Reading Assignment - Class #2

Please read mitzvot # 553 & 554, 557 – 561 and 563 – 564.  Please consider the following questions:


Mitzvot #553 and 554: 


Look at the source verses and try to describe the case as described in the Torah.

Try to describe the case regulated by these mitzvot as our author describes it.

In what ways are these mitzvot exceptions to the ordinary rules in cases of scheming witnesses?


Mitzvot #561, 563 and 564:


These mitzvot restrict born Jews from marrying certain converts.  What are those restrictions?

Are those restrictions still in effect?  Why?


Mitzvah #560:


What is the definition of a mamzer


For each case in the chart below, determine whether the child is Jewish, a mamzer, and/or an eved c’na’ani/shifchah.  Assume that none of the relationships are ervah.    




Mother is a Jew and not a mamzeret

Mother is a Jew and a mamzeret

Mother is not Jewish

Mother is a shifchah c’na’anit

Father is a Jew and not a mamzer





Father is a Jew and a mamzer






Father is not Jewish






Father is an eved c’na’ani








Whom may a mamzer marry?  (See how many cases you can find.)  Are the children of such a marriage mamzerim?  There is one case where a mamzer is permitted to marry a woman and the children of that marriage are not mamzerim.  Can you explain how?  Does that solution work for a mamzeret?


Assume that the Jewish population of an area includes 99% ordinary Jews and 1% mamzerim.  What would you expect the proportions of that population to be after ten generations?  Longer?  (Look for the trend rather than precise numbers.)