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Having sexual intercourse with a married gentile woman

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Question: Publication date: 03-10-2007
Title:   Having sexual intercourse with a married gentile woman
Content:   What is the punishment to which a Jew is liable for having sexual relations with a married (gentile) woman? Is this one of the prohibited sexual relations?


Answer: Publication date: 03-10-2007
Title:   Having sexual intercourse with a married gentile woman
Content:   Dear Yair,

The religious system of laws and beliefs is founded and based upon the Divine revelation to the Jewish people as the chosen people.
This basic belief forces the creation of two distinct paths for law and order -- one for Jews and the other for everyone else. Thus, too, for the laws of forbidden intercourse. (You used the proper terminology in your question, for this is a religious prohibition which stems from the belief that even adults who perform intimate acts by choice should be punished.)

Halacha determines that if one has sexual relations with a married Jewish woman, both parties are liable to the death penalty, but if one has sexual relations with a non-Jewish married woman he is not liable to the death penalty; he has only transgressed a positive commandment. Based on the story of Adam and Eve, back before the Jews were set aside as the chosen people, on the verse "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). Chazal explained that and be joined to his wife means his own wife, not the wife of his friend, and this prohibition applies to all people (Beit Shmuel, Even HaEzer 16).
If the gentile woman is single, having sexual relations with her is forbidden by rabbinical edict and is punishable by lashes, as put into practice by Rabbi Shila, a Babylonian sage, who gave lashes to a Jew who had had sexual relations with a gentile woman (Berachot 58a).
See also Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 16 and Tractate Sanhedrin 82a.


Daat Emet

Response: Publication date: 25-10-2010
Title:   Having sexual intercourse with a married gentile woman
Content:   " And Moses said unto the judges of Israel: 'Slay ye every one his men that have joined themselves unto the Baal of Peor.' 6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the tent of meeting. 7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand. 8 And he went after the man of Israel into the chamber, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. 9 And those that died by the plague were twenty and four thousand. {P}

10 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 11 'Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned My wrath away from the children of Israel, in that he was very jealous for My sake among them, so that I consumed not the children of Israel in My jealousy. 12 Wherefore say: Behold, I give unto him My covenant of peace; 13 and it shall be unto him, and to his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.' 14 Now the name of the man of Israel that was slain, who was slain with the Midianitish woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a fathers' house among the Simeonites. 15 And the name of the Midianitish woman that was slain was Cozbi, the daughter of Zur; he was head of the people of a fathers' house in Midian. {P}"

Nicole Czarnecki

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