Matrilineality in Judaism

Matrilineality in Judaism or matrilineal descent in Judaism is the tracing of Jewish descent through the maternal line. Some Jewish communities have partially practiced matrilineal descent from at least early Tannaitic (c. 10-70 CE) times to Modern times.[1] The origins and date-of-origin of matrilineal descent in Judaism are uncertain. Some Hasidic Jews, who believe that matrilineality and matriarchy within Judaism are related to the metaphysical concept of the Jewish soul,[2] maintain that matrilineal descent is an oral law from at least the time of the covenant at Sinai (c. 1310 BCE).[3] Conservative Jewish Theologian Rabbi Louis Jacobs suggests that the marriage practices of the Jewish community were re-stated as a law of matrilineal descent in the early Tannaitic Period (c. 10-70 CE).[1]

Scholarly view on origin of matrilineality in JudaismEdit

See below under "Conservative Jewish beliefs and practices" for a minimum.

Contemporary practice of JewsEdit

The practice of matrilineal descent differs by denomination. Orthodox Judaism practices matrilineal descent and considers it self-evident.[4][5] The Conservative Jewish Movement also practices matrilineal descent.[1] In 1986, the Conservative Movement's Rabbinical Assembly reiterated the commitment of the Conservative Movement to the practice of matrilineal descent.[6] In 1983, the Central Conference of American Rabbis of Reform Judaism passed a resolution waiving the need for formal conversion for anyone with at least one Jewish parent, provided that either (a) one is raised as a Jew, by Reform standards, or (b) one engages in an appropriate act of public identification, formalizing a practice that had been common in Reform synagogues for at least a generation. This 1983 resolution departed from the Reform Movement's previous position requiring formal conversion to Judaism for children without a Jewish mother.[7] However, the closely associated Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism has rejected this resolution and requires formal conversion for anyone without a Jewish mother.[8] Karaite Judaism does not accept Jewish Oral Law as definitive, believing that all divine commandments were recorded with their plain meaning in the written Torah. As such, they interpret the Hebrew Bible to indicate that Jewishness can only follow patrilineal descent. In 1968, the Reconstructionist movement became the first American Jewish movement to pass a resolution recognizing Jews of patrilineal descent.[citation needed] Each of the denominations of Judaism has protocols for conversion for those who are not Jewish by birth.

Biblical sources and their classical Jewish interpretationsEdit

The Patriarchs and MatriarchsEdit

The Book of Genesis describes the family of patriarchs and matriarchs who are the traditional ancestors of the Jewish people. Genesis describes three patriarchs of Israel: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the four matriarchs of Israel: Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Leah.

Cave of the Machpelah, believed to be the burial place of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah.
The Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem. photo c. 1933

Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Leah were all family of Abraham. In the Jewish tradition, Bilhah and Zilpah were as well.[9] Sarah came from the same family as Abraham. According to Jewish tradition, Sarah was Abraham's niece, whose name is given elsewhere in Genesis as Iscah.[10]

Abraham fathered children with three wives or concubines: Sarah, Hagar, and Keturah.[11] The Jewish people (according to Genesis) is descended from Isaac (son of Sarah), but not from any of the sons of Abraham's other wives. In Genesis 21:13 God refers to Hagar's son as "the son of the maidservant" rather than "your [Avraham's] son"; later rabbinic sources deduce from this that a Jewish man's child is considered "his" child only if the mother is Jewish.[12]

Isaac married Rebekah, who came from the same family as Abraham.[13] Rebekah was Abraham's great niece through his brother, Nahor, and his great-great niece through Milcah, daughter of his brother, Haran.[14] They had Jacob and Esau.

Esau, Jacob's fraternal twin married two Hittite women (neither from the family of Abraham),[15] and a third woman was from the family of Ishmael.[16] Esau's offspring, the Edomites,[17] were considered non-Jewish.

Jacob, Isaac's other son, was married to Leah and Rachel,[18] who were Jacob's first cousins.[19] Rachel and Leah were both Abraham's great-great nieces and his great-great-great nieces. According to Jewish tradition, Bilhah and Zilpah, handmaidens of Rachel and Leah and the birth-mothers of four of the tribes, were Rachel and Leah's half-sisters. They had the same father as Rachel and Leah, but not the same mother.[20]

The Jewish People see themselves as descending from the three founding families of Israel.[21] The Matriarchs of Israel are the mothers of the Tribes of Israel; for those who adhere to Jewish Law, Israelite Nationhood or belonging to the Jewish People via descent exclusively follows the mother's line.[22]

The Torah has been interpreted to suggest that a brother and sister from the same mother are more closely related than a brother and sister from just the same father (Genesis 20:12 Rashi).


Moses married Zipporah, daughter of Jethro, Priest of Midian. They had two sons, Gershom and Eliezer,[23] both born before the Exodus.[24] The sons of Moses are absent from the genealogy of Levi in Exodus.[25] Moses married a Cushite woman (who, according to classical interpretations, may or may not refer to Zipporah).[26] The Torah makes no mention of any offspring from this union. The priesthood in Israel descends from Aaron, brother of Moses.[27]


Samson, from the tribe of Dan served as Judge of Israel for twenty years.[28] The reaction of Samson's parents to his desired marriage to a Philistine woman may indicate the cultural expectations in Israel regarding marriage at this time:

And his father and his mother said to him, “Is there no woman among the daughters of your brothers and among all of my people that you should go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?”… [29]

In the account of the Book of Judges, Samson married this woman and soon killed thirty Philistine men in Ashkelon.[30] (Samson's wife was then given to another man by her father who said that Samson utterly hated her.[31] Samson then set the fields of the Philistines on fire.[32] The Philistines then went and killed this woman and her father.[33])

Ruth the Moabite and Naamah the AmmoniteEdit

In the accounts of the Prophets and Writings (which covers a time period of nearly a millennium) there are two cases of non-Israelite women who voluntarily (not resulting from conflict) married Israelites where their children were considered Israelite. According to the Talmud, both of these women, Ruth and Naamah, formally converted.[34]

Ruth came from the people of Moab, who descend from the older daughter of Lot.[35] (Lot was the son of Haran and the nephew of Abraham).[36] In the Book of Ruth, Naomi was the wife of Elimelech of Bethlehem, Judah. Due to famine in the land, Elimelech went with his family to live in the plains of Moab and then died.[37] Naomi's two sons married Moabite women, named Ruth and Orpah.[38] Naomi's two sons then died.[39] In a state of poverty and accompanied by her former daughter-in-law, Ruth the Moabite,[40] Naomi journeyed back to Bethlehem, Judah.[41] Then in selling her late husband's land in Judah and the estates of her sons, Naomi set up the stipulation that her financial redeemer also marry her former daughter-in-law.[42] The first potential redeemer declined, lest this [marriage] ruin his inheritance.[43] Boaz, the next of kin, became Naomi's redeemer, married Ruth and became the father of Obed.[44]

And Naomi took the child and placed him in her bosom, and she became his nurse.[45] And the women neighbors gave him a name, saying, "A son has been born to Naomi," and they called his name Obed- he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.[46]

Naamah,[47] came from the people of Ammon who descend from the younger daughter of Lot.[48] Naamah married Solomon; their son Rehoboam was a Judean king of the Davidic Line.[49] Solomon loved many foreign women,[50] none of whom are mentioned by name in Jewish scripture other than Naamah.[51] Rehoboam is the only son of Solomon recorded in all Jewish scripture.[52] (Two daughters, Tafat bat-Shlomo and Basmat bat-Shlomo, are also mentioned.) [53]


The Jerusalem Talmud (c 400 CE) cites from the Book of Ezra (Ezra 10:3) as evidence of the law of matrilineal descent in Judaism.[54]

In the book of Ezra, Ezra the Scribe, (c 400 BCE) [55] returned to Judea from the Babylonian Exile with more than forty thousand Israelites to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.[56] One hundred and thirteen of whom had intermarried with non-Jewish women[57] and Ezra 9–10 tells the story of their renunciation of intermarriage and separation from the non-Jewish wives and from their children.[58] The necessity of separating from the children as well as the wives suggests that the children were not considered Jewish despite having Jewish fathers.

Tamar, daughter of King DavidEdit

The medieval French commentator, Rashi (1040-1105 CE) in his commentary on Prophets references the law of matrilineal descent regarding Tamar, daughter of King David.[59] In the biblical account, Tamar attempted to persuade her half-brother Amnon not to rape her, by suggesting that he could legitimately marry her instead.[60] Although they were half siblings biologically, by law they were not related. Tamar's mother (at least at the time when she was conceived) was not Israelite, her mother was Maacah, daughter of Talmai king of Geshur.[61] According to what Tamar claimed in the record of Prophets, the law would disregard the biological fact that they shared a father.[24]

References from Hellenistic historiesEdit

The Hellenistic Jewish philosopher, Philo of Alexandria (c. 20 BCE – 50 CE) calls the child of a Jew and a non-Jew a nothos (bastard), regardless of whether the non-Jewish parent is the father or the mother.[62] Flavius Josephus (c. 37-100 CE), the Romanized Jewish historian, writing about events that were alleged to have occurred a century prior, has Antigonus II Mattathias (c. 63-37 BCE), the last Hasmonean king of Judea, denigrating Herod –whose father's family were Idumean Arabs forcibly converted to Judaism by John Hyrcanus (c. 134-104 BCE)[63] and whose mother, according to Josephus, was either an Idumean Arab[64] or Arabian (Nabatean-Arab)[65]– by referring to him as "an Idumean i.e. a half-Jew" and as therefore unfit to be given governorship of Judea by the Romans:

But Antigonus, by way of reply to what Herod had caused to be proclaimed, and this before the Romans…said that they [the Romans] would not do justly, if they gave the kingdom to Herod, who was no more than a private man, and an Idumean, i.e. a half Jew, whereas they ought to bestow it on one of the royal family, as their custom was; for that in case they at present bear an ill-will to him [to Antigonus], and had resolved to deprive him of the kingdom, as having received it from the Parthians, yet were there many others of his family [the Hasmoneans] that might by their law take it, and these such as had no way offended the Romans; and being of the sacerdotal family [the Hasmoneans], it would be an unworthy thing to put them by.[66]

Beliefs and practicesEdit

Orthodox Jewish beliefs and practicesEdit

Orthodox Judaism maintains that the law of matrilineal descent in Judaism dates at least to the time of the covenant at Sinai (c. 1310 BCE).[3] This law was first codified in writing in the Mishna (c. 2nd century CE).[67] The Jewish oral tradition adduces the law of matrilineal descent from Deuteronomy, as explained by R. Yohanan in the Talmud:[68] “you shall not intermarry with them: you shall not give your daughter to his son, and you shall not take his daughter for your son. For he will turn away your son from following Me, and they will worship the gods of others…” Rabbi Yom Tov Asevilli breaks down the verse, by looking very closely and diacritically at the wording of the text: "...since he (the gentile father) will turn away your son (i.e. the child born to your Jewish daughter) from following me." Here, it is implied that God still reckons the child to be Jewish by calling him your son - even though such unions were forbidden.[69] The text calls him your son, implying that he is still an Israelite because he was born from a Jewish mother.[69] However, the opposite is not true. The Torah does not say, "...for she (the gentile mother) will turn away your son." In this case, the child would no longer be considered your son, but rather a gentile.[69][70] The Talmud (Yebamot 17a) then brings down an opinion which said that a child born from an Israelite mother and a non-Jewish father is something of an anomaly worthy of censure, and that the child is a non-Jew, based on a verse in the 5th chapter of Hosea: “They have betrayed Hashem, for they have begotten strange children.”

According to Maimonides in his Code of Jewish law,[71] the prohibition of marrying the Canaanites in Deuteronomy 7:3 refers not only to the seven nations of Canaan, but also to all other gentiles.

Dr. Immanuel Jakobovits, who served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of England from 1967 to 1991, offers a possible reason for this law: “…the certainty of maternity must be set against the doubt of paternity, however small this doubt may be. In such cases Jewish law invariably invokes the rule “a doubt can never over-rule a certainty”.[72] Jakobovits also suggests a connection between the Jewish law of matrilineal descent and a mother's bond with her child. Jakobovits writes: “It was Eve who was called so “because she was the mother of all living” (Gen. 3:20), whereas Adam was not named as “the father of all life”.[72] Jakobovits adds, “the determination of the child’s religious status by the mother may also indicate that she has the superior influence on the child’s religious development.” [73]

Orthodox Jewish practicesEdit

Orthodox Judaism follows matrilineal descent and holds that anyone with a Jewish mother also has irrevocable Jewish status; that even were such a Jew to convert to another religion, that person would still be considered Jewish by Jewish Law.

Conservative Jewish beliefs and practicesEdit

Rabbi Louis Jacobs, who was the founder of the Masorti (Conservative) Jewish Movement in Britain and a well-known theologian writes regarding his review of an article by Professor Cohen on matrilineal descent in Judaism:

There has been a development of the law in these instances from Biblical and pre-Rabbinic times. The attempt to find reasons for the change, however, has proved to be elusive and is quite unnecessary since it can be explained entirely economically by the logic of the law itself and is typical of Rabbinic thinking in general. But the development in the law had already taken place before the redaction of the Mishnah at the very latest. With the exception of the Rabbi in the Jerusalem Talmud (Qiddushin, 3:12) who permitted the child of a gentile mother and Jewish father to be circumcised on the Sabbath and whose opinion was vehemently rejected, the law is accepted unanimously in both Talmuds. It is recorded as the law in all the Codes without dissenting voice and has been the universal norm in all Jewish communities. For such a law to be changed, only the weightiest religious and ethical advantages will suffice and it is difficult indeed to discover any such in the change in this particular instance. To change this particular law would strike at the heart of the whole halakhic process and would involve a theological as well as an halakhic upheaval. And for what? The potential loss is great. The gains, if any, are few and the price is far too high.[1]

Shaye J. D. Cohen of Harvard University and formerly a Dean at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, questions the date of origin of matrilineal descent:

The preexilic portions of the Hebrew Bible are not familiar with the matrilineal principle. Numerous Israelite heroes and kings married foreign women; for example, Judah married a Canaanite, Joseph an Egyptian, Moses a Midianite and an Ethiopian, David a Philistine, and Solomon women of every description. Although Exod. 34:16 and Deut. 7:1-3 prohibit intermarriage only with the Canaanites, a prohibition that was supposed to have originated with the patriarchs Abraham (Gen. 24:3) and Isaac (Gen. 27:46-28:1), some Israelites extended the prohibition to include all foreigners (Judg. 14:3). But it never occurred to anyone in preexilic times to argue that such marriages were null and void. Marriage was the non-sacramental, private acquisition of a woman by a man, and the state had little or no legal standing in the matter. The foreign woman who married an Israelite husband was supposed to leave her gods in her father's house, but even if she did not, it never occurred to anyone to argue that her children were not Israelites. Since the idea of conversion to Judaism did not yet exist, it never occurred to anyone to demand that the foreign woman undergo some ritual to indicate her acceptance of the religion of Israel. The woman was joined to the house of Israel by being joined to her Israelite husband; the act of marriage was functionally equivalent to the later idea of conversion. In some circumstances biblical law and society did pay attention to maternal identity–the children of concubines and female slaves sometimes rank lower than the children of wives–but it never occurred to anyone to impose any legal or social disabilities on the children of foreign women.[74]

In his review of Cohen's article, Rabbi Jacobs accepts that the law may have changed in the early Tannaitic period (circa 10-70 CE): "From the historical evidence marshalled by Professor Cohen it would appear that the change from the patrilineal to the matrilineal principle for the offspring of mixed unions of Jew and gentile took place in the early Tannaitic period."[1]

But Jacobs dismisses Cohen's suggestion that "the Tannaim were influenced by the Roman[75] legal system..."[1] and contends that "even if the Rabbis were familiar with the Roman law, they might have reacted to it [instead] by preserving the patrilineal principle, holding fast to their own system."[1]

Instead, Jacobs offers another explanation. Jacobs believes that an Israelite man who married a non-Israelite woman and had a child, that woman and child were considered not part of the "family clan" and therefore were not considered Israelite: "A child born of a Jewish father and a gentile mother cannot be given the status of the father since the patrilineal principle is stated only with regard to unions within the clan. How can the father who steps out of the clan bestow a clan status on the child whom he sires?"[1]

Therefore, Jacobs hypothesizes:

The child of a Jewish father and a gentile mother is not a gentile because of the application of any matrilineal principle...He is a child without Jewish parentage since the patrilineal principle cannot operate for a union carried out beyond the limits of the clan. The child is not a gentile because his mother is a gentile but because the only way a child can be born as a Jew is for him to have the Jewishness of his father transmitted to him and this cannot happen where the union is outside of the clan limits. Thus, for the Rabbis there is no switch here from a patrilineal to a matrilineal principle. The patrilineal principle still stands, only it cannot operate in this instance.[1]

The Ratner Center for the Study of Conservative Judaism conducted a survey of 1,617 members of 27 Conservative congregations in the U.S. and Canada in 1995.[76] 69% of respondents to the Ratner Center survey agreed that they would regard personally as a Jew anyone who was raised Jewish—even if their mother was Gentile and their father was Jewish (Wertheimer, 59). In this same survey, 29% of respondents indicated that they attended Jewish religious services twice a month or more and 13% that they engage in the study of a Jewish text once a month or more (Wertheimer, 55-57).

Conservative Jewish PracticesEdit

The Conservative Movement practices matrilineal descent. In 1986, the Conservative Movement's Rabbinical Assembly reiterated the commitment of the Conservative movement to the law of matrilineal descent. Furthermore, the movement stated that any rabbi who accepts the principle of patrilineal descent will be subject to expulsion from the Rabbinical Assembly. Still, the Conservative Movement affirmed that "sincere Jews by choice" should be warmly welcomed into the community and that "sensitivity should be shown to Jews who have intermarried and their families." The Conservative movement actively reaches out to intermarried families by offering them opportunities for Jewish growth and enrichment.

Reform Judaism beliefs and practicesEdit

In 1983, the Central Conference of American Rabbis passed a resolution waiving the need for formal conversion for anyone with at least one Jewish parent who has made affirmative acts of Jewish identity. This departed from the traditional position requiring formal conversion to Judaism for children without a Jewish mother.[7] The 1983 resolution of the American Reform movement has had a mixed reception in Reform Jewish communities outside of the United States. Most notably, the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism has rejected patrilineal descent and requires formal conversion for anyone without a Jewish mother.[77] As well, a joint Orthodox, Traditional, Conservative and Reform Bet Din formed in Denver, Colorado to promote uniform standards for conversion to Judaism was dissolved in 1983, due to that Reform resolution.[78] However, in 2015 the majority of Britain's Assembly of Reform Rabbis voted in favor of a position paper proposing "that individuals who live a Jewish life, and who are patrilineally Jewish, can be welcomed into the Jewish community and confirmed as Jewish through an individual process."[79] Britain's Assembly of Reform Rabbis stated that rabbis "would be able to take local decisions – ratified by the Beit Din – confirming Jewish status."[79]

Other movements within the World Union for Progressive Judaism also adopted essentially the same position. These include: Liberal Judaism in England; Progressive Judaism in Australia; one congregation in Austria; some congregations in Eastern Europe. Note that Reform Judaism in Canada and England adopts a different position, similar to that of Conservative Judaism (though there may be an accelerated conversion process for the children of Jewish fathers).[citation needed]

Karaite Judaism belief and practicesEdit

Karaite Judaism does not accept Jewish Oral Law as definitive, believing that all divine commandments were recorded with their plain meaning in the written Torah. As such, they interpret the Hebrew Bible to indicate that Jewishness can only follow patrilineal descent. Karaite Judaism does not accept the authoritativeness of the Talmud or Jewish Oral Law.

Karaite Judaism practicesEdit

The majority view in Karaite Judaism is that Jewish identity can only be transmitted by patrilineal descent[80][81][82] They argue that only patrilineal descent can transmit Jewish identity on the grounds that all descent in the Torah went according to the male line.[83] Only someone who is patrilineally Jewish (someone whose father's father was Jewish) is regarded as a Jew by the Mo'eṣet HaḤakhamim, or the Karaite Council of Sages based in Israel.

Reconstructionist Judaism belief and practicesEdit

Reconstructionist Judaism, which values equity and inclusivity, was the first movement to adopt the idea of bilineal descent in 1968.[citation needed] According to Reconstructionist Judaism, children of one Jewish parent, regardless of gender, are considered Jewish if raised as Jews.

Additional notesEdit

The State of Israel adheres to the Jewish law of matrilineal descent for matters which could affect Israeli family law.[84]

Seven marriage contracts that took place before the 13th century between Karaite and Rabbinic individuals have so far been discovered in the Cairo Genizah.[85] In the 12th century, approximately 25,000 Jews lived in Egypt, mostly in Cairo.[86] A percentage of the Jewish community was Karaite.[87] Moses Maimonides became one of the leaders of the Jewish community in Egypt shortly after his arrival there in 1165 CE. Jewish communities at this time including the Egyptian Jewish Community practiced matrilineal descent. In fact, Maimonides (1138-1204 CE) re-codified the law of matrilineal descent in his compilation of Jewish Law:

This is the general rule: The status of an offspring from a gentile man or from a gentile woman is the same as his mother's; we disregard the father.[88]

The Egyptian Jewish Karaites, however, followed patrilineal descent.[89] Still, these same 12th century Egyptian Karaites forbade marriage with non-Jews[90] and also did not allow converts into their community.[91] In effect then, 12th century Egyptian Karaites required that both parents be Jewish, but they referred to this requirement as patrilineal descent. Marriages between Karaites and the Rabbinic community came to a halt in the thirteenth century when Maimonides ruled for a specific serious reason that there was a problem with them.[92] This ruling also means that Maimonides considered the Karaites of the 12th century Egyptian Jewish community to be Jewish on their mother's side as well.

Biological justification for/against matrilinealityEdit

Some matrilineal advocates have hypothesized that DNA may carry a specific genome from the mother that transmits Judaism. However, NIH researchers have sought but found no evidence that Judaism is transmitted genetically from either the mother or the father.[93]

Personal and social impacts of matrilineal traditionEdit

Personal identity and impact of matrilineal interpretation in the United StatesEdit

A 2013 Pew Research Center survey shows that American children of interfaith marriages are more likely to have been raised Jewish and identify as Jewish than in the past, which some scholars attribute to more welcoming and inclusive attitudes among Jewish organizations.[94] The increasing awareness and social validation of self-concept as defining one's identity may also be a contributing factor.

Studies have shown that American adults whose fathers are Jewish and whose mothers are not can readily identify lasting damage to their identity formation, family relations and faith due to patrilineal rejection, regardless of whether they were raised as Jews. Experiences include being singled out and made to feel unwelcome at Jewish events, sites and schools; pressure to disguise their heritage; being bullied or isolated; uncertainty regarding their personal identity; and narrowed access to a Jewish education and a community of faith.[95][96] Ironically, it's not uncommon for interfaith families and their offspring rejected by matrilineal devotees to simultaneously suffer external discrimination on the basis of being Jews. In recent years organizations like 18 Doors [2] and Building Jewish Bridges have provided opportunities for families and individuals exiled by matrilineality to connect with each other and embrace their faith.

Social impacts of matrilineal interpretationEdit

Most interfaith couples do not adopt Judaism.[97] Researcher Sergio DellaPergola attributes this in part to a tradition in English-speaking countries for children to adopt the mother's group identity.

Progressive scholars and writers including Elana Maryles Sztokman and Jessica Fishman view matrilineality as an outdated patriarchal form of control over women's bodies. Fishman labels matrilineality a fundamental denial of the right of personhood.[98]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Reviewed by Louis Jacobs, [1] Originally published in Judaism 34.1 (Winter 1985), 55-59.
  2. ^ Schaapkens, Natan. Inside Orthodox Judaism: A Critical Perspective On Its Theology. ISBN 978-1-365-39059-3. Also, from the perspective of classical Jewish belief, the primary identity of all people follows the mother. Genesis 20:12, Rashi.
  3. ^ a b Jakobovits, Immanuel (1977), The Timely and the Timeless, London, p. 199, ISBN 0853031894
  4. ^ see Rabbi Moses Feinstein’s re-affirmation of matrilineal descent, Elberg, Rabbi S., September, 1984, HaPardes Rabbinical Journal, Hebrew, vol.59, Is.1, p. 21.
  5. ^ Torat Menachem, Hitvaduyot, 5745, vol. 1, pages 133-136
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b Reform Movement's Resolution on Patrilineal Descent
  8. ^ Reform Judaism in Israel: Progress and Prospects Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Gen. Rabbati, Vayeze, p. 119; Yalkut Shimoni, Vayetze- Remez 125.
  10. ^ Sanhedrin 69b
  11. ^ Genesis 16:3,15, 25:1,2
  12. ^ Tanchuma, Hukat, 6
  13. ^ Genesis 24:10
  14. ^ Genesis 11:29 ; Genesis 22:20-23. Also, Genesis 22:23 Rashi that this whole genealogy was written just for Rebekah.
  15. ^ Genesis 26:34,35
  16. ^ Genesis 28:9
  17. ^ Genesis 36: 1, 8, 9, 19, 43
  18. ^ Genesis 29:22-26,28,29
  19. ^ Genesis 29:10,12
  20. ^ Gen. Rabbati, Vayetze, p. 119; Yalkut Shimoni Vayetze- remez 125; Targum Yonasan Gen. 29:24,29; Pirkei D'Rabi Eliezer chapt. 36
  21. ^ Based on Jewish scripture and oral tradition.
  22. ^ Jakobovits, Immanuel (1977), The Timely and the Timeless, London, pp. 199–203, ISBN 0853031894; Gen. Raba 7, Rashi: Mishpachat Av Keruya Mishpacha … en mishpachat av keruya mishpacha …
  23. ^ Exodus 18:1-10
  24. ^ a b Hirsch, Ammiel; Reinman, Yosef (2002). One People, Two Worlds. New York and Toronto. pp. 71-74. ISBN 0805241914.
  25. ^ Exodus 6:16-27 also, Numbers 3:1-4, Numbers 26:58-61
  26. ^ Numbers 12:1 commentaries ad loc
  27. ^ Ex. 40:15
  28. ^ Judges 13:25, 15:20
  29. ^ Judges 14:3
  30. ^ Judges 14
  31. ^ Judges 15: 2
  32. ^ Judges 15:3-5
  33. ^ Judges 15: 6
  34. ^ Yevamoth 77a, 47b
  35. ^ Genesis 19:37
  36. ^ Genesis 11: 27, 31; Genesis 14: 12
  37. ^ Ruth 1: 3
  38. ^ Ruth 4:10
  39. ^ Ruth 1:1-5
  40. ^ Ruth 1:22
  41. ^ Ruth 1: 19
  42. ^ Ruth 3:1-5, 4:3,9
  43. ^ Ruth 4:6
  44. ^ Ruth 4:13,18-22
  45. ^ Ruth 4:16
  46. ^ Ruth 4:17
  47. ^ Naamah is noted favorably by the Talmud, Bava Kama 38b. See that Naamah was the granddaughter of Nahash, a king of Ammon.
  48. ^ Genesis 19:38
  49. ^ Kings I, 14:21, 31
  50. ^ The Prophets describe how Solomon's foreign wives not only did not follow the Israelite beliefs of their husband, King Solomon, (I Kings 11:8) but instead they drew King Solomon away from a wholehearted belief in the God of Israel (I Kings 11:1-4)
  51. ^ see I Kings Chapter 11, I Kings 14:21, 14:31; II Chronicles 12:13
  52. ^ I Kings 11:43, 14:21-31; II Chronicles 9:31-12:16
  53. ^ I Kings 4:11,15
  54. ^ Jerusalem Talmud, Yebamot 2:6; Ezra 10:3 Rashi
  55. ^
  56. ^ Ezra 2:64; Nehemiah 7:66
  57. ^ Ezra 9:1–2
  58. ^ Ezra 10:3
  59. ^ II Samuel 13:13, Rashi
  60. ^ II Samuel 13:13
  61. ^ II Samuel 3:3, II Samuel 13:1
  62. ^ On the Life of Moses 2.36.193, On the Virtues 40.224, On the Life of Moses 1.27.147
  63. ^ Josephus, Antiquities, 13.9.1.
  64. ^ Josephus, Antiquities, 14.7.3.
  65. ^ Josephus, Wars, 1.8.9.
  66. ^ Josephus, Antiquities, 14.15.2.
  67. ^ Yebamot 2:5; Kidushin 3:12
  68. ^ Commentary of Yom Tov Asevilli on Babylonian Talmud (Kiddushin 68b), based on Deuteronomy 7:3-4
  69. ^ a b c Yom Tov Asevilli (1985). Chiddushei Ha-Ritva (in Hebrew). Jerusalem: Mossad Harav Kook. pp. 726–727. OCLC 878066707., s.v. Kiddushin 68b
  70. ^ Cf. Babylonian Talmud (Yebamot 17a; Kiddushin 68b); Numbers Rabba 19:3
  71. ^ Maimonides, Mishne Torah (Hil. Issurei Bi'ah 12:1-2)
  72. ^ a b Jakobovits, Immanuel (1977), The Timely and the Timeless, London, p. 203, ISBN 0853031894
  73. ^ Also, Grunfeld, Isidor, and Samson Raphael Hirsch. Judaism Eternal: Selected Essays from the Writings of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch. Vol. 1, Soncino Press, 1976. P. 224-225
  74. ^ The Origins of the Matrilineal Principle in Rabbinic Law, Shaye J.D. Cohen, AJS Review, V. 10.1, 1985, 19-53
  75. ^ In Roman law, without connubium, the right to contract a legal marriage according to Roman Law (i.e. where both parties are Roman citizens and where both parties gave consent), the marriage was not a justum matrimonium, a legal Roman marriage and the children from such a union had no legal father and therefore followed the status (i.e. Roman citizenship status) of the mother. Interestingly, “[t]hese restrictions as to marriage were not founded on any enactments; they were a part of that large mass of Roman law which belongs to Jus Moribus Constitutum [unwritten Roman law].”*/Matrimonium.html
  76. ^ Cohen, Steven M. “Chapter 1: Assessing the Vitality of Conservative Judaism in North America: Evidence from a Survey of Synagogue Members”. In Wertheimer, Jack (2000). Jews in the Center: Conservative Synagogues and Their Members. Rutgers University Press, p. 20. Steven M. Cohen who co-conducted this survey (Wertheimer, 5) notes that the sample under represents congregants from certain major metropolitan areas (the New York region being represented by only one congregation and the Toronto and Montreal regions having no representation), over represents socially upscale congregants, and under represents congregants under the age of thirty-five. (Wertheimer, 20)
  77. ^ Reform Judaism in Israel: Progress and Prospects Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
  78. ^ Wertheimer, Jack (1997). A People Divided: Judaism in Contemporary America. University Press of New England.
  79. ^ a b Lewis, Jerry. "UK Reform rabbis accept patrilineal descent - Diaspora - Jerusalem Post". Retrieved 2015-07-19.
  80. ^ Karaite FAQs; Congregation Or Saddiqim, Giyyur
  81. ^
  82. ^
  83. ^ "Karaite FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Karaism".
  84. ^ For the re-affirmation of matrilineal descent by the Chief Rabbinical Board of the State of Israel see Elberg, Rabbi S., September, 1984, HaPardes Rabbinical Journal, Hebrew, vol.59, Is.1, p. 21.
  85. ^

    PERMISSIBILITY OF MARRIAGE …Marriages with Rabbanite partners were perfectly legal and commonly practised before the thirteenth century. Medieval Karaism was and saw itself as an integral part of Judaism, and such marriages did not entail any form of "conversion" of any of the parties. Seven marriage contracts involving Karaite and Rabbanite individuals have so far been discovered in the Cairo Genizah. These marriage contracts stipulated the mutual tolerance of those practices in which the Karaites and the Rabbanites differed. These specific stipulations concerned differences in dietary law, such as the Rabbanite husband's promise not to bring to their house parts of animals authorized by the Rabbanites but forbidden by the Karaite halakhah (the fat tail, the kidneys, the lobe of the liver, the meat of a pregnant animal). Other stipulations concerned the Karaite restrictions on lighting the Sabbath candles and the promise of Rabbanite husbands not to make love to their Karaite wives during Sabbath and festivals—practices strictly forbidden by Karaite law. Due to the calendrical differences, Karaite and Rabbanite festivals did not coincide, and the marriage contracts always included a clause which guaranteed that both parties would be allowed to observe their festivals on their respective dates.

  86. ^ "The Jewish Community of Cairo".
  87. ^ It is not specifically known what percentage of the 12th century Egyptian Jewish community was Karaite. As of 1906, it was estimated that there were approximately 12,000 Karaites worldwide with fewer than 2,000 estimated to possibly be in Egypt. Today, there are 11 Karaite synagogues in Israel. See
  88. ^ Maimonides' Mishneh Torah (c. 1170-1180 CE), Laws of Forbidden Relationships, 15:4
  89. ^ Yaron, Y., Joe Pessah, and Abraham Qanai. An Introduction to Karaite Judaism: History, Theology, Practice, and Culture. N.p.: Qirqisani Center, 2003. Print.
  90. ^

    PERMISSIBILITY OF MARRIAGE In order to contract marriage, the parties must be "marriageable," that is: the partners must be Jewish, the woman must be unmarried, and the parties should not fall into any of the kinship categories prohibited by Karaite law. 1. The parties' religious affiliation

    Marriages with non-Jewish partners are not acceptable for Karaites...

  91. ^ This ban was recently lifted by the Karaite Council of Sages.
  92. ^ In the 13th century Maimonides ruled that they fell under the classification of mamzerut.

    Marriages between Karaite and Rabbanite partners came to a halt when Moses MAIMONIDES (Rambam, 1138–1204) argued that while the Karaite marriage itself was binding, their bill of divorce was invalid (probably because of its formulation in Hebrew). Since the children issued from the second union of a Karaite divorcée would be illegitimate (mamzerim), and since it was not always possible to ascertain that a divorce had not occurred [sic] in previous generations in a Karaite family, Maimonides decided to consider all Karaites as potential mamzerim, and therefore prohibited for marriage.

  93. ^ Falk, Raphael (21 January 2015). "Genetic markers cannot determine Jewish descent". Frontiers in Genetics. 2014, 5: 462: 462. doi:10.3389/fgene.2014.00462. PMC 4301023. PMID 25653666.
  94. ^ Sasson, Theodore; et al. (2017). "Millennial Children of Intermarriage: Religious Upbringing, Identification, and Behavior Among Children of Jewish and Non-Jewish Parents". Contemporary Jewry. 37: 99–123. doi:10.1007/s12397-017-9202-0. hdl:10192/34093. S2CID 151337429.
  95. ^ Sosland, Elizabeth. "Born of our Fathers". Smith College. Retrieved 1 August 2020. External link in |website= (help)
  96. ^ Kan, Miriam (May 2012). "Discussion board posts about Jewish interfaith relationships and intermarriage : romantic love, independence, concern for children, and ethnicity". ThinkIR/University of Louisville – via
  97. ^ DellaPergola, Sergio (18 December 2003). "Jewish Out-Marriage: A Global Perspective". International Roundtable on Intermarriage - Brandeis University – via Researchgate.
  98. ^ Fishman, Jessica (22 February 2017). "Matrilineal Lineage in Judaism: The Powerful or Powerless Jewess?".

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