A complicated issue of illegitimacy (mamzerus) was resolved at the Rabbinical Court in Haifa, which allowed a young woman from Paris to ‘enter the khal’. The Beis Din in France, headed by Rabbi Abba Levi, referred the complicated complex affair to the Chief Rabbinate Supreme Beit Din, Rishon L’Tzion HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef Shlita, seeking a halachic solution to the sugya.
The beginning of the story is with a young man and a young Jew from France married 45 years ago in Paris in a civil marriage and in a religious marriage. The couple had two children. At a certain point, the couple’s relationship went awry, and they broke up. In 1992 they divorced both civil and K’das Moshe V’Yisrael.
At the time of the divorce, the woman declared before the beis din that she had an eight-month-old daughter who was born when she was separated from her husband for a long period of time and the child was not from him.
Now, the baby born illegitimately turned to the same beis din and asked for permission to marry. The court in France examined the kesuva of the couple and questioned people who were familiar in their first marriage and found a number of flaws in the kesuva. For example, the name of one of the wedding witnesses is the name of the bride’s father and it is possible that this is the father himself. The beis din in France considered the possibility of freeze the couple’s marriage and thus solve the problem of the mamzerus but requested the opinion of the Rishon L’Tzion in his capacity as Av Beis Din of the Supreme Beis Din.
The members of the Haifa Beis Din, to whom the case was referred, delved into the depths of the complicated situation, but eventually decided to permit the petitioner precisely according to “תרי רוביי”, based on rulings from HaGaon HaRav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L and HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZT”L. According to halacha, if the biological father who was with the married woman is not Jewish, the daughter is not a mamzera.
In the end, the dayanim wrote: “In view of the aforesaid and the material in the case, it seems to the beis din that the petitioner should be allowed to come and marry.” The Court added that the aforesaid is an opinion and not a judgment, and the judges of the Court in France will examine the opinion and decide at their discretion.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)