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Expiry of Rabbeinu Gershom’s Ban

5 Adar 5771
The Question:

Is it true that the poligamy was only suspended and will be permitted again in the year 2037? Thank you. Shalom.

Answer:

The prohibition against polygamy was enacted by Rabbeinu Gershom, some thousand years ago. Some have suggested that the ban was only enacted until the end of the 5th thousand years (in the Jewish calendar), or the year 1239. Others, however, suggest that the ban was only made for one thousand years, and this might be the source from which one can derive that the ban will expire in the year 2037. Yet, the precise date of the ban is unknown, and some have written that although the thousand years are already up, the ban has been continually accepted as binding.

One way or another, the ban is mentioned in Shulchan Aruch (Even Ha’ezer 1) without any time limit, and it is unlikely that current the social structure will permit its disbanding anytime in the near future.


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