Monday, November 29, 2021

Pilegesh is not a heter for fornication

 There are some people mistakenly think that premarital sex is permitted because of pilegesh, in fact pil;esh is a type of marriage.

• A number of recent writers have raised the question of whether pilegesh should be revived as an institution in modern society to resolve current challenges.
• In the mid 1990s an organization based in New York purported to arrange concubines. It was met with outrage and condemnation
by all rabbinic bodies.41 Other such organizations have sprung up over the last 20 years.42
• In 2006 Prof. Zvi Zohar (an academic at Bar Ilan University) wrote a highly provocative article promoting Pilgashut to resolve pressingissues which he identified in religious society, including: young couples who identify as orthodox but live together before marriage,young orthodox men who conduct illicit relationships with non-Jewish women, older single women who are unable to marry.
• Zohar’s article received detailed responses from Rav Shmuel Ariel, Rav Yehuda Henkin and Rabbanit Michal Tukochinsky/Rabbanit Racheli Fraenkel. All entirely negated his position on halachic, hashkafic, moral, ethical and societal grounds. These include its demeaning effect on women, the undermining of the sanctity of marriage and the halachic and hashkafic imperatives on young people
to marry, and the undermining of sexual morality in society as a whole43.
• In 2012, a senior Sefardi Rabbi in Israel suggested pilagshut as a possible solution in the case of a man whose wife refused to accept a get and where the man needed to have a family and perform the mitzva of pru u’revu44.


  1. But no get or mamzerut.

  2. Pilegesh is a heter for sexual relations outside of marriage.
    By definition, any heter is outside of the geder of fornication.
    Even yael and sisera was not fornication per se, but aveira Lishma.
    Having multiple sexual partners is not permitted unless there is a heter for multiple Pilegesh.

  3. I believe Rav Dovid Eidensohn supports reinstitution. And offers to conduct the halachic protocals for couples requesting it, that he deems valid.

  4. So here's a hard question:
    People are going to do it. All the "Wait for marriage!" cries, all the books and essays on the holiness of marriage and how special it is to wait will not change that. MO's (and probably more than a few UO's but with far more discretion) will do it. So does the community continue to ignore it or try to figure out a way to minimize it and provide some permission for it?
    In other words, do we say "Well, if she does the hefsek tahara and mikveh then maybe..." or do we say "Look, you're a horrible person and you're going to get kares from sleeping with that niddah"?

  5. It's like the intermarriage thing - technically, the issur is much less if a Jew intermarried than if he stays in the Jewish community, but no niddah, maybe even no get. But gedolim were asked, and they said even so, it's better to marry in.

  6. So I get that and it's probably because even if the parents don't, the kids might return to Torah but in this case one assumes they're using birth control (it's for a one night stand after all) so there's no kids to worry about.

  7. I don't know what is meant.
    It mentions couples living together on pilegesh basis.
    The modern world has many ways of entering frumkeit. Bt s for example, bring kelipot. But you don't need to be a bt, plenty of frum people have a yetzer hara.


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