of David and Shlomo because of the excessive love he had for her the pasuk calls it as if it was marriage..."

To be continued - esp. Tosfos about Ki Yasir (Kiddushin 68).

UPDATE: I've come across old notes which give the following revelation: Rav Aharon Soloveichik said that the Be'er Hagolah quotes R' Shaul Murtira, the Av Beis Din of Amsterdam (who put Spinoza in Cherem) that the Rabanan in Avodah Zarah 36 who argue on Rabi Shimon Bar Yochai and say that Lo Tischaten applies to members of the Seven Nations who converted (like the Tur paskens) - that's only to say that there is no punishment of Malkos for marrying a non-Jew who is not a member of the 7 nations, but such a marriage is asur midioraissa even according to the chachamim. I believe Rav Aharon is making reference to Siman 16 Be'er Hagolah 4, but it is not so explicit.

Connection to Parsha: In Vayishlach, Shechem raped Dinah and wanted to marry her. It is clear from the pesukim that her brothers would no let this happen because "nevalah asah biyisrael..." (To Brisker Rav it may only have been dirabanan based on Avodah Zarah 36.) In Vayeishev there is a discussion if the shevatim really married Canaanites as the simple reading of the pasuk implies by Yehudah. Ramban says it is inconceivable that they married Canaanites, so he translates Cannanite here as a merchant. (On a divergent note, I believe that the Brisker Rav says Yitzchak commanded Yaakov to not marry a Cannanite but did not similarly instruct Esav because Yaakov received Birkas Avraham. None of the shevatim received birkas Avraham, so maybe they were not prohibited from marrying Canaanite women. [The status of the Avos before Matan Torah is very interesting and there is ample Halachik literature on this topic but it is not relevant here.])

Message for Chanukah: Unlike Purim where Haman wished to kill all Jews, the Yevanim on Chanukah had a different goal - destroy the Jewish people spiritually, as they wanted us to offer pigs as korbanos, and to end the observances of tahars hamishpacha and Shabbos. They wanted to change the religion just a little bit, but the result of such a change is no longer Judaism. Much more recently, reshaim declared that their branches of religion accept "patrilineal descent." While its implications on Torah-true Judaism would seem to be minimal, when we recall the "Baal Teshuvah movement" in our time, people who identify as Jews because their father is Jewish, or even if their mother had a non-Halachik conversion, may very well enter our communities. After this, well-intentioned people try to find a husband or wife to this person. How could they do this when they don't know the family? It is a grave sin to marry a non-Jew, even if the person was thought to be Jewish. We will discuss this on daf 76 in great detail; in fact, this is my sole motivation for this blog. Those people who try to marry off these people without checking into their background, or those who ignore the background (yes, there are people like that) are little different from the Yevanim who tried to destroy our religion. About them the words of the Ri in Tosfos (Kiddushin 71a) apply: geirim are disturbing to the Jewish people like a rash (sapachas) - because they are not meyuchas, and the shechina only dwells on meyuchas families. There is no problem of marrying a ger, but it is a problem on many levels when "frum rabbis" try to arrange matches where one side is not halachikly Jewish.

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