Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld Due to limited resources, the Ask the Rabbi service is intended for Jews of little background with nowhere else to turn. Rabbi Rosenfeld's son Zvi recently published his first book, The Ring of Fate, a riveting, fast-paced fantasy novel which is also completely kosher in both language and subject matter. It is sold by Booklocker.com, as well as by and all the major on-line sellers.People with questions in Jewish law should consult their local rabbi. The Talmud recommends that a person marry his niece (Yevamot 62b).(There’s a debate in the commentators if it applies specifically to a sister’s daughter or also to a brother’s.) The assumption is that a person will have an especially close relationship with a close relative, perhaps because of their likely similar personalities and values.The Talmud is referring to a single instance rather than a long-term practice.Of course, since Ashkenazi Jewry descends from a very small group of ancestors many of us are already stuck with significant genetic issues.Some say that this is based on outdated notions that predate modern genetics and that the rules should be thrown out.Indeed, in many other countries marrying cousins is not considered at all problematic.
Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2009 Can LII 82697 (IRB) Droit de la famille — 091768, 2009 QCCS 3210 (Can LII) Arthur v.The reasoning may be the same for a cousin, but the Talmud doesn't mention it.(I should point out that for a woman to marry her nephew is forbidden from the Torah – Leviticus -13.) Some point out that the daughters of Zelophehad married their cousins (Numbers ) so the practice has good precedent.A marriage between persons who are related in this manner is void.
As well as prohibiting marriage between members of lineal decent, the act also prohibits marriage between brothers and sisters, whether fully related, partially related, or related through adoption.
The royal couples listed below are but a sampling of the innumerable marriages that have occurred between cousins, of varying degrees, from royal or noble houses.