Are you Jewish when your father is not?

All over the Tanakh it is very clear that tribal descent is from the father, and originally Jewish means to be a part of the tribe of Judah.

We are being told today that to be Jewish is from the mother side based on the Mishnah (Kiddushin 3:12).

But does it actually say that? And what does it actually say?

Mishnah Kiddushin 3

כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁיֵּשׁ קִדּוּשִׁין וְאֵין עֲבֵרָה, הַוָּלָד הוֹלֵךְ אַחַר הַזָּכָר. וְאֵיזֶה, זוֹ כֹהֶנֶת, לְוִיָּה וְיִשְׂרְאֵלִית שֶׁנִּשְּׂאוּ לְכֹהֵן וּלְלֵוִי וּלְיִשְׂרָאֵל. וְכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁיֵּשׁ קִדּוּשִׁין וְיֵשׁ עֲבֵרָה, הַוָּלָד הוֹלֵךְ אַחַר הַפָּגוּם. וְאֵיזוֹ, זוֹ אַלְמָנָה לְכֹהֵן גָּדוֹל, גְּרוּשָׁה וַחֲלוּצָה לְכֹהֵן הֶדְיוֹט, מַמְזֶרֶת וּנְתִינָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, בַּת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמַמְזֵר וּלְנָתִין. וְכָל מִי שֶׁאֵין לָהּ עָלָיו קִדּוּשִׁין אֲבָל יֶשׁ לָהּ עַל אֲחֵרִים קִדּוּשִׁין, הַוָּלָד מַמְזֵר. וְאֵיזֶה, זֶה הַבָּא עַל אַחַת מִכָּל הָעֲרָיוֹת שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה. וְכָל מִי שֶׁאֵין לָהּ לֹא עָלָיו וְלֹא עַל אֲחֵרִים קִדּוּשִׁין, הַוָּלָד כְּמוֹתָהּ. וְאֵיזֶה, זֶה וְלַד שִׁפְחָה וְנָכְרִית:

Wherever there is [a valid] betrothal and no sin, the child follows the male [with regard to familial status]. Which is this? This is a Kohenet, a Levite woman, or an Israelite woman who married a Kohen, a Levite or an Israelite. Wherever there is [a valid] betrothal and there is a sin, the child follows the defective one. Which is this? This is a widow married to the Kohen Gadol [High Priest], a divorcee or a chalutzah [the widow of a childless man released from the obligation of levirate marriage by a ceremony performed by her brother-in-law] [married] to an ordinary Kohen, a mamzeret [the female offspring of certain prohibited relationships who may not marry into the general Jewish population] or a Netina [female Gibeonite] to an Israelite, a female Israelite to a mamzer or Netina. [With] any [woman] for whom there is no betrothal to him, but there is betrothal to others, the child is a mamzer. Which is this? This is one who has sexual intercourse with any one of the forbidden sexual relations [mentioned] in the Torah. Any [woman] for whom there is no betrothal either to him or to others, the child is like her. Which is this? This is the child of a [non-Jewish] maidservant or a non-Jewish woman.

Talmud Kiddushin 68b

אמר רבינא ש”מ בן בתך הבא מן העובד כוכבים קרוי בנך נימא קסבר רבינא עובד כוכבים ועבד הבא על בת ישראל הולד ממזר

Ravina said: Learn from it that the son of your daughter, born to a gentile, is called your son. The Gemara asks: Shall we say that Ravina holds that with regard to a gentile or a Canaanite slave who engaged in sexual intercourse with a Jewish woman, the offspring is a mamzer?

נהי דכשר לא הוי ממזר לא הוי פסול מיקרי

The Gemara rejects this suggestion: Although he is not a fit offspring, he is also not a mamzer. Rather, he is called disqualified.


So if we follow the logic…

In Kidushin 3:12 is written:

הַוָּלָד כְּמוֹתָהּ. וְאֵיזֶה, זֶה וְלַד שִׁפְחָה וְנָכְרִית

It says הַוָּלָד כְּמוֹתָהּ is only applicable if the Mother is not Jewish.

The case of a non Jewish father and a Jewish mother is explicitly not given in the Mishna itself but in the Gemara which says he cannot be a mamzer because he is a non kosher pasoel.

נהי דכשר לא הוי ממזר לא הוי פסול מיקרי

Shulchan Arukh, Choshen Mishpat 7:1

מי ראוי לדון והפסולים מחמת שנאה וקורבה ובו י”ב סעיפים:
ב”ד של ג’ שהיה אחד מהם גר ה”ז פסול לדון לישראל אא”כ היתה אמו (או אביו) (מרדכי בשם תוס’ פ”ב מ”ח) מישראל וגר דן את חבירו הגר אע”פ שאין אמו מישראל (וע’ בי”ד סי’ רס”ט):

A Court of three [Judges] of which one was a Ger is unfit to judge a Israelite unless his mother or his father were Israelite. A Ger may, however, judge his fellow Ger although his mother is not an Israelite woman.

Here in the Shulhan Aroeh it says that a court of 3 judges who has 1 Ger can judge if the Ger has a Jewish mother.

So he is considered a Ger otherwise the court would be a court of 3 Jews not a court of 2 Jews and a Ger!

What it says its that a court of 2 Jews with 1 Ger that has a Jewish parent is OK to Judge. But the Ger with a Jewish parent is a Ger!!!

Shulchan Arukh, Yoreh De’ah 269

לְעִנְיַן דִּין, גֵּר כָּשֵׁר לָדוּן דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת, וְהוּא שֶׁתְּהֵא אִמּוֹ מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל. אֲבָל אִם אֵין אִמּוֹ מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל, פָּסוּל לָדוּן אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל, אֲבָל לַחֲבֵרוֹ גֵּר דָּן. וְלַחֲלִיצָה, פָּסוּל, אֲפִלּוּ לַחֲלִיצַת גֵּרִים, עַד שֶׁיְּהֵא אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל.

Sorry, no translation but it basically says that a Ger who has a Jewish mother can Judge Israelites for monetary law.

Same conclusion, he is a Ger!

A non Kosher Pasoel Ger

Leviticus Chapter 24 וַיִּקְרָא


י  וַיֵּצֵא, בֶּן-אִשָּׁה יִשְׂרְאֵלִית, וְהוּא בֶּן-אִישׁ מִצְרִי, בְּתוֹךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל; וַיִּנָּצוּ, בַּמַּחֲנֶה, בֶּן הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִית, וְאִישׁ הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִי. 10 And the son of an Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel; and the son of the Israelitish woman and a man of Israel strove together in the camp.
יא  וַיִּקֹּב בֶּן-הָאִשָּׁה הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִית אֶת-הַשֵּׁם, וַיְקַלֵּל, וַיָּבִיאוּ אֹתוֹ, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה; וְשֵׁם אִמּוֹ שְׁלֹמִית בַּת-דִּבְרִי, לְמַטֵּה-דָן. 11 And the son of the Israelitish woman blasphemed the Name, and cursed; and they brought him unto Moses. And his mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.
יב  וַיַּנִּיחֻהוּ, בַּמִּשְׁמָר, לִפְרֹשׁ לָהֶם, עַל-פִּי יְהוָה.  {פ} 12 And they put him in ward, that it might be declared unto them at the mouth of the LORD. {P}
יג  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר. 13 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying:
יד  הוֹצֵא אֶת-הַמְקַלֵּל, אֶל-מִחוּץ לַמַּחֲנֶה, וְסָמְכוּ כָל-הַשֹּׁמְעִים אֶת-יְדֵיהֶם, עַל-רֹאשׁוֹ; וְרָגְמוּ אֹתוֹ, כָּל-הָעֵדָה. 14 ‘Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.
טו  וְאֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, תְּדַבֵּר לֵאמֹר:  אִישׁ אִישׁ כִּי-יְקַלֵּל אֱלֹהָיו, וְנָשָׂא חֶטְאוֹ. 15 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying: Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin.
טז  וְנֹקֵב שֵׁם-יְהוָה מוֹת יוּמָת, רָגוֹם יִרְגְּמוּ-בוֹ כָּל-הָעֵדָה:  כַּגֵּר, כָּאֶזְרָח–בְּנָקְבוֹ-שֵׁם, יוּמָת. 16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him; the stranger, as the home-born, when he blasphemeth the Name, shall be put to death.

Verse 16 calls the man born unto an Egyptian father and a Israelite woman a Ger

Numbers Chapter 26 בְּמִדְבַּר

נה  אַךְ-בְּגוֹרָל, יֵחָלֵק אֶת-הָאָרֶץ:  לִשְׁמוֹת מַטּוֹת-אֲבֹתָם, יִנְחָלוּ. 55 Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot; according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit.

No Israelite Father No Land

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