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February 22, 2017 / 26 Shevat, 5777
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May One Have More than One Wife?

The Gemara says that anything made forbidden by a court must have an explicit permission put forth by another court in order for the prohibition to be removed.


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Jacob Woodling, his son and his two wives, in a 1983 production of "Paint Your Wagon" at the Woodminster Amphitheater, Oakland, CA.



According to the opinion quoted by Tosafos that says that there must be an explicit heter put forth for a prohibition or cheirem – even one with a specific time period – to expire, the cheirem of Rabbeinu Gershon would still be in effect since no one explicitly permitted it. This is so even though the cheirem was initially made for a specific time period.

I found afterwards that I was mechaven to the Yam Shel Shlomo in Yevamos that says that even if the cheirem of Rabbeinu Gershon was only in effect until the end of the fifth millennia, the prohibition would still apply since no one explicitly permitted it. He cites the Gemara in Beitzah as a source that even when a prohibition was made for a specific time period, it nonetheless requires an explicit heter to remove the prohibition.

About the Author: Rabbi Fuchs learned in Yeshivas Toras Moshe, where he became a close talmid of Rav Michel Shurkin, shlit”a. While he was there he received semicha from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, shlit”a. He then learned in Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn, and became a close talmid of Rav Shmuel Berenbaum, zt”l. Rabbi Fuchs received semicha from the Mirrer Yeshiva as well. After Rav Shmuel’s petira Rabbi Fuchs learned in Bais Hatalmud Kollel for six years. He is currently a Shoel Umaishiv in Yeshivas Beis Meir in Lakewood, and a Torah editor and weekly columnist at The Jewish Press.


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