The Gemara seems to speak matter of factly that a kohen cannot marry a convert, but I do not see a Torah source or an explanation for this opinion.
As you know, we learn in this week's parasha that an ordinary kohen is forbidden to marry a zonah or a halalah or a gerushah. (V'Yikra 21:7). In Yevamos we are referred to Yehezkel 44:22, which states that a kohen shall not take for his wife a widow (except for the widow of a kohen) or a gerushah, but may only marry virgins of the seed of Beit Yisrael or an almanah of a kohen. This source would appear to be problematic as the halacha permits a kohen to marry any born-Jewish widow, providing she is not a zonah.
My question, then, is: from where in the Torah do we learn that a kohen cannot marry a convert (if in fact the halacha is m'dorisa)?
Bruce James, Silver Spring, MD 20902
According to Rambam (Isurei Bi'ah 18:3) a Giyores is prohibited to a Kohen from the Pasuk of Zonah. The Pasuk in Yechezkel is merely an indication that Giyores is included is the Isur of Zonah.
Ra'avad (ibid) is of the opinion that it is only an Isur mi'Divrei Kabalah i.e. that the Pasuk in Yechezkel is the primary source. The Gemara in Kidushin (78a) explains that we learn from the word "Zerah" there that the woman must be born Jewish.
Thank you for your prompt answer. But I'm still confused that Ezekiel 44:22 can be used as a source for the halacha regarding converts, but it is rejected with regard as too strict on the issue of kohanim marrying widows. How can the verse be good for one and not for the other?
As to relying on the word "zerah," I haven't gotten to Kiddushin just yet, but if its referring to the word as used in YeHezkiel, then that still begs the question about the validity of the first clause of pasuk 44:22. Sorry to be so difficult.
The Gemara in Kidushin answers this question as well (78b). The Pasuk should be punctuated differently than you read it. It reads as follows: And the widow who has been widowed [pause; notwithstanding who her ex-husband was], "miKohen Yikachu" from amongst the Kohanim shall take her, i.e. some of the Kohanim can marry her but not all the Kohanim (for the Kohen Gadol may not marry her, as the Torah says).