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Are There Restrictions on Whom a Female Kohen May Marry?

The status of Kedusha (sanctity) with which Kohanim are endowed applies only to male Kohanim, and not to female Kohanim. The Sages inferred this rule from the fact that the Torah refers to the Kohanim with the term "Beneh Aharon" – "the sons of Aharon," implying that the unique status of priesthood does not apply to the "daughters of Aharon," meaning, the daughter of a Kohen.

Therefore, a Kohenet (female Kohen) is allowed to marry anyone whom an ordinary Jewish woman is allowed to marry. Whereas a male Kohen is forbidden to marry certain groups of people, such as a Halala – the product of a marriage between a Kohen and a woman forbidden for a Kohen – a Kohenet may marry any Jewish man. Even though her father and brothers are Kohanim, there are no restrictions on whom she may marry. This Halacha is rooted in the fact that "Yihus" – lineage – is determined based on the father. Thus, for example, if a Kohenet marries a regular Jew – a "Yisrael" – her sons are regular "Yisraelim," and not Kohanim, since her husband is a "Yisrael." A woman does not pass down the status of Kehuna (priesthood), thus demonstrating that she does not have this status, which applies only to male Kohanim.

It should be noted that being the daughter of a Kohen does entail certain privileges. During the times of the Bet Ha’mikdash, a Kohen was allowed to share with his family the sacrificial food and the Teruma gifts that he received. As part of a Kohen’s family, the daughter is allowed to partake of this food, which is forbidden to non-Kohanim. With regard to marriage, however, the daughter of a Kohen does not have the status of "Kehuna," and she may therefore marry whomever she wishes.

Summary: The daughter of a Kohen has no special restrictions with regard to marriage; she may marry anybody whom ordinary Jewish women are allowed to marry.

 


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