From the Rav’s Desk: If a Kohen marries the daughter of converts or the daughter of a Gentile father, is the child a Challal

  1. Question: [Sunday, 27th Sivan 5782]

In one of your previous articles you mentioned a list of Kohanim who are defined as a Challal and hence are invalidated from their priesthood for all matters. I would like to know what the status of the child is if a Kohen transgressed and married the daughter of two converts, or transgressed and married a woman who has a Jewish mother but Gentile father? Are the children of these unions also defined as Challalim and hence the descendents of this Kohen lose their status of Kehuna?



The offspring of a Kohen with the daughter of two converts [i.e. was born after the conversion] is not a Challal and is thus considered a full-fledged Kohen for leniency and stringency. The daughter of a Kohen with a woman whose father was a Gentile, is under debate as to its status, and seemingly one may be lenient to not consider him a Challal, and at the very best he would only be considered a Safek Challal. Practically, I would rule that such a Kohen may be called up first for the Torah, and may Duchan, and according to all he may not defile himself to the dead or marry a divorcee etc.


Explanation: The offspring of a Kohen with the daughter of two converts, in the event that she was born after the conversion, is not a Challal, as the main opinion in the Talmud follows that such a woman is permitted in marriage to a Kohen, and it is only initially customary to be stringent in this, and hence certainly the child is not a Challal. However, regarding the second case if a Kohen had a daughter with a woman whose father was a Gentile then this matter is under debate amongst the Rishonim and Poskim, with some holding that the marriage is completely prohibited even Bedieved, and the child is a Challal, or Safek Challal, and other Rishonim and Poskim ruling that they may even initially get married, and with some holding that although they may not initially get married, the child is certainly not a Challal. Practically, based on the final accepted ruling in the Achronim to only prohibit the marriage initially but not make them get divorced if they already got married, it would follow that likewise the child is not a Challal, especially being that many authorities even allow them to initially get married and likewise many authorities hold that the entire invalidation is only rabbinical, and hence such a child would be a Safek Sfeika Challal in a rabbinical matter, of which we should certainly rule to be lenient to not deem the child evena  Safek Challal.

Sources: See regarding the status of a child of a Kohen with a woman born from a non-Jewish father: Not Challal: Implication of Chelkas Mechokeik 7:26 who writes she is not Mamash a Chalal [however see Chelkas Mechokeik 4:3 in name of Ramban]; Shut Rameh Mipuno 24; Rashal Yevamos 4:38 [argues on Ramban and says that since Lo Seitzei, certainly child is not a Challal]; Nemukei Yosef on opinion of Rif Yevamos 45a; Teshuvos Rama 69 and Binyamin Zev on opinion of Rif; Implication of Rambam Issurei Biyah 15:3; brought in Beis Yosef, Beis Shmuel and Chelkas Mechokeik ibid and Birkeiy Yosef 4:14, however Mishneh Lemelech 13:8 learns the prohibition applies even according to the Rambam; Is Challal or Safek Challal: Chelkas Mechokeik 4:3 in name of Maggid Mishneh in name of Ramban; Ramban in Sefer Hazakus and Chidushim on Yevamos 45a; Maggid Mishneh Issureiy Biyah 15:3 in name of Ramban in; Beir Hagoleh on 4:5; Implication of Michaber ibid, as brought in Birkeiy Yosef 4:19; Shut Rashal 17; See Rashal Yevamos ibid 38; See Encyclopedia Talmudit Erech Chalal Vol. 16; See regarding daughter of converts: Michaber E.H. 7:21; Rambam Issureiy Biyah 19:12; Mishneh Kiddushin 77a [for a debate between Rav Eliezer ben Yaakov versus Rebbe Yossi versus Rebbe Yehuda in the Gemara 78a]; Kiddushin 78a-b; Aruch Hashulchan E.H. 7:39; Encyclopedia Talmudit Erech Giyores Vol. 6 p. 24

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