Marrying your first cousin

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    My brother was redt our first cousin (both fathers are brothers) and they will be going out on a shidduch date. I know it is not my place to mix in but this seems rather unusual for anyone other than Chasidim, which we are not. Does anyone know if there is any issues with this or if it more common that I assumed? I assume if Chasidim do it, it must be okay even though I never heard anyone other than them doing this.


    Mutar. Many prominent rabbonim have done it. Absolutely kosher.

    However, there is an increased chance of genetic diseases in the kids due to the similarity of the DNA. Also, many people wouldn’t feel comfortable with it, but there is nothing wrong with it.


    I know 2 families that have married their 1st cousins .

    the plumber

    It is mutar, but having 6 fingered nephews is not cool.


    2 of my classmates married first cousins. it may not be the most common thing but theres nothing wrong with it. they each have perfectly healthy babies too…


    The plural of anecdote is not data.


    Mutar halachically, but illegal in most of the US. Legal in NY, though.


    In the US if first cousins marry in NY, its generally recognized througout the US


    I don’t understand… what’s the question? Genetics? Halacha? Attraction?


    It[‘s not necessarily healthy, but genetic diseases are not guaranteed.


    If they’re going out, there’s not much that any CR respondents can say that can change anything…

    …but that’s never stopped all of us commenters before, so full speed ahead :).

    Genetics wise, as people have said, there is definitely increased likelihood of recessive Jewish genetic diseases (Dor Yeshorim is about ten times as important, but that still doesn’t catch everything). I do know/know of people who have done it (including my great grandparents) and had happy marriages, but I have no idea how it worked out healthwise.

    Otherwise, it’s societal norms- but bear in mind that if the shidduch doesn’t work out, family Chanukah parties may get a shtickel awkward.


    There’s nothing wrong with it, but if they do then they should probably use a more comprehensive genetic testing program than Dor Yesharim.


    there is actually a special panel within dor yesharim specifically for cousins considering marrying each other. i know a famly where they had affected sick/niftar children, and they got DY to have this panel available to prevent such future scenarios.

    i forgot its name, but i’m sure if you ask for it, the will know what you are talking about.


    First cousin marriages are hardly unheard of, though they are illegal in some jurisdictions (since they were prohibited by canon law, which carried over into some state legal systems).

    If there is a recessive trait in one’s family, marrying a relative is a bad idea, though genetic screening can verify whether it isn’t a problem (in most situations, asuming you know what to look for). If you are marry for a healthy genome rather than things such as midos, love, money, etc., best to marry someone totally unrelated, such as a convert from a region that had no contact with Jews before you met them – but that’s a bit extreme and one doesn’t breed people like livestock.


    Its better if illegal bec then you can just not have a civil marriage and that won’t even be wrong since you can’t, and then you don’t have all the marriage penalties

    bhe (Joseph)

    You can skip the civil marriage and avoid the marriage penalties with anyone, related or unrelated. The gentile world (and some in the religious world too) does it all the time. There is no law, written or unwritten, that one must be married to the person they move in with and/or parent children with. A large portion of American children are born to parents who are unwed.


    popa_bar_abba: In many if not most states, if you have a ceremonial marriage without a marriage license (or civil ceremony), your marriage is quite valid and you need a divorce to legally marry anyone else (though the clergy conducting the wedding may have to pay a fine for not checking on the license). People who have a frum wedding and act as if they aren’t married when dealing with the government could be prosecuted for fraud (if in doing so they avoid taxes and claim benefits)- though for most frum people they are better off with the married benefits.

    bhe (Joseph)

    akuperma: What financial benefits are there for a couple to be married versus living together unmarried? And living together unmarried is no worse than any of the very many secular gentiles who do exactly that and have children too.


    Akuperma: right, but not if the marriage is not tofes acc to them.

    yaakov doe

    Back in the “old country” such marriages were very common and most of us have great grandparents or great great grandparents who were married to cousins. Of course once they left the shetlach to the US it became much less common.

    Rebbe Yid

    If it matters, check out Wikipedia, cousin marriage law in the US by state. In some states, living with your cousin is illegal, and in others, married cousins from another state wouldn’t have their marriage recognized.

    As far as pluses and minuses of being married, a previous poster mentioned the marriage penalty (re: income tax). But it’s only a penalty if the two incomes are similar; if they’re disparate, it’s actually a marriage bonus.


    We are not Rebbe’s, but most say that we should not marry 1st cousins. I know and heard of cases of non rebbe’s where there were problems when 1st cousins married each other and these cousins were not from big rebbe’s


    ” We are not Rebbe’s, but most say that we should not marry 1st cousins. I know and heard of cases of non rebbe’s where there were problems when 1st cousins married each other and these cousins were not from big rebbe’s “

    I don’t understand what you are trying to say. are you saying that rebish cousins who marry each other are more susceptible to genetic disease than regular cousins marrying each other? less susceptible? and who is this “most say”?


    But what if there’s no one else who’s willing to marry you?

    GG yekke

    R’ AVraham Gurwitz (Rosh yeshiva of GAteshead Yeshivah) married his first cousin (a Lopian)


    R’ AVraham Gurwitz (Rosh yeshiva of GAteshead Yeshivah) married his first cousin (a Lopian)

    Who cares?


    You should also consider the awkwardness of dating, one side saying no, and then having to see each other again at family gatherings if you have them.


    It happens.

    Its just odd.

    I once met someone whose parents were first cousins.

    What made it even odder was that they were both named after their SAME grandfather.

    Like the husband was daniel and the wife was daniella.

    (names *might* have been changed but you chap the idea)

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