Hat tip to Purim Hero who got to the Jerusalem Post before I did.

There is now a rabbi a respected academic scholar who has given an opinion that in fact, a woman and a man may have sex, including intercourse, together even if still unmarried. What’s the magic potion? Going to the mikveh afterward and making sure the woman isn’t in the period where she’s nida. Apparently, by fulfilling this act, the woman becomes the man’s pilegesh/concubine.

If I’m doing my arithmetic correctly, this means a man can have two of these pilagshot in the period of a month and not marry either one although I presume they could bear him children just like Ishmael was born to Hagar. The mathematical possibilities are endless here. Presumably, you could have dozens of pilagshot and they can bear a man dozens of children and it would all be kosher.

What’s really special is that I suppose a man can be married and have these relationships as well. It’s good to be the man in Judaism. Praise God!

Can you see the pending HBO series here?

In the arrangement, sanctioned by Jewish law according to these opinions, the woman becomes a pilegesh, or concubine. Neither the man nor the woman has any obligations or rights. Both must adhere to family purity laws in accordance with halacha.

According to halacha, a man is not allowed to come into physical contact with a woman after she has menstruated until she has immersed herself in a mikve. This prohibition is called nida.

Young religious men and women who are committed to the halacha need no longer struggle with their libido, argues Zohar. All those hormones can be channeled into a kosher communion that is free of marital obligations.

Somebody please tell Nice Jewish Girl.

EDIT: The more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s premarital sex for the woman but it’s either premarital or extramarital sex for the man.

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  • I am so fucking annoyed. I had a great post on this finished an hour ago and I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to get it to post ever since. And now I see that you’ve posted this. I hate this broken, slow, aggravating blog lately.

  • And now it randomly posts and I look stupid. Oh well. Two takes on the same issue isn’t the worst thing in the world, I guess.

  • “Whatรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs the magic potion? Going to the mikveh afterward”

    Just for halachic clarity, I guess you meant she goes to the mikveh after her period of niddah, not that either of them have to go after having sex.

  • Um, whoever is telling this to Nice Jewish Girl, could you please tell the mikveh lady in my town, cuz I don’t think she’s gonna be lettin me dunk anytime soon unless I show up with a wig and wedding ring.

  • Just to clarify TM, the artical is by Professor Tzvi Zohar of Bar Ilan University, he’s not a Rabbi, but an accademic. And Mikavah is Before not After…

    Aside from that there is still the whole mater of how the Religious Rabbinate is completely opposed to the article, and names many reasons for why pre-marital sex is an absolute no no, no matter how you spin it, as any google search or Ask Moses on the topic will confirm.

    But it does lead to the interesting question. Is Halacha ment to merely set rules such that as long as they are followed to a T that’s all that matters? Whereby an accademic is just as qualified to rule on halacha as any rabbi, because then it is just logic and extention? Or… Is there something more to halacha then merely the letter of the law, whereby in order to understand one needs to be a part of that world? Is halacha just a set of rules? or does it create a system that teaches us value points? And just because something is allowed, does that mean it should be done?

    These questions are not limited to this issue. A lot of modern halachic development has come out along these lines. Electricity on Yom Tov is a big one. Even before it was fully understood and the halachic verdict was still out, there was a general consensus that it needed to be prohibited because it would drasticly change the spirit, mood, and family orientation of the holiday.

    IMHO there is much more to halacha then the strict letter of the law. Halacha creates the basic framwork for our relationship to G-d and the rest of his creations, but if you just walk down the check off list there is going to be a sever lack in the relationship. Emotion? Consideration? Spontinaity? Halacha is key, but even if certain things are allowed, we need to know that it doesn’t mean they should be done. This is the sentiment that I believe causes the Rabbinic leadership to disagree so vehimently with the opinion of this accademic.

  • the oft response to me asking moses is “that is not orthodox!!” followed by “user disconnected”

  • I’d like to preface that I’m by no means vouching for AskMoses or any other service. It is much better and more important to find a trusted Rav who knows you and also knows the relevent issues then an internet site with a particular agenda and view that tries to express itself as the only true Judaism. I was merely trying to point out that it is easy to find sources and people who would take issue and dispute the findings of the Accademic.

  • I’m not taking issue with the Academic, I’d have to read his article first. I’m sure it’s rooted firmly as it should be if it’s in the academic sphere. I’m just trying to point out that just because academicly something is not prohibited by halacha doesn’t mean that a spiritual advisor like a Rabbi won’t take issue with someone performing it, and that halacha is more then the formal written letter. Sometimes things that aren’t prohibited still shouldn’t be done, and it’s the job of our leaders to point that out to us when we fail to see it ourselves. (Of course, there is still a right way and a wrong way of doing that to, but that’s a whole nother discussion…)

    Oh… I’m taking another crack at the blog thing. Most people won’t be interested, but it does make my name orange, and therefore easier to find. You can check it out at: http://purimhero.blogspot.com/

  • NYC women don’t want to be pilagshot. At least the women I know don’t. Once again, this is a wonderful loopholey chance to subvert the written in a way that allows men to have their, er, cake while still requiring women to do all the work.

    And I think it’s kind of cute/interesting that you boys did two posts on this issue. I think that’s the first time this has ever happened. And yes, I hate the slow posting and loading too. And for equal opportunity commenting, I’m also posting this on the other post….

  • No Esther, this is not the first time this has happened. And what can I tell you, it was either this or the puerile study against Jews and Israel supporters given us by a couple of prominent scholars. I thought this would be more fun. On the other hand, chances are our young Michael wrote his with a sense of purpose and enthusiasm that I, at my advanced age, can no longer enjoy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Honestly, I think if somebody wants to do something…… they’ll find a way to rationalize it and make it ok. Just like I’ve heard that it can be interpreted in many scriptures that Prostitutes are not women. Therefor it’s ok for a Jewish man to have sex with one, when the alternative is wasting seed. I personally prefer the latter, but again I think it’s just another way to interpret things to fit your own desires.

  • I don’t understand the big fuss about this new “revelation”! I have extensively cited the main modern source, “Shaalot Yavitz”, II:15, in my parasha sheets for many years (send me your e-mail address to get on the list). Emden’s desire was not one night stands, but that married East European businessmen, away from home for months at The Leipzig Fair, were living with local women, without benefit of mikveh or children, due to their shame; he proposed that their relations be declared legitimate, they practice taharas mishpacha, and bear more badly needed Jewish children; he could not conceive that this common practice of such notables as Yaakov, King David and King Solomon be forbidden; concubinage was also a good way to get around the Christian-inspired Ashkenazic ban on polygamy of Rabbeinu Gershom, against the Torah. All of this is in the context of an article about influence of non-Jews upon Jews, e.g. Christian shame of the body and Moslem joy of sex. Yaakov Fogelman

  • P.S. to my previous comment: Emden cautions readers not to follow him before getting feedback from great scholars, insofar as Rashi and Rambam, as opposed to Ramban, Rabbenu Yona and Rosh, do ban any extra-marital sex; but he then concludes by especially recommending it for frustrated yeshiva students, whose minds are constantly diverted by sexual thoughts (the Talmud notes that a man without a woman lacks joy and peace, possibly even God and Torah- cf.those Hassidim who think all day about how not to think about sex, e.g. by reciting Reb Nachman’s “tikkun”).

  • P.S.S. my last comment on pilegish: My own opinion is that for maximum harmony and health, we, like Chassidim, should basically follow Yehuda ben Tama’s maxim in Avot: “18 years for marriage (but we might follow Rav Meir Feldblum’s advice, to perform only “kiddushin mid’rabbanin, to avoid capital punishment adultary and mamzerut- get booklet from the BIU talmud department)”- otherwise one is likely to violate one of God’s two major legal systems- the laws of nature or the laws of the Torah.

  • Jesus having taught that the Torah’s laws continued to bind his followers– this is a breakthrough for Catholics, too! “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad . . .”

    Not sure which news is better: premarital sex, permitted, yea, encouraged; condoms, forbidden.

    Any advice on how to address this mikveh business? (Shouldn’t chicks make sure to wash up beforehand, anyway?)

  • Hey everyone, it’s Tom Morrissey! He’s back!

    Mikveh isn’t just a dousing in Purell. It’s a little more detailed than just washing up. A bigger problem is that even if an unmarried woman wants to keep these rules and go to the mikveh, many mikvehs won’t allow entrance. (Heard that from a friend who was denied access during the year she was engaged…)

  • Esther– I check out for a while to try (unsuccessfully) to get a life– and look at all the theology I’ve missed!

  • TOM!!!!

    Where the hell have you been? We keep this blog going just so that you will grace us (how am I doing, mentioning hell and grace in such proximity?) with your presence!

    Seriously, you may be busy and have a life, but so do we all and that’s just not an excuse. You’re expected to show up here with some regularity.

  • Middle, you’re absolutely right! Besides, I take a break . . . and Hamas wins an election.

  • Ahhhh, so it was your fault. And all this time I just assumed the Palestinians wanted to send their leaders a message that it was okay to be open about destroying Israel.

  • I personally have never had a problem with the term concubine. but more importantly, since you people are all way frummer than you want to be, I am inclined to point out that each of those endless possibilities of children would still all be considered a mamzer. and in their illigitemate status would not have all the normal privileges that the rest of us do. and you wouldn’t really want that, would you?

  • That lady:

    A mamzer and a bastard are not the same thing. Children “born out of wedlock” may be bastards in traditional Western law systems, but they are not mamzerim. The proof that this is so is the very fact that concubinage was a common practice among Jews at one time. If the children of concubines were mamzerim, then obviously concubinage would not have been permitted. And what about all of Jacob’s children by his wives’ handmaids?

    To the best of my knowledge, a mamzer is the child of a union where the parents are halachically forbidden to one another, such as siblings, in-laws or people who are married to other people. Even the child of a Jewish mother and a gentile father, such as I am, is not amamzer, simply because the halacha does not recognize the concept of marriage between a Jew and a gentile. Thus, since mamzerut is a halachic concept, it does not apply.

  • Oh yeah:

    Tom, the woman has to be scrupulously clean before she gets in the mikveh.

    So, yeah, chicks have to wash up beforehand.

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