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Intermarriage and ramifications

There is no such concept as intermarriage among the nations? A Gentile is a Gentile, in every matter (of who marries whom)?

Thank you.
That is correct, in regard to nationality and ethnicity in general. A Gentile just needs to take all due care in choosing a spouse, in terms of emotional and religious compatibility. A faithful, observant Noahide should be concerned, for one's own sake and for the sake of one's children, about marrying a spouse who might be involved in actual idolatrous or atheistic doctrines.

Father-to-son descendants of Keturah (Abraham's second wife, after the death of Sarah), and those groups who have become intermingled with them, are obligated in the Abrahamic commandment of circumcision (this includes the modern-day Arabic groups). So a man in this category should be concerned that a woman he marries will agree that her sons from him will be circumcised. For more information about this obligation and who it applies to, see the book "The Divine Code," Volume I, published by Ask Noah International:
Sh'lom dear Director Michael and Academy Rabbis,

Imagine the following situation:
A gentile woman is married to a gentile man, they have children together and then they get divorsed.
Years later the woman finds out she is jewish (by the time of her marriage to the gentile man, she had no reasons to believe she was jewish, no informations, no suspicions at all).
My questions are:
Was her first marriage to the gentile man legitimate according Halacha?
Is she now considered a divorcée?
Can she now marry a (ordinary) Cohen?

Best regards and thank you for your help.
Teodor Wrote:Was her first marriage to the gentile man legitimate according Halacha?

In the context of Halacha (Torah Law) marriage for a Jewish person can only happen between two Jews; thus if a Jew "marries" a non-Jew it is not a halachic marriage, since the Torah forbids such a union.
If the woman who has the children is Jewish, then so are the children who are born to her.

Teodor Wrote:Is she now considered a divorcée?

The non-Jewish spouse has civil and Noahide obligations and thus a civil divorce is required, but there is no need for a Jewish divorce (a "get"), because it does not apply. Being that there was no halachic marriage and therefore no "get," the woman is not considered a "divorcée."

Teodor Wrote:Can she now marry a (ordinary) Cohen?

Nevertheless she is afterward forbidden to marry a Cohen - not because she is a divorcée, but rather because she had willing relations with a man whom she is forbidden to have relations with by Torah Law. In fact, her daughter from a non-Jew may not marry a Cohen.

One who did not know that he/she was Jewish and finds out later and returns to the Jewish faith should consult with a reliable Orthodox Rabbi about what might be required for completion of the process of teshuva (return and repentance).
Rabbi Yitz
This is specified within Deuteronomy 7:3-4, which includes the commandment against intermarriage. To understand this, note that in the Torah, a person's grandson is sometimes referred to as his "son."

v3. You [the Jews] shall not intermarry with them; you [a Jew] shall not give your [Jewish] daughter to his [Gentile] son, and you [a Jew] shall not take his [Gentile] daughter for your [Jewish] son.

v4. For he [the Gentile man who marries your Jewish daughter] will turn away your son [i.e. your Jewish grandson, who is the son of your Jewish daughter from her intermarriage] from following Me, and they [the Gentile son-in-law and your Jewish grandson] will worship the gods of others, and the wrath of the L-rd will be kindled...

Rashi explains the simple meaning: "For he will turn away your son from following Me": i.e., the Gentile man's son, if he marries your [Jewish] daughter, will turn away your [Jewish grand]son whom your [Jewish] daughter will bear to him, from following Me. This teaches us that your [Jewish] daughter’s son, born of a Gentile man, is called “your son,” [i.e., a Jew], but your [Jewish] son’s son, born of a Gentile woman, is not called “your son” [a Jew], but [rather] “her son” [a Gentile]. For Scripture, referring to “do not take his [Gentile] daughter,” does not say “For she will turn away your [grand]son…” {because this Gentile woman's son is considered her [Gentile] son, not your [Jewish grand]son.}

Rashi quotes this explanation from the Talmud, Tractate Kiddushin.

This is also explicitly stated in Malachi 2:11-12.
Is it explained anywhere why being a Jew or a Gentile is determined only by the mother? I thought it might be good to explain why to anyone who might ask this.
In this discourse, on video,

the Lubavitcher Rebbe explains a rationale for this Torah Law.

Synopsis: "Torah establishes that a child’s People is traced through the mother – who carries and nourishes the growing baby [fetus], and who devotedly struggles through the pains of pregnancy, labor and childbirth. There are those who wish to steal the child from its mother, by 'voting' that a child can belong to the father’s People instead. All women [Jews and Gentiles] should object to such a possibility."
Daniel2 Wrote:Sh'lom and happy 5770!
Does it say anywhere in the written Torah or the Oral Torah sources that one's biological mother determines whether one is Jewish or a Gentile? I know it's true, but I thought it might be good to know the sources where it says this to prove to others who might question this fact.

Ezra 10:3 also shows that the children of Jewish men and Gentile women are not Jewish.
(08-02-2013, 06:05 PM)Neil Wrote: Hi there, I would be grateful if the Rabbi could advise how a Noahide should react to situations where a Jew is dating or in established relations with a non-Jew i.e male/female.

As badly as you may rightfully feel when you learn that this transgression is taking place, as a Gentile, there are two things to remember at the outset:

(1) It will be a noble deed and a great merit for you if you can directly or indirectly apply influence that will bring the couple to discontinue their forbidden intimate relationship - on account of their recognition of the fact that it is intrinsically forbidden. Nevertheless, you won't be liable to punishment from G-d if you choose not to do anything about it, because a Gentile is not obligated to risk incurring harm upon himself, nor even to just go out of his way, to stop a Jew or another Gentile from sinning. (However, it is not permitted for a Gentile to actively help another person commit a sin. On the other hand, a Jew is obligated and held responsible to try to persuade  another Jew to stop sinning, if possible.)

(2) It is possible and probably likely that one or both of the partners in the forbidden relationship are sinning inadvertently, because they don't know about the prohibition, or they don't know how serious it is, or they don't know that it always remains in effect.

(08-02-2013, 06:05 PM)Neil Wrote: For instance someone from his circle of friends/associates introduces him to his new Jewish girlfriend.

The best way to proceed can depend on the case-by-case details of the situation:
a) It is better to intervene as early as possible, before the couple gets very deeply into their relationship.
b) Since the explicit Torah prohibition is stated for the Jew, it is better to start by at trying to speak privately, gently and sincerely to the Jewish person, keeping in mind that words spoken from your heart will surely penetrate into the other person's heart. Even if you aren't successful in the short term, a seed will have been planted.
c) It is always good to get expert advice before acting, and in this area the expert will be an Orthodox Rabbi, and you may find one who will volunteer to become personally involved in the case. Therefore you should try to find a local Orthodox Rabbi, and we recommend using the network through

(08-02-2013, 06:05 PM)Neil Wrote: I would think it would definitely be inappropriate for a gentile to serve as an official witness, best man, bridesmaid or to even attend a wedding between such a couple as it would appear to be condoning it.


(08-02-2013, 06:05 PM)Neil Wrote: However how far does the moral obligation extend to warning the parties involved that it would be inappropriate.

Please see the above response about this.

(08-02-2013, 06:05 PM)Neil Wrote: Should the Noahide rather ask a Rabbi to reach out to the Jewish man/woman or their parents instead?

An Orthodox Rabbi should be consulted to help arrive at the best plan of action.

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