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Kidushin, 76


OPINIONS: The Mishnah states that when a man wants to marry a Kohenes, he must check her lineage four generations back.

Must any man who marries a Kohenes perform this examination? What exactly is one to look for?

There are various opinions among the Rishonim about how this examination is performed.

1. TOSFOS maintains that the Bedikah is necessary only for a Kohen who marries a Kohenes. He must check to see if there is Chalal in the woman's family.

2. The RAN maintains that *any* man, even a Yisrael, must perform this Bedikah when marrying a Kohenes. The Bedikah is necessary in order to clarify that there are no Mamzerim in the family.

The Ran's view is supported by the variant Girsa of the Mishnah. According to our Girsa, the Mishnah states that when marrying a "Leviyah and Yisraelis," one must add an additional generation to the genealogical Bedikah. However, another Girsa reads that "Leviyim and Yisraelim" (see Mesores ha'Shas and Rishonim). According to the second Girsa, not only Kohanim have to make such a Bedikah, but every Jewish man as well must make such a Bedikah (to clarify that there are no Mamzerim in the woman's family).

3. RASHI explains, like the Ran, that the Bedikah is in order to clarify that there are no Mamzerim in the family. However, he maintains that only a Kohen must perform this Bedikah.

(a) The Gemara asks that the woman should also be required to check her prospective husband's lineage. It answers that Kesheros, women of pure lineage, are not prohibited from marrying Pesulim, men of impure lineage. All of the Rishonim explain that this refers only to Pesulim of Kehunah, for the Torah clearly prohibits a woman from marrying a Pesul of Mamzerus. We can infer from this Gemara that the purpose of the Bedikah of the Mishnah is to verify the Kashrus of the spouse with regard to marrying into the Kehunah (i.e. to ensure that there is no Chalal in the family), and it is *not* done to verify the Kashrus of the spouse with regard to marrying into the overall community (i.e. to ensure that there are no Mamzerim in the family).

How, then, will the RAN and RASHI explain this Gemara?

(b) According to the Girsa of our Mishnah, which states that one must do a Bedikah when marrying a "Leviyah and Yisraelis," why would such a Bedikah be necessary according to Tosfos, who says that only a Kohen needs to do a Bedikah of his wife to make sure there is no Pesul of Chalal? A Pesul of Chalal exists only in a family of Kohanim; there is no Pesul of Chalal for a family of non-Kohanim!

(a) RASHI (DH Lo) explains that since we find a leniency in the Torah with regard to women marrying Pesulim (i.e. they are permitted to marry Pesulim l'Kehunah), the Chachamim followed the Torah's precedent and did not institute that this Bedikah be done even to check for Pesulei Kahal (such as Mamzer).

(b) TOSFOS (DH Tzarich) answers that since a Kohen must investigate his prospective spouse's lineage in order to ensure that there is no Pesul of Chalal, the Chachamim also required him to check for *all* Pesulim (and thus we must check even when marrying a Leviyah or Yisraelis). (No such Bedikah, for Pesulim of Mamzerus, was instituted for a Yisrael (a non-Kohen) who wants to marry a woman, because, as Tosfos explains, "the Jewish people know who the Mamzerim are among them," and thus if a Pesul exists, it would already be known.)

QUESTION: The Mishnah states that when a man wants to marry a Kohenes, he must check her lineage four generations back. RASHI (DH Leviyah) explains that only a Kohen must perform this Bedikah, and he must do it in order to ensure that there are no Mamzerim in the family.

Why does Rashi wait until his comments on the second case of the Mishnah ("Leviyah") to explain what the first case ("Kohenes") is referring to?

ANSWER: The PNEI YEHOSHUA explains that since the first case of the Mishnah is discussing a Kohenes, we would assume that the Bedikah that must be done is a Bedikah for the Pesul of Chalal. If the Bedikah is only for the Pesul of Chalal, then it is obvious that it is a Kohen who is marrying the woman, for no one else needs to be concerned with marrying a Chalal. The second case of the Mishnah, though, is referring to a Bedikah to check for the Pesul of Mamzer (see there is no Pesul of Chalal for a Leviyah or Yisraelis), and thus Rashi must point out that, nevertheless, this Bedikah needs to be done only by a *Kohen* who marries a Leviyah or Yisraelis, and not by a Yisrael.

The Pnei Yehoshua explains that the reasoning of Rashi is based on a "Ma'aleh" which the Chachamim established for the Yuchsin of Kohanim, which they did not establish for Yisraelim, who may rely on a Chezkas Kashrus.


QUESTION: The Gemara derives from the verse, "Som Tasim Alecha Melech... mi'Kerev Achecha" -- "You shall surely place upon yourself a king... from among your brethren" (Devarim 17:15), that whenever a person is appointed to a position of leadership, he must be "from among your brethren."

The Mefarshim ask how could Rechavam, the son of Shlomo ha'Melech, have been appointed as king of Yehudah? Rechavam's mother was Na'amah ha'Amonis, and our Gemara states that in order to be fit to be appointed, one must have a mother who is Jewish! Since Rechavam came from a convert, how could he be appointed as king?


(a) The KESEF MISHNAH (Hilchos Melachim 1:4) answers by making a "Kol she'Ken" from our Gemara. He says that if, as our Gemara says, the son of a Jewish mother and a father who is a convert is fit to be appointed as king, then certainly the son of a Jewish father and a Giyores mother should be fit to be appointed as king, even though his mother is a convert. (The basis of this "Kol she'Ken" is that even though, with regard to Yuchsin, the status of the son follows the mother, with regard to positions of authority (such as king), the son's status follows that of the father, and thus if the father held a position of authority, then the son is fit to hold that position as well.)

(b) The NODA B'YEHUDAH explains that the rule of the Gemara applies only to an initial appointment. In order to *start* a kingdom or any other position, it is necessary for the first bearer of the position to have been born to a Jewish mother. However, once a dynasty has been established and the new king is merely inheriting the throne (and not *creating* the position), the rules of the Gemara with regard to the appointment of positions of authority do not apply.

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