Returning apostates and their marital partners in medieval Ashkenaz
YU Author ORCID
YU Faculty Directory
MetadataShow full item record
Scholarly book chapter
This chapter analyzes how Tosafists and other Ashkenazic halakhists dealt with both the theoretical and practical aspects of situations in which a Jewish woman had lived with a Christian man during her apostasy. In describing how the leading northern French Tosafist (and Rashi’s grandson), Jacob b. Meir Tam (1100–1171), addressed challenges posed by the presence of apostates, Ephraim Urbach writes that “Rabbenu Tam attempted to ease the return of apostates to the Jewish fold. Thus, it is reported that he permitted a Jewess, who had apostatized and had sexual relations with a Christian prior to her reversion, and whose husband had divorced her, to be married to her former Christian partner who himself had converted to Judaism.” 2 The Tosafot passages that record the position of Rabbenu Tam also note the strong objection raised by one of his senior students, Isaac b. Mordekhai (Ribam) of Bohemia. In Ribam’s view, the relations that the Jewess had with her Christian lover disqualify her not only from returning to her husband, but also to her lover who had converted to Judaism. Ribam bases his ruling on the principle that a married woman who commits adultery becomes prohibited both to her husband and to the one with whom she had illicit sexual relations. 3
Kanarfogel, E. (2017). Returning apostates and their marital partners in medieval Ashkenaz. In Yaniv Fox & Yosi Yisrael, (eds.), "Contesting Inter-Religious Conversion in the Medieval World" (pp. 160-176). London: Routledge.
*This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise.
The following license files are associated with this item: