Contemporary Plural Marriage in Judaism

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  • #794272

    so right
    Member

    pascha bchochma, you said you are not opposed to it. The girl from the other thread said she supports it. She also said how she feels women would too benefit.

    #794273

    soright: You’re right. I am not opposed to it in theory. I am opposed to it being misused as a response to the shidduch crisis. There is a need for it to exist, but it has to be l’shem shamayim, not just because men who are considered “good boys” have the power to do it, so they want to do it. I feel very uneasy about the willingness people are showing to consider it, since among other things it shows:

    – girls have given up on finding an appropriate shidduch

    – people have given up on having enough good boys

    – “good” boys are feeling entitled – one wife to earn, the other to stay home – similar to Lemech in dor Hamabul, with everyone out for himself

    – lack of understanding of what this means for our culture

    – lack of emulating Gedolim, none of whom have ever in history done this (since the Churban – before the Churban perhaps we were on a level to do this)

    – acharon acharon chaviv, lack of concern with women’s wishes.

    #794274

    mw13
    Participant

    pascha bchochma:

    “[Lemech] had two wives: this was the way of the generation of the flood, one for having children and one for marriage.”

    The problem wasn’t that they had two wives; the problem was that one was just for beauty. As others have pointed out, 2/3 of the Avos had more than one wife (and one of them had 4).

    #794275

    I was just noting who was the first polygamist. The GRA says that the first time something is mentioned in the Torah, it is in order to teach us something about the way it is viewed in the entire rest of the Torah.

    #794276

    mw13
    Participant

    Yes, this certainly shows that marrying only for beauty is not a good idea. However, I don’t think this teaches us anything about marrying two wives for other reasons.

    #794277

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Even Yaakov had trouble with his multiple wives (not necessarily directly, but jealousy and trouble from having them).

    I would not support polygamy today.

    My step-brother in law is sephardi and jokes about takinga second wife sometimes.

    #794278

    squeak
    Participant

    SJSinNYC

    Member

    If need be, another wife CAN stay home. It just means less money. Or add another wife.

    To a point. Law of Diminishing Returns?

    #794279

    mw13: How do you see that? The other wife wasn’t married for beauty. it shows that polygamy was first misused, since it easily lends itself to misuse, but it was found to be useful.

    #794280

    mw13
    Participant

    No, I think the part of the passuk that says “this was the way of the generation of the flood” is going on “one for having children and one for marriage”, not back on “[Lemech] had two wives”.

    #794281

    mw13. Thank you for correcting my misunderstanding.

    I still think that what the Gra said applies, but also see what you’re saying.

    #794282

    myfriend
    Member

    Talking about the GRA, it was he who strongly wanted plural marriage reinstated.

    #794283

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    How many women on this site would agree to let their husbands marry another woman? I know I wouldn’t.

    #794284

    myfriend
    Member

    haifagirl indicated she would, on an older thread.

    #794285

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    She isn’t married. I think its easier to say when you aren’t the one giving up your spouse to someone else.

    #794286

    myfriend
    Member

    No ones giving up, just sharing. Like so many of our forefathers. Do you limit yourself to one child, so that your second, third or fourth child doesn’t steal his/her parent from the first child? We see if done correctly, this has and can be done. Sarah even suggested to Avrohom to take a second wife.

    #794287

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    I don’t want to give up having my husband to myself. I don’t want him having a physical or emotional relationship with other women.

    Sarah suggested it because she was barren. Look at the trouble it caused her.

    #794288

    myfriend
    Member

    Some people are more altruistic than others. No one here suggested this idea is for everyone.

    #794290

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Find me 10 married women who are willing to go along with this.

    #794291

    myfriend
    Member

    There are many more than that. What point is it listing random names of those you do not know.

    #794292

    Myfriend: we can speculate why, but it was not because there was a shidduch crisis.

    #794293

    squeak
    Participant

    I think 10 is pushing it. Most men would never take on more than 2 or 3.

    #794294

    myfriend
    Member

    pascha – there is no need to speculate. The GRA stated why he strongly supported reinstating plural marriage. It will, he said, bring the G’ulah closer. The only other thing he said would help as well, is reinstating saying Bircas Cohanim everyday. That has already been reinstated by his talmidim, after they moved to Eretz Yisroel.

    #794295

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Myfriend, are you willing?

    And LOL Squeak.

    #794296

    Moq
    Member

    Gee, I feel like I’m in shidduchim again.

    It’s not a pleasant feeling.

    #794297

    Peacemaker
    Member

    MDG

    Member

    Even HaEzer 76:7

    It starts out by saying that a man is technically allowed to marry as many as he wants, assuming that he can support them in all ways. But it ends off by saying that the Sages commanded at most 4.

    Based on Yevamot 44a.

    POSTED 1 HOUR AGO #

    Didn’t want to get off topic there MDG, but I was wondering who does this Shulchan Aruch apply to?

    #794298

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Old Joke:

    Q: What’s the penalty for polygamy?

    A: Two wives. 🙂

    The Wolf

    #794299

    ronrsr
    Member

    There have been some ads in Israeli papers recently, promoting the idea.

    #794300

    haifagirl
    Participant

    Q: What’s the penalty for polygamy?

    A: Two wives. 🙂

    I heard it differently.

    Q: What’s the penalty for having two wives?

    A: Two mothers-in-law.

    #794301

    MDG
    Participant

    It applies to Sephardim.

    It may also apply to Ashkenazim. That depends on your view of the Rabbainu Gershom’s cherem. Was it for 250 years (ad sof elef haChamishi), 1000 years (which recently ended), or until Moshiah?

    But look at the next Siif (76:7). I, as a Sephardi, can’t marry another w/o my wife’s permission because I live in a place where the custom is to marry only one. It seems implicit in my marriage agreement with my wife.

    #794302

    Peacemaker
    Member

    If you live in a place where it is customary to have more than one, then you wouldn’t need the firsts permission? And in places where you do need her permission, if you have two do you need both of their permissions to take a third?

    #794303

    Originally polygamy was mutually beneficial. In areas where men were killed off early by disease, war, or accident incurred while hunting, gathering, or otherwise providing food for the family, there were many single/widowed women who would see the practical advantage of a communal household with one man at its head. Generally, of course, it would be a rich man, who had enough cattle or fields or goods to provide for a large household, who also had servants to go out and do the dangerous work. Most women would consider it a business arrangement and not get all worked up over the “he likes me better than you” aspect (although such arguments doubtless did occur).

    In dangerous times or areas, a husband would provide protection for the women, so women didn’t mind exchanging a single romantic attachment for a practical, realistically beneficial one.

    Also, such marriages were often for political purposes. Why did Jewish kings marry more than one woman? Political alliances.

    I’ve never seen a meforesh (if anyone else has please tell me!) saying that Mordechai haTzaddik was married to anyone else before or at the same time he married Esther, but that was a marriage of protection, so it’s possible.

    #794304

    MDG
    Participant

    “If you live in a place where it is customary to have more than one, then you wouldn’t need the firsts permission? “

    According to my understanding of the Shulchan Aruch (and it seems very clear to me – see source), no permission needed.

    I don’t know about your 2nd question.

    #794305

    Peacemaker
    Member

    Was their a difference in the halachic status between the first and subsequent wives? In S”A Even HaEzer does a second marriage constitute a pilegesh, or is a pilegesh another and different (allowed) concept while a second marriage gives the second wife the same status as the first?

    #794306

    shlishi
    Member

    I think halacha has two types of marriages and a person can “fully” marry more than one person. A pilegesh is a second “lesser” type of marriage that can be utilized. I’m not exactly sure how a pilegesh wife is different than a full wife (or even a reason why a man would marry someone as a pilegesh rather than a full wife.) But I believe a person can have more than one regular wife without either being considered a pilegesh.

    #794307

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I think halacha has two types of marriages and a person can “fully” marry more than one person. A pilegesh is a second “lesser” type of marriage that can be utilized. I’m not exactly sure how a pilegesh wife is different than a full wife (or even a reason why a man would marry someone as a pilegesh rather than a full wife.) But I believe a person can have more than one regular wife without either being considered a pilegesh.

    Pilegesh is a difficult Halachic concept. See Ramabam Melachim 4:4

    ? ??? ???? ??? ???? ????? ???? ????????: ????, ?????? ????????; ????????, ??? ????? ???? ???????, ??? ?????? ???? ???? ????, ?????? ??. ??? ?????? ???? ??????, ??? ???? ?????? ???? ??? ?????

    The Rambam is basing his shitta on the concept that Biyas Penuyah is Assur M’Dioraysa. Other Rishonim (IIRC Rashi) hold Pilegesh is Keddushim w/o Kesubah.

    #794308

    shlishi
    Member

    gavra: Obviously there must be a reason why a) a man would want to take a woman as a pilegesh rather than marry her with keddushin and kesubah and b) a woman would accept that status rather than being a full wife. Any idea why?

    #794309

    Someone I know never married his wife legally so she could get benefits as a single mother but they are married al pi halacja. Last week he took advantage of a certain new law to marry his (male) business partner for tax and insurance reasons and it is recognized by the government. There’s a plural marriage for you!

    #794310

    funny to see how many different Josephs there are in this thread

    #794311

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    shlishi:

    a) No Kesuba, no Kiddushin, drop her when you want without a Get.

    b) Reish Lakish Keddushin first perek

    ??? ????? ???? ?? ??? ??? ????? ???? ???? ?”? ?? ????? ?? ?? ?????? ?????

    600: wouldn’t shock me in the slightest.

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