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Is it more of a sin to marry a non-Jew than to live with one?

  

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Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: Welcome to the Rabbi's one on one chat room, how can I help you today?
 
David: Hi Rabbi, I have a question about marrying a non jew

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: ok

David: Hi Rabbi, I know its a sin a bad sin at that to share your life with a non jew

David: my situation is that I have been living with a non jew for the past 6 yrs and we are looking to marry

David: is it more of a sin if we marry?

David: or is it the same difference

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: it actually makes a big difference

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: the Torah explicitly forbids "marrying" a non-Jew1

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: this doesn't mean that it is okay to just live with her2 , but marriage is another level...

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: and worst of all

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: you woulde put a stamp of legitimacy on what can never be legitimate

David: what if she were to convert in the future?

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: then you would be permitted to marry her in the future

David: I am by no means rabbi in a good situtaion in regards to my religion

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: but you can always improve

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: there is no need to make it worse

David: currently I do not have much ties in my jewish community...I would like to think that I can still have a jewish life when she converts

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: did you say when or if?

David: we have a understanding rabbi..me and my future wife

David: that if we were to stay togther and have a family then we would have to have jewish (religius) life togther

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: do you have an understanding of what a jewish religous life entails?

David: keeping the 613 mitzah's

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: indeed

David: sabbaths Kosher etc

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: and if she converts and you marry and you both keep the Mitzvot

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: then there should be no reason for you to not be accepted

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: provided she converts according to jewish law

David: understood rabbi...

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: what made you maintain your alleigiance to Judaism to the point that you would never marry without a conversion first?

David: well thats not case exaclty..we agreed to marry now with her not being jewish but for her to convert latter on

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: why are you continuing to make decisions of which you cannot be proud?

David: guess I am weak rabbi

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: I don't think so

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: not if you made her promise that she would convert

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: you are firm inside, you only need to realize that the line in the sand is marriage

Rabbi Eliezer Gurkow: not future conversion

David: so if I marry before her conversion I will be crossing a line rabbi?

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.

Footnotes

  • 1. Maimonidies laws of Forbidden Relationships 12:1
  • 2. Ibid 12:2

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COMMENTS

Convert in order to get married?

Posted by: nathan, UK on Jan 11, 2007

Would the editor please tell me whether it is OK to convert in order to marry? I had understood that such conversions were invalid because converting in order to get something is deemed to be insincere in orthodoxy. There are many examples on this site of the editor saying that it is OK to convert in order to get the marriage partner one wants. Is this correct or not? I just want to get this straight. A person is allowed to convert to marry whom they want to and not because they have a commitment to G-d? Please explain why this site says its ok to do this. Thanks,Nathan

Editor's Comment

This site (abiding by Jewish law) does not permit conversion for the sake of marriage. The laws of conversion are extremely complex and it is not the function of this site to rule in such matters. There may have been a suggestion to look into conversion as a last resort (as opposed to leading a non-Jewish life etc.). Understandably, the idea would be to undergo a conversion that is acceptable in Jewish and the sincerity of the convert would need to be ascertained by the rabbi administering the conversion.

RELATED CATEGORIES

Jewish Identity » Non-Jews » Intermarriage
Life Cycle » Marriage » Intermarriage

Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Mitzvot
Plural form of Mitzvah. Commandments of G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
Kosher
Literally means "fit." Commonly used to describe foods which are permitted by Jewish dietary laws, but is also used to describe religious articles (such as a Torah scroll or Sukkah) which meet the requirements of Jewish law.
Moses
[Hebrew pronunciation: Moshe] Greatest prophet to ever live. Led the Jews out of Egyptian bondage amidst awesome miracles; brought down the Tablets from Mount Sinai; and transmitted to us word-for-word the Torah he heard from G-d's mouth. Died in the year 1272 BCE.