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polygamy

 
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AharonBenjamin



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
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Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 3:45 am    Post subject: polygamy Reply with quote

B"H

I heard someone say that when the redemption occurs, that polygamy may be allowed once again by the Torah.

Is there any truth to this suggested allegation?
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Binyomin



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
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Location: Bnei Brak

PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Polygamy always been allowed among non-Ashkenazic Jewish communities.

Among Ashkenazic Jewish communities polygamy was prohibited due to a declaration reached by through the efforts of Rabbeinu Gershom.

Rabbeinu Gershom was the head of a yeshiva in Mainz. He was the spiritual guide of the fledgling Ashkenazic Jewish communities and was very influential in molding them at a time when their population was dwindling. During his lifetime, some claim it was due to his greatness as a Talmudic scholar, Mainz became a center of Torah and Jewish scholarship for many Jewish communities in Europe that had formerly been connected with the Babylonian yeshivas. Students came from all over Europe to enroll in his yeshiva. His many students later dispersed among various communities in Germany and beyond which helped spread Jewish learning. Rashi of Troyes (d. 1105) said less than a century after his death "all members of the Ashkenazi diaspora are students of his (i.e. Rabbeinu Gershom's) students".

Some have speculated that if Rabbeinu Gershom had never lived then there may not have been something known as "Ashkenazic Judaism" as it is known today. As early as the 14th century Asher ben Jehiel (the Rosh, one of the three sources for the Shulchan Aruch) praised Rabbeinu Gershom's writings.

He is famous for his religious bans within Judaism, which include:

* The prohibition of polygamy for 1,000 years, which theoretically expired around 2004
* The prohibition of divorcing a woman against her will.
* The prohibition of reading private mail.

His bans are considered binding on all of Ashkenazic Jewry until the present day, although the reasons for this are controversial. Some hold that the bans are still binding and others consider them to have expired but nonetheless obligatory to follow as universally accepted customs.

In many countries it is not practiced due to dina demalchuta dina, the requirement to respect the "law of the land". In Israel polygamy is not recognized by the government, but it is not against the law.
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David Ketter



Joined: 07 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally can't see wanting the trouble of more than one wife...I've yet to see any example in the Tanakh where a man marrying more than one woman produced a harmonious family - although it is true that some great men came of such families - Avraham, Yitzhach, Yosef and his brothers, Sh'muel, Shlomo, etc.
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AharonBenjamin



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Sw for the informative answer.
David Ketter wrote:
I personally can't see wanting the trouble of more than one wife...I've yet to see any example in the Tanakh where a man marrying more than one woman produced a harmonious family - although it is true that some great men came of such families - Avraham, Yitzhach, Yosef and his brothers, Sh'muel, Shlomo, etc.
You may also have a good point.
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AharonBenjamin



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another question on a somewhat related subject.

In the Chumash w/Rashi recently I noticed the following surprising thing:

Quote:

Bereshis 46:10. the son of the Canaanitess. The son of Dinah, who had been possessed by a Canaanite. When they killed Shechem, Dinah did not want to leave until Simeon swore to her that he would marry her - [Gen. Rabbah (80:11)].

How could it be that a brother and sister could marry? Didn't the Avos observe the whole Torah before it was given, and Bnai Noach also accepted upon themselves the arayos etc.?
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David Ketter



Joined: 07 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I'm not expert (again), but it would seem that prior to the giving of Torah at Sinai, the prohibition of marrying a sibling wasn't in effect. Consider the following:

The children of Adam and Havah - Cain, Abel, Seth, etc. had to have married their sisters in order to fill the earth.

It is also possible that the children of Shem, Cham, and Yaphet married their siblings...again, the mandate to fill the earth.

Avraham and Sarah - Sarah was the daughter of Terah, but by a different mother.

Off-hand, that's all that I can think of, but perhaps HaShem made that command to protect Am Yisrael and HaGoyim because, as we now know, that sort of relationship causes problems for the offspring.
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David Ketter



Joined: 07 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SW:

Yes, but Aharon was referring to the statement from Rashi where it was noted that Dinah only promised to come back with her brothers after the purge of Shechem if Simeon promised to marry her...
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Binyomin



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When it is said that they kept all of the 613 commandments, it doesn't mean they did it the same way we do now.

This midrash is one of several opinions. One tradition says that Dina became the wife of Job. Another tradition says that Dina, the daughter of Leah, married Shimon, her maternal and paternal brother. This would have been incest and is unlikely. A third tradition says that from the union of Dina and Shechem came a daughter who was adopted by Poti-Phera the Priest of On in Egypt and she married Joseph.

The Tur al HaTorah notices this problem. The Shaul ben HaCna’anis, recorded as a son of Shimon in Israel’s first census (Shmos 6,15), is identified by the Midrash as being the son of Dina, who was nivalah l’Cna’ani. Unlike other incestuous relations, such as Amram marrying his aunt or Yaacov marrying sisters which may have only been effective post-Matan Torah, maternal brother is forbidden even to Bnei Noach. This question, has been left b’tzarich iyun.

There are other explanations, such as they were all gerrim, or simply this midrash conflicts with the teaching that a ben noach can't marry a maternal brother, etc.

Rashi (Breishis 30,21) cites the Midrash that Leah’s seventh child was meant to be a son but was transmogrified to a girl in response to her prayers that Rachel beget two of the destined Twelve Tribes. Targum Yonasan ben Uziel writes that Rachel and Leah’s fetuses were swapped, rather than Leah’s having been transformed. According to this, Dina was conceived in Rachel’s womb but born to Leah, and this permitted to a Bnei Noach.
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AharonBenjamin



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sanhedrin Webmaster wrote:
...Rashi (Breishis 30,21) cites the Midrash that Leah’s seventh child was meant to be a son but was transmogrified to a girl in response to her prayers that Rachel beget two of the destined Twelve Tribes. Targum Yonasan ben Uziel writes that Rachel and Leah’s fetuses were swapped, rather than Leah’s having been transformed. According to this, Dina was conceived in Rachel’s womb but born to Leah, and this permitted to a Bnei Noach.
Shalom David and Sw, this is a very fascinating teaching from Yonasan Ben Uziel, I am amazed by this. According to this teaching it would seem that Josef was the fetus who was switched with Dinah and therefore Dinah was actually conceived by Rachel and Yosef by Leah!
Quote:
Rabbi Yonaton ben Uziel

Help for the lovelorn!
Rabbi Yonaton ben Uziel neglected to marry, dedicating his time in this world to learning Torah. Many people believe that he dedicates his efforts in the World of Truth to helping soul mates find one another. In any case, the thousands who pray at his gravesite for help in finding their true mate have elected him to the job! Yonatan ben Uziel lived 2000 years ago. He was the greatest of all the students of Rabbi Hillel. The Talmud [Sukkah 28a] reports that birds passing above his head would burn from the light of his Torah study!

Known for his famous Targum ["Translation"] of The Prophets, it is said [Talmud, Megillah 3a] that he also planned to author a translation-commentary on The Writings, but was prevented by Heaven so that he would not reveal the secrets of the final redemption.
http://www.kabbalaonline.org/staticpages/sendaprayer.asp

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BatSheva



Joined: 20 May 2007
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 7:29 am    Post subject: Re: polygamy Reply with quote

AharonBenjamin wrote:
B"H

I heard someone say that when the redemption occurs, that polygamy may be allowed once again by the Torah.

Is there any truth to this suggested allegation?


Since in some respects previous rabbinical rulings could be questioned because of the 1,000 years having passed, would, or should the Sanhedrin make a ruling regarding this? What is the position of the Sanhedrin concerning this if it been brought to them? While it is an unpopular topic and filled with much controversy, I'm sure at some time it will come up as a topic of consideration again.
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Binyomin



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
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Location: Bnei Brak

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is one of the issues on the agenda of the nascent Sanhedrin.

The current state of Jewish law is that polygamy always been allowed among non-Ashkenazic Jewish communities, but among Ashkenazic Jewish communities polygamy was prohibited due to a declaration reached by through the efforts of Rabbeinu Gershom. Even where polygamy is permitted it is generally discouraged.

The prohibition of polygamy was declared to be "for 1,000 years", which theoretically expired around 2004.

On the strength of tradition the Ashkenazic community is continuing to observe the decree of Rabbeinu Gershom, but it is important that a rabbinical court rule on this.

In my discussions with a few members of the court, the general feeling was that the ruling should not be renewed, based on opinions that the reasons that Rabbeinu Gershom prohibited polygamy are no longer relevant: that polygamy should be permitted, although generally discouraged as it has in the past, for all Jewish communities. But the nascent Sanhedrin has not yet issued a ruling on this point, and may rule to continue the prohibition.
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BatSheva



Joined: 20 May 2007
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While there is likely to be public outcry against allowing polygamy again, I believe that any ruling by the Sanhedrin will be done according to Torah and under much consideration.

If polygamy ends up being allowed again, would the Sanhedrin make guidelines to follow, or list potential circumstances in which a polygamous family might be established or considered?
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BatSheva



Joined: 20 May 2007
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2007 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, if polygamy becomes permissable again, would then the allowance of having a concubine also be permissible under the same ruling? I've tried to research the history of having a concubine within Judaism, but have had minimal success. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but having a concubine happened when there were reasons why the man could not have the woman for a wife, whether it be for political reasons, or for other major family concerns. To my understanding a concubine was a sort of lesser wife, but a woman with whom there was a commitment. Was this woman to have children only, or for a special personal relationship? From what I understand, this sort of long term relationship exists today in many places, although done informally. Since I've had difficulty finding a whole lot of information about this, could you clarify for me what a concubine was historically and what her role was?
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Binyomin



Joined: 09 Feb 2006
Posts: 1051
Location: Bnei Brak

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For reasons of modesty, I don't think this forum is the proper place for this dicussion.

In short, polygamy was always permitted under Jewish Law, but forbidden due to circumstance under the ban of Rabbeinu Gershom. Pilegesh (concubine) relationships are disputed, and there is disagreement by Rabbinical authorities as to their permissibility. Allowing one would not necessary allow the other because they have different considerations.

Best wishes
Binyomin
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Rabbi_Yisrael



Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BatSheva wrote:
Also, if polygamy becomes permissable again, would then the allowance of having a concubine also be permissible under the same ruling?


No. The Rabbis of the Talmud made it against the law to marry ( Nissuin) with out ( Kiddushin) a valid marriage contract.

This is different from polygyny ( many Women) or polygamy (many mates)...as RabenCHEM Gershom was not a Sanhedrin type figure ( not Samuch) and thus his Cherem /Ban was not accepted outside of his regional authority.

Short Answer Concubinage is not comming back so soon.

I hope this was "modest" Laughing
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