Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky: Bean counting - Non-Jewish woman vs niddah?

 This was originally posted in September 22, 2008 see also halacha is not bean counting

Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky(Emes LeYaakov Parshas Yechi page 237): A practical example of zealousness which is not based on a correct reading of the halacha is found in the following question. A person has the choice of marrying a Jewish woman who doesn’t observe the laws of family purity or a non‑Jewish woman. Which is preferable? A student who has not properly served an apprenticeship with an experienced posek will say that it is obvious that the person should chose to marry the non‑Jewish woman. That is because sexual relations with a nidah is punished by kares while sexual relations with a non-Jew is only a violation of a negative commandment of the Torah which is not punished by kares. The truth is not this way. Rambam (Hilchos Issurei Bi’ah 12:7-8) states that even though sexual relations with a non-Jewish maidservant is only a rabbinic prohibition he rules that, "This sin [of sexual relations with a non‑Jew] even though beis din does not impose the death penalty should not be viewed as minor because there is a loss associated with it. Contrary to all other sexual transgressions in which the son of the relationship is still his son in every respect and has the status of a Jew – even if the child is a mamzer – but the child from a non‑Jewish mother is not his son as it says in Devarim (7:4): For they will turn away your son from following Me.” That means that the son has been removed from following after G‑d. This activity causes him to attach himself to non‑Jews which G‑d has separated us from them so that we would follow after Him and thus he is rejecting G‑d. “ It is clear from this that the person should choose the relationship with the Jewish woman even though she doesn’t observe the laws of family purity.



[1] רב יעקב קמנצסקי (אמת ליעקב פרשת ויחי ע' רל"ז): דוגמא מעשית לקנאות שלא לפי הדין ניתן להביא מהשאלה הבאה: אדם שיש לו ברירה בין לישא בת ישראל שלא תשמור על טהרת המשפחה ובין לישא גויה, מה עדיף? התלמיד שלא שימש כל צרכו בודאי יאמר: הלא איסורי נדה הם בכרת, ואילו בעילת עכו"ם אינו אלא לאו בעלמא שאינו ענוש כרת, בודאי אם כן עליו לבחור בגויה. האמת היא לא כן. הרמב"ם, אף שדעתו היא שביאת שפחה אינה אלא מדרבנן, פוסק [הלכות מאיסורי ביאה יב:ז-ח] בזה"ל: עון זה אע"פ שאין בו מיתת בית דין אל יהי קל בעיניך אלא יש בו הפסד שאין בכל העריות כמותו שהבן מן הערוה בנו הוא לכל דבר ובכלל ישראל יחשב ואע"פ שהוא ממזר והבן מן הגויה אינו בנו שנאמר כי יסיר את בנן מאחרי מסיר אותו מלהיות אחרי ה' ודבר זה גורם להדבק בגוים שהבדילנו הקב"ה מהם ולשוב מאחר ה' ולמעול בו עכ"ל. ברור לפ"ז שעליו לבחור בבת ישראל אע"פ שהיא אינה שומרת טהרת המשפחה.

16 comments :

  1. According to those who hold that relations with a non-Jew is a issur d'rabban, is this specifically for men or do woman also have this issur?

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  2. I seem to recall reading somewhere that all non-Jewish women over the age of 3 are automaticaly accorded the status of niddah anyway so where would the theoretical advantage in marrying one be?

    Also, in addition to the non-Jewish child issue, the halachah wouldn't recognize his marriage anyway so it would be an issue of constant z'nus, wouldn't it?

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  3. Garnel Ironheart:
    You have a point. I think it could be based on Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75:4 where it discusses when a boy/girl is "ra'ui le'biah" (see comment of the Mishnah Berura, se'if katan 23). I'm guessing that what you could have read was that once a girl is "ra'ui le'biah", she is accorded the status of a niddah till she gets married (and has to go to the mikvah before her wedding night).

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  4. Yes, but that is D'rabbana. This is the famous decree of the Hasmonean Beit din.

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  5. Rav Yaakov is speaking of marrying, i.e. an ongoing long-term relationship. I think Rav Yaakov would agree it is better to "cheat" (i.e. a short term sting) with a non-Jew than with a Jewish nidda.

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  6. I disagree. short term relations lead to long term

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  7. Rav Yaakov is only speaking of marriage (i.e. long-term relationship), as you see in his words above. Not of a fling or one-night stand. How could you propose that a one-night stand with an unmarried Jewish nidda is better than with a gentile woman? Certainly a fling with a prostitute or someone met on a vacation happen.

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  8. Women also, see Tosfos yevamos 16b.

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  9. Garnel IronheartMay 28, 2014 at 1:18 AM

    Not when the wife finds out!

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  10. Dear Catskills1,


    Thank you for your halachik opinion. Whom were you meshamesh, "kol tzorko"?


    If you are a talum chochom who has not yet had extensive shimush by any talmud chochom then, with all due respect, your halachik opinion is precisely the type of halachik opinion Rav Yaakov is speaking about.

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  11. Honesty: So if someone was about to have a short term fling with a gentile woman, if you had the ability to influence him to instead have it with an unmarried Jewish nidda (but you couldn't stop him altogether), you would encourage him to sin with the nidda?


    On what basis do you disagree with halacha?

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  12. Actually Rav Yaakov's view is a chiddush. I have met talmidei chachom who said there is no difference between a long or short relationship and one always goes by the severity of the punishment. For Rav Yaakov the critical issues is that the relationship might cause you to become alientated from the Jewish people. How do you know the fling will not lead into something more permanent? Marriage definitely would have that problem - but what about a 2 year relationship or 6 month. At what point is there no concern for alienation?

    Chazal made decrees to avoid attachment - that involved a lot less than marriage - because of alienation from Judaism.

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  13. Even going with Rav Yaakov's view, if someone was on a business trip or vacation to Belarus where he'll likely never be again, and he G-d forbid was about to sin either with some local gentile peasant or with a local non-religious Jewish nidda, it would appear even Rav Yaakov would agree sinning with the Jew is worse than sinning with the gentile in that case.

    In other words, if we could be relatively sure that no long-term relationship would develop in either case.

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  14. I disagree. A related case - a rosh yeshiva told me that he could understand looking the other way if people drove to shul on shabbos - because if they didn't go to shul then there was the real danger that they would end up marry a non-Jew. The logic seems to be the same.



    Or do you invite a non-religious person for Shabbos knowing that they would likely drive - for the possiblity that they might become frum and it might prevent intermarriage.

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  15. Again, I stressed the point of an example where we know there will *not* be a long-term relationship. If it is clear it will be a quick fling I can't see any basis, including from Rav Yaakov, to say that a nidda is not worse than a gentile.



    By and large, as I understand, most Chareidi poskim are opposed to inviting someone to their house on Shabbos or even to daven in shul on Shabbos if you know he will be driving, and thus Mechallel Shabbos, to do so.

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  16. No, not at all. This is an exclusively legal/halachic discussion and no more.

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