Concubine Anyone?

Quote from article :  Kosher Concubines

The Chief Judge of the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court, Rabbi Eliyahu Abergel, has ruled that in cases where a man has not fathered any children, and his wife cannot or does not want to bear children, the man may take a concubine.

Really? Suddenly it’s ok to have a mistress? And one that can bear babies legitimately? How many ways can this go wrong?

What are your thoughts?

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  1. Rachel Ann says:

    Idiotic. Not going to fly. Over the husband’s dead body. Few of the things that come to my mind. I doubt if the State of Israel is going to approve.

  2. Leah Sarah says:

    That will be wonderful for the self Esteem of a woman who can’t have kids! Way to make her feel like something is repulsive about her by sleeping with someone else.

    Who can this concubine be? Only a Jewish woman? Following THM? Non Jewish woman? This is so backwards.

  3. Firstly it is based on the need for Jewish Lineage to continue.

    I myself do not think this is the ideal situation as it is far better to take a second ishti with a Ketubah and to have the son(s) or daughter(s) grow up in a family situation where he has daily contact with them.

    The problem is that the Ribbinut is on cohorts with the STATE APPARATUS and the STATE APPARATUS does not want to condone multiple marriages as the UN has a stated goal to stamp out Polygany everywhere despite the fact that over 1/3 of the worlds ethnicities practice it on one form or another.

    The Rambam was against taking a Pilegesh but their are numbers of Rabb’s and Jews in Israel that have them already some 3 but they live in different cities towns. Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatseira aka the Baba Sali was adamantly against a man having women in different cities and in one case he ruled a man to divorce one ishti because of this, keep in mind that the Baba Sali himself had 3 wives and that they all lived together in Netivot.

    Yitzchak Micha’el

    • Michael Makovi says:

      “The problem is that the Ribbinut is on cohorts with the STATE APPARATUS”

      Wooh, preach it, brother!

  4. Daphne says:

    We already have children, so we are good in that department. But I wonder if the rabbis would consider a similar arrangements to help with cooking and cleaning.

  5. Do you get your news from the National Enquirer too? I heard that Bat-Boy was thinking about undergoing a Kosher conversion after all.

    Seriously, I haven’t gotten his book yet, but just because it is written in the Israel HaYom is no reason to believe it. That is a tabloid publication. Let’s see in the recent past they have said that 40 pedophiles were arrested in Nachalaot(6 suspects were arrested three were convicted) and that Rav Ovadia Yosef said that it was forbidden to render medical treatment to non-Jews on Shabbat(despite four published Teshuvot to the contrary). Why should I believe this story is any more accurate?

  6. IS says:

    It has always been allowed. Do people in the USA get arrested for having a mistress?

  7. rebeccad says:

    Wow this is really crazy that a judge ruled this way in Israel. I know that it has been done under ground in NYC I don’t think the baby stipulation was included. Is it adultary, now that it is law of the land I guess not because the torah allows it, but ethically in this day and age thats a whole other bag of worms!

  8. Rabelad says:

    This is nothing new. Halachah has long approved of this arrangement in cases of childlessness for centuries, if not millennia. Those who are shocked by it are those who are unlearned in Torah.

    • Agreed the only ones who would be shocked are those that are so accustomed to thinking like Roman Catholics aka Western thinking and have never stopped to actually study halacha nor even care to think what Jewish Marriage paradigm actually allows for in its breadth and scope. As to the womens esteem is concerned about not having children she already goes through that everytime a family member and friend gives birth!

      • Leah Sarah says:

        You can’t compare your friends giving birth and your husband literally having sex with another woman to produce a child in terms of emotional impact.

        Hey, I have a better solution! Two, in fact! What about fertility treatments, or adoption?!? That way they can have a child and we don’t have to follow backwards as logic, halachic or not. (hey, what does Halacha say about slaves? Doesn’t seem like we are itching for that to come back…)

        • B.R. says:

          Leah Sarah, you do realize that slavery in the Torah was a very different situation than what happened to Africans (and their descendents) in the New World? A slave had many rights according to halacha…including the right to have not only themselves, but their families taken care of even when the slave’s owner could not provide for himself and his family. Also slavery was not permanent…but rather an option available to pay off a debt. The slave’s spouse and children were not subject to slave status….etc., etc.

    • B.R. says:

      I agree. It may be shocking for 21st century social norms — but the situation is fine according to halacha.

  9. peekababy says:

    And if it the make who can’t have children, does she get to practice polyandry? Ick ick ick. I don’t know if this is worse for the wife or the concubine. Has the rabbi never heard of adoption?! God forbid someone should parent the children out there who already need homes?
    The only positive here is that it might legitimize surrogacy on a technicality :)

  10. Rabelad says:

    Before you suggest that halacha approve of polyandry, first ask any non-religious even liberal Jewish guy if he’d be willing to engage in a polyandrous relationship. There’s a greater than 99% chance the guy will laugh in your face. ### Regarding adoption, adopting is not the same as reproducing. Adoption was invented in the early 20th C. in the US as a legal fiction that declares the adopted child to be as if he/she was naturally born of the adoptive parents. No society until then even thought of adoption. It was created to make the child feel as if he was a biological child of the parents and that was believed to be better for the child psychologically. Well, that hasn’t worked because it denies reality, the kids eventually figure out the truth and after 90 years of experience social workers have come to realize that this denial causes far greater psychological damage. Fostering had been the standard throughout the ages and across societies, and that is at least honest. Fostering is highly approved of and encouraged in halacha but it isn’t a substitute for making babies.

    • liviaaugusta says:

      Actually, adoption was practiced in the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. It’s not a new thing. And adoption today is only a secret among families that choose to make it so. Some families don’t “surprise” their kids with the “your adopted” thing, but talk about it and have different nicknames for biological parents.

  11. Sophia Chidge-Hallan says:

    While it is allowed by Halachah it is against modern societal norms and few modern women would find it acceptable. Given that the ban on polygamy in Ashkenazi circles has never been repealed as I understand it nor is polygamy traditionally practiced in most European Jewish circles this is not surprising. It is not something I personally approve of or would participate in. I would certainly expect any Rabbi who approved of such a relationship to require the man in question to be tested for infertility before he even thought about approaching his wife on the matter.If he is infertile then he has no grounds to initiate such a relationship if his wife is also infertile or does not wish to have children. It should also be the case that if a couple cannot conceive both parties should be tested for infertility at the same time,while a women does not have a halachic obligation to have children very many wish to do so and should not be tied to men who cannot father the children they wish for if they do not wish to pursue alternatives.

  12. Mike S. says:

    Rabelad: Actually adoption goes way back in history and was quite practices=d in the ancient near east.

    • Rabelad says:

      It’s fostering that goes all the way back. Adoption was an invention of the Americans. Adoption is differnt from fostering in that the legal system re-writes the personal official legal history of the adopted child so that the system claims that he/she is as if the natural biological child of the adoptive parents. At no time in the past and in no other society has this delusion that the adoptive child was as-if born of the adoptive parents. I know because I have a degree from an American university, my major was social work and I worked for an adoption agency.

      • fille says:

        The romans had adoption: Cesar adopted Brutus.

        True, in halacha there is not concept of “artificial family”, so it would be more of a fostering relation than adoption. But it is absolutely untrue that adoption is a modern concept, let alone a concept invented in the US.

        • Dave says:


          Rome absolutely had institutionalized adoption (which, yes indeed, did make the person the “as-if born”) that was practiced both from infancy or as testamentary adoption (done in a will).

          But Ceasar adopted Gaius Octavius, making him Gaius Julius Ceasar Octavianus (Roman culture had rules to demonstrate the adoption), not Marcus Junius Brutus.

          Octavian (as he is generally called today, at least when discussing his youth) went by Caesar, although opponents referred to him as Octavianus, until he defeated Antony. He then rebranded himself “Augustus”, and was later deified under that name.

      • Tikunolami says:

        Are you kidding? There is no “as if.” That is simply for legality purposes. The legal relationship is the same. In 2012, unless you are clueless, you introduce your adopted child to the concept as early as possible. The love, commitment, attachment and depth of the relationship is in no way inferior to that of a parent to a bio child. I would know. I have both.

  13. Rivkah T says:

    Rabelad: plenty of parents adopt and don’t hide it from their adopted children. Any good social worker would advise discussing adoption with your child from a young age nowadays. You can’t really hide it if your child does not look like you, especially if they are of a different race.

    Mike S: thanks.

  14. Rabelad says:

    Rivka T: You’re right, But the original intent and the practice of American adoption for some 40 years was to deny to the child that they were adopted because it was believed that they would be more secure believing they were the natural child of the parents. Everyone nowadays agrees that this was misguided. So adoptive parents now tell their children the truth. Good. But the legal system still regards the adoptive child AS IF he was a natural child of the adoptive parents. Time that the legal system caught up with reality.

    • Tikunolami says:

      So what would you suggest? The adopted child not inherit? The adoptive parent not be able to make medical decisions for their underage adopted child? What should be different? What does a genetic link have to do with anything when it comes to secular law and how it protects the parent-child rights and responsibilities??

      • Rabelad says:

        Fostering demands that the parent to do everything for the good of the child, including make all decisions for his or her welfare.. What is not automatic in fostering is inheritance. As far as inheriting goes, if the foster-parent wants the child to inherit then writing a will to that effect should not a problem. After all, people write wills to define the inheritance to their biological children, so why is that a problem doing it for an adoptive child? The foster-parent legal relationship is, as far as decisions and responsibility, are identical to adoption. What is different is that in adoption the records about the adoptive child’s past and parentage are closed and sealed and the child may NOT have access to them without complex legal procedures to determine if the biological mother would consent to reveal her identity. In the past this was a way to deny the fact that the child was adopted, and now adoptive parents have wisely refused to promote that sham.There can also be a very serious problem with an adoptive child if such as when he needs the medical history of his parents in order to help in his medical treatments. With adopted children that vital information can be denied them, while it’s never denied to foster children. In the case of fostering the child may, and very often knows full well who are his parents. ### In the case of Roman law, Caesar was a foster-child under present day definitions as he knew full well whom his parents were and there was absolutely no effort to hide or deny the identity of his biological parents from anyone. Under Roman law he had TWO sets of parents and it was agreed and stipulated that he would inherit the power of the Patrician class which made him Emperor. There was no denial that he came from a lower class as it was all open and above-board. So that’s fostering, not adoption under today’s standards.

        • tikunolam says:

          Wrong and wrong. Foster parents can not make a move without the approval of the court. Not a medical procedure, not a vacation over 4 days, not a haircut.

          Bio children inherit with or without a will. It is automatic as they are next of kin. Children who are adopted through foster care have all rights to their records at age 18. Foster kids have no rights to their records before 18 either.

          Fostering does not give a child permanency and a sense of belonging. Adoption is forever. Every child deserves a forever family. Ask any of the thousands of kids waiting to be adopted right in the US (approximately 100K). They are in foster care. There is a reason they want to be adopted. Who wants to be an 18 year old and not be a permanent member of any family? That is what happens to kids who are not adopted. It makes them more like to be homeless and incarcerated.

  15. fille says:

    Oh, hadassa, didn’t you get up to now that judaism is really a polygamous religion, while polyandry is strictly forbidden and subject to capital punishment?

    Did you never hear the expression “lovesh sh’horim ve yotze michutz la ir”? When a wife is unavailable for sex (e.g. for health reasons), the husband is allowed to wear clothing so that he will not be recognised, go to a different town and see a prostitute (or a pilegesh).

    Did you never hear of this organisation, that claims that rav yaakov emdem allows pilagshot, to married and unmarried men?

    Did you never hear that if a man had an extramarital affair, the wife is supposed to pardon and make “shalom bayis”, while a wife who had an affair should be chased away immediately (and the husband forced to give a get, if he does not want)

    Did you never hear that marocans actually had several wives till 2–3 generations ago?

    Did you never hear that marocans did not like the invention that women write down in the ketuba that the husband should not be allowed to take a second wife? Did you never hear that most ketubot say he can take a second wife with the permission of a beith din (but without the permission of his wife)?

    Did you never hear that if a woman refuses the get, the husband has good chances of being remarried without it, with or without heter meah rabbanim, while no woman will be allowed to remarry without a get and her children of a new relationship would be mamzerim?

    You have 4 boys in yeshiva and live in monsey, yet you never heard any of those?

    No judaism is not an egalitarian religion, and the matrimonial laws (and the laws on succession and the laws on zniut) are quite biased against the women…

  16. Eli Maimon says:

    The Herem d’Rabbeinu Gershon has to be cancelled and any man who can support and love more than one wife should marry them with a kosher Ketuba. Rav Abergel’s permission is not only contrary to Halacha which forbids concubines (except for the King), it is a shame on every Bat Israel!

  17. Michael Makovi says:

    Well, it’s technically halakhically permissible, and the government (of which the Rabbinate is part) has no business intervening at all in marriage, so yeah, sounds legitimate. I personally don’t feel this is the healthiest form of relationship, but it’s technically permissible, so to each their own.

  18. Dena Szpilzinger says:

    In this day and age with fertility treatments and the like wouldn’t it make more sense to explore the halachic standing of surrogacy? In many instances of fertility issues, this would be a wonderful option to have a child without the emotional baggage.

    • B.R. says:

      Fertility treatments can be prohibitively expensive – like upwards of $10K a treatment (although I do know of someone who paid a mere $7500 per treatment….but that was also 8 years ago). Many insurance companies don’t cover them. Also the success rate is not incredibly high; although it does depend on what is causing the infertility to begin with. You’re looking at a 15-25% success rate for women aged 35-45. Whereas with natural conception, there is an 80% chance within 12 months and a 95% chance in 24 months (barring any fertility issues) that the couple will conceive.

  19. 21st Century norms! What a load of crock! Jews need to stop and be honest with themselves and call a spade a spade 21st century norms is nothing less than Christian Catholic morals even if most of the society has gone secular whatever that means!

    To prove a point 21st century norms in Africa means you can be a President and have 4 or 5 wives, you can be even a African Chrisitian and have multiple wives as they have since the Protestant Missionaries converted them, what about in Saudi Arabia, in Israel ? Bedouins Muslims and some Jews have multiple wives are they not also living in the 21st century. Stop pretending to yourselves and just admin it you are so used to living in a protestand catholic morality you cant even accept what is Jewish anymore be it Marriage laws or any manner of other laws that should be natural for a Jew to accept.

    I spent almost 40 years raised as a Catholic and I went to many protestant church denominations from 20-38 and after totally dumping all of this I can see why Judaism is having so much problems I am talking about Modern Orthodoxy they just cant even see what is not Jewish anymore!

  20. Keep in mind that every jew that has ever and is currently “living in sin” aka in a DeFacto relationship is effectively a Pilegesh, though just don’t realise it! You dont have to be a second woman to be a Pilegesh! its a half wife ie no Ketubah!

    • fille says:

      so you converted to judaism so that you would be allowed to have several wives? Good move, Yitzchak Michael, but it was not really necessary, since the law does not forbid extramarital affairs, nor was it is easy as you make it sound, since the Ban of Rabbeinu Gershon is still valid and sex without marriage is shunned, and you cut yourself off all the eshet ish that would be available to you if you had no religion.

      So, after all, the move was not that good. you should have just remained without a denomination and so you could have done whatever you wanted…

  21. moshe says:

    Just another example of why it’s ridiculous to ever listen to rabbis.

  22. That is simply illogical and a dumbass thing to say if all I wanted was several wives I could have much easier converted to Islam! They accept their own laws unlike stupid assimilated jews who behave like they are Catholic slaves!

    And for the record ishti is in favour of me taking another ishti or more and yes we discussed it before I asked her to marry me. Unlike many assimilated jewish women she recognises it as a authentic jewish way of family life and is not ashamed to live as her ancestors did. She is precious to me regardless of whether I am successful in finding another woman or women to marry me.

    She does not carry on like a self centred princess who cant think of anything but herself!

    I am thankful to HaShem that she has been given to me.

    Yitzchak Micha’el

    P.S. For those of you who think slavery is abolished I would point out that hundreds of thousands of women and men are forced into the sex slavery and plantation business in multiple countries around the world at this very moment so much for your modern 21st values!

    • fille says:

      “And for the record ishti is in favour of me taking another ishti or more and yes we discussed it before I asked her to marry me.”

      I think it would be a very ugly, self-centered and egoistic thing to do for you, if you were to take several wives (while demanding fidelity from them), and, for your interest, it is not within the norms of contemporary judaism, neither ashkenasy nor sefardi.

      So indeed it would have been preferable for you to remain without a denomination or to convert to islam or to fundamentalist mormonism if this was your aim.

      Yes, I am ashamed that someone speaking like you pretends that he is a jew. It’s plainly disgusting. But who knows. If you had the intention of taking several wives simultaneously when converting, your giur might even not be valid…

  23. Fille,
    are you really a jew or just a chrisitan commenting here?

    Your post makes me laugh my Rav certainly has no problems with the my bonafide conversion whilst he was not actually invlolved in the Beith Din that decided my conversion case. He has no problems with my desire to take an additional ishti eitehr before I converted nor certainly since, but then he is learned and understands Judaism and Jewish way of thinking! And yes he is a Sephardi, Cohen of the Syrian community.

    Any competant Rav will admit that having an additional ishti or more is certainly a Jewish value I could bring countless Rabbi’s that would testify to this. Most however would point to the reality of trying to find women in this generation due to their being tainted by monogomist only mentality. Others would if they are Ashkenasi would have some issue with the Ban of Rebuenu Gershom even though it’s since expired.

    The only think that truly invalidates ones conversion is if they never truly wanted to be observant and did not keep 3 shabbathot after their conversion.

    This ultimately is the flaw in Egalitarianism this constant complaint about men being able to take another ishti but wanting fidelity as you write.

    Because your paradigm is not Jewish but is rather one made up of gender equality shows that it does not fit with Jewish Law, because gender equality in respect to marriage is a foreign paradigm to Jewish thought!

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