Issurei Biah - Chapter Twelve
When a Jew engages in relations with a woman from other nations, [taking her] as his wife or a Jewess engages in relations with a non-Jew as his wife, they are punished by lashes, according to Scriptural Law. As [Deuteronomy 7:3] states: "You shall not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughter to his son, and do not take his daughter for your son."
This prohibition applies equally to [individuals from] the seven [Canaanite] nations and all other gentiles. This was explicitly stated in Ezra [Nechemiah 10:31]: "That we will not give our daughters to the gentiles in the land and that we will not take their daughters for our sons."
The Scriptural prohibition applies only to marital relations. When, by contrast, one engages in relations with a gentile woman with a licentious intent, he is given "stripes for rebellious conduct" according to Rabbinic Law. [This is a] decree, lest this lead to marriage.
If [a Jew] designates [a gentile woman] for licentious relations, he is liable for relations with a niddah, a maid-servant, a gentile woman, and a licentious woman. If he did not designate her for himself, but instead, [engage in relations with her] spontaneously, he is only liable for relations with a gentile woman. All of these liabilities are Rabbinic in origin.
When does the above apply? When the man who engaged in relations was an Israelite. If, however, a priest engages in relations with a gentile woman, he is liable for lashes according to Scriptural Law, because of the prohibition against relations with a zonah. [This prohibition applies] both to a non-Jewish zonah and a Jewish one. He receives lashes for relations alone, for he cannot consecrate her.
Whenever a man has relations with a gentile woman in public, i.e., the relations are carried out in the presence of ten or more Jews, if a zealous person strikes him and kills him, he is considered praiseworthy and ardent. [This applies whether the relations were] in the context of marriage or licentious in nature. This matter is a halachah conveyed to Moshe at Sinai. Support for this can be derived from Pinchas' slaying of Zimri.
The zealous person can strike [the fornicators] only at the time of relations, as was the case with regard to Zimri, as [Numbers 25:8] states: "[He pierced]ו the woman into her stomach." If, however, [the transgressor] withdraws,he should not be slain. Indeed, if [the zealous person] slays him, he may be executed [as a murderer].
If the zealous person comes to ask permission from the court to slay him, they do not instruct him [to], even if this takes place at the time [of relations]. Not only that, if the zealous person comes to kill the transgressor and he withdraws and kills the zealous person in order to save himself, the transgressor is not executed for killing him.
When a Jew has relations with the daughter of a resident alien, the zealous may not strike him. [The transgressor] should, however, be given stripes for rebellious conduct.
If the zealous did not strike him, nor did he receive stripes from the court, his punishment is explicitly stated in the words of the prophetic tradition. He is liable for kerat, as [Malachi 2:11-12] states: "Judah desecrated that which is sacred to God, [by] loving and engaging in relations with the daughter of a foreign god. May God cut off from a man who does this any progeny and descendant." [Implied is] that if he is an Israelite, he will not have progeny among the wise who will raise issues, nor a descendant among the scholars who will respond. If he is a priest, he will not have [a descendant] who "presents an offering to the Lord of Hosts." Thus you have learned that a person who shares intimacy with a gentile woman is considered as if he married a false deity, as the verse states: "engaging in relations with the daughter of a foreign god." And he is called one who "desecrated that which is sacred to God."
Although this transgression is not punishable by execution by the court, it should not be regarded lightly, for it leads to a detriment that has no parallel among all the other forbidden sexual relations. For a child conceived from any other forbidden sexual union, is [the father's] son with regard to all matters and is considered a member of the Jewish people, even if he is a mamzer.A son conceived by a gentile woman, by contrast, is not considered his son. [This is derived from Deuteronomy 7:4:] "For he shall sway your son away from following Me." She turns him away from being one of those who follow God.
This matter causes one to cling to the gentile nations from whom the Holy One, blessed be He, has separated us, and to turn away from following God and to betray Him.
When a gentile engages in relations with a Jewish woman, if she is married, he should be executed. If she is single, he is not executed.
If, by contrast, a Jewish male enters into relations with a gentile woman, when he does so intentionally, she should be executed. She is executed because she caused a Jew to be involved in an unseemly transgression, as [is the law with regard to] an animal. [This applies regardless of] whether the gentile women was a minor of three years of age, or an adult, whether she was single or married. And it applies even if [the Jew] was a minor of nine years old, [she is executed].
This [punishment] is explicitly mentioned in the Torah, as [Numbers 31:16-17] states: "Behold they were [involved] with the children of Israel according to the advice of Balaamו. Execute any woman fit to know a man through lying with a male."
Servants that have been immersed for the sake of servitude and accepted the mitzvot in which servants are obligated, have departed from the category of gentiles, but have yet to enter the category of Jews. For this reason, a maidservant is forbidden to a free Jew. [This applies to] both one's own maid-servant and a maid-servant belonging to a colleague.
When a person enters into relations with a maid-servant, he should be given stripes for rebellious conduct as prescribed by the Rabbis. [It is obvious that a Scriptural prohibition is not involved,] for it is explicitly stated in the Torah that a master may give a Hebrew servant a Canaanite maid-servant [for the sake of relations] and that she is permitted to him, as [Exodus 21:4] states: "If his master will give him a wife."
The Sages did not issue a decree with regard to this matter, nor did the Torah require that lashes be given for [relations with] a maid-servant unless she was designated for a [Jewish] man, as we explained.
This transgression should not be light in one's eyes, because it does not involve lashes according to Scriptural Law. For this [act] also causes the son to be turned away from following God. For a son born of a maid-servant is a servant and is not a [full] member of Israel. Thus he causes [Israel's] holy seed to be profaned and produce servants. Behold Onkelos the translator included relations with a servant and a maid-servant in [the prohibitions, Deuteronomy 23:18]: "There shall not be a promiscuous manו and there shall not be a promiscuous woman."
When a person engages in relations with a maid-servant, even in public, a zealous person may not strike him, not even at the time of the transgression.Similarly, if one marries a maid-servant, he does not receive lashes according to Scriptural Law. For from the time she immersed and accepted the mitzvot, she departed from the category of gentiles.
If [the identity of] a Jewish child becomes confused with that of the child of a maid-servant, the status of both [children] is doubtful. Each of them is considered as possibly a servant. [Hence] we compel the owner of the maid-servant to free them both. If [the owner died and] the son [whose identity was confused] is the [only] son of the servant's master, when they come of age, they should free each other. Then they will be permitted to marry within the Jewish people.
If the children whose identities were confused were female, they are both considered as possibly a maid-servant. If a person enters into relations with either of them, the offspring is considered as a servant because of the doubt.
Similarly, if the identity of a gentile child becomes confused with that of a Jewish child, we immerse both of them as converts and they are both considered as possibly a convert.
Whenever any of the gentiles convert and accept all of the mitzvot in the Torah or a servant is freed, they are considered as Jews with regard to all matters, as [Numbers 15:15] states: "For the community: there will be one law [for you and the convert]." A convert may marry within the Jewish community immediately, i.e., a male convert or freed servant may marry a native-born Jewess and an Israelite may marry a female convert or a freed maid-servant.
There are four nations from which [converts] are exceptions: Ammon, Moab, Egypt, and Edom. When a person from one of these nations converts, he is like an Israelite with regard to all matters with the exception of marriage within the Jewish community.
What are the laws that apply to them [in that context]? It is forbidden to marry an Ammonite and a Moabite forever. This applies to the males and not the females, as [Deuteronomy 23:4] states: "An Ammonite and a Moabite shall not enter the congregation of God." It is a halachah transmitted to Moses at Sinai that it is a male Ammonite and a male Moabite who are forbidden to marry a native-born Israelite forever, [including] even their son's grandson forever. An Ammonite woman and a Moabite woman are, by contrast, permitted immediately as are [converts] from other nations.
An Egyptian and an Edomite convert - both a male and a female - are forbidden to marry among the Jewish people for the first and second generations. The third generation, however, is permitted, as [ibid.:9] states: "Children who are born to them [may enter the congregation of God in the third generation]."
When a female Egyptian converts while she is pregnant, her son is considered a second [generation Egyptian convert]. When a second [generation] Egyptian male [convert] marries a first [generation] Egyptian female [convert] or a first [generation] Egyptian male [convert] marries a second [generation] Egyptian female [convert], the child is considered a second generation [convert]. [This is derived from the phrase]: "Children who are born to them." The verse made the matter dependent on birth.
When a male Ammonite convert marries a female Egyptian, the offspring are considered as Ammonites. When a male Egyptian convert marries a female Ammonite, the offspring are considered as Egyptians. This is the general principle: Among gentiles, the identity [of the offspring] is determined by the male. Once they convert, [the offspring] is given the identity that is of the lowest status.
A person from the seven [Canaanite] nations who converts is not forbidden to marry among the Jewish people according to Scriptural Law. It is known that of them, only the Gibeonites converted. Joshua decreed that they be forbidden to marry among the Jewish people, both males and females.
He instituted this prohibition only during the time a Sanctuary is standing, as [Joshua 9:23] states: "[You shall be] wood-choppers and water-drawers for the house of my God." He made their ban dependent on the Sanctuary.
They are called Netinim, "the designated ones," for they were designated for the service in the Sanctuary. David came and decreed that they should never be allowed to marry among the Jewish people, even at a time when the Sanctuary is no longer standing. This is explicitly stated in Ezra [8:20]: "From the Netinim whom David and the officers designated for the service of the Levites." From this, we see that he did not make the matter dependent on the Sanctuary.
Why did David and his court pass this decree against them? Because he saw that they were characterized by brazenness and cruelty. For they asked to kill and hang the seven sons of Saul, God's chosen one, and they did not have mercy upon them.
When Sannecherib, King of Assyria, arose, he confused the identity of all the nations, mixing them together, and exiling them from their place. The Egyptians that live in the land of Egypt at present are of other nationalities. This also applies with regard to the Edomites in the field of Edom.
Since these four forbidden nations became intermingled with all the nations of the world [with] whom it is permitted [to marry once they convert], all [converts] are permitted. For when anyone of them separates himself [from them by] converting, we operate under the presumption that he became separate from the majority. Therefore in the present age, in all places, whenever a convert converts, whether he be an Edomite, an Egyptian, an Ammonite, a Moabite, a Kushite, or from any of the other nations, whether male or female, he or she is permitted to marry among the Jewish people immediately.
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