With some intervention from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Rabbinical High Court in Jerusalem ruled that a member of the priestly Cohen line could marry the daughter of a non-Jew. A Cohen, one descended from the priestly line of Aaron, has higher standards than other Jews under rabbinical law, especially concerning marriage. In a case that began in 2004, Shmuel Cohen and Irena Plotnikov appealed a decision by Rabbinate officials preventing their marriage because Plotnikov’s father was not Jewish. Jewish law considers a person Jewish only if the mother is Jewish, but for Cohens, both parents must be Jewish. The court said that the ruling was only under special circumstances and that it does not apply to all cases.
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