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Suppose there is only one Levi in Shul and he does not want to leave the Shul to wash the Kohain's hands since he will lose the Amein's during the time he is out of the Shul. Should the Levi be compelled to go wash the Kohain? (sources)

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related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/16266/759 –  Double AA Apr 30 '13 at 15:47
    
What could be driving any obligation on the Levi? It's the Kohein's responsibility to get his hands washed. –  Double AA Apr 30 '13 at 15:51
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I'm guessing you want sourced replies. Otherwise I know that Rav Darzi ZTzUK"L and Rav Ovadia Yosef have both said they need not, and at times it may be unfitting for a Levi to do so. –  Rabbi Michael Tzadok Apr 30 '13 at 16:17
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<I've removed a lot of noise from the comments on the answers which weren't clarifying a point in the answer or helping to answer the quetion.> –  Double AA Apr 30 '13 at 17:10
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http://www.ateret4u.com/online/f_01947.html#HtmpReportNum0026_L3
י - האם מותר ללוי לא ליטול ידי הכהנים לנשיאת כפיים, מפני שמפסיד לענות אמן על ברכות הש"ץ בשמו"ע, כשהולך ליטול ידי הכהנים. זה ברור שישתדל לשמוע חזרת הש"ץ, שלא להפסיד שום ברכה, ורק באופן שהמים רחוקים [ואי אפשר לקרבם], יש לצדד לכאן ולכאן. — יש סברא לומר שלא יטול ידי הכהנים וישמע חזרת הש"ץ, ע"פ שו"ע (קכד, ד) כשש"ץ חוזר התפלה הקהל יש להם לשתוק ולכוין לברכות שמברך החזן ולענות אמן, ואם אין ט' מכוונים לברכותיו קרוב להיות ברכותיו לבטלה, לכן כל אדם יעשה עצמו כאילו אין ט' זולתו ויכוין לברכת החזן עכ"ל. וכיון שהחיוב על כל א' לשמוע כל ברכה מחזרת הש"ץ, אם אין יכול מפני הנט"י, הו"ל כאילו אין לוי שהכהן נוטל ידיו בעצמו, דדי לו לכהן מה שהוא מפסיד מלשמוע ולענות על כמה ברכות, ולא יגרום זאת גם ללוי. בפרט שנט"י ע"י לוי הוא רק מנהג (שו"ע הרב קכח:) ולא מעיקר דינא דגמ'. לעומת זאת יש סברא לומר שיטול ידי הכהנים, כיון ששלימות נשיאת כפיים הוא שהלוי יטול ידי הכהן וכהזוה"ק (נשא קמו: הנ"ל), ואם יש ט' עונים בלעדו, הרי כמה פעמים אדם מפסיד לכתחילה עניית אמן על חזרת הש"ץ, כגון שמאריך בתפלתו. — ולמעשה נראה, שאם יש כמה לויים ומעט כהנים, ויכול כל א' רק לסייע מעט לנט"י, אז יכולים לויים יחידים להשתמט מנט"י. אבל אם הוא לוי יחידי או מעט לויים והרבה כהנים, ויש בריוח ט' עונים, אז יטול ידי הכהנים, וכיון שאדם צריך לענות צ' אמנים בכל יום, ישמע ברכות אחרות ויענה עליהן אמן.

This tshuva again gives a perfect answer to the exact question. If there are other leviyim then he need not. Otherwise washing the kohanim's hands comes first. If there are not too many people answering amen then he should stay inside.

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His proof is essentially that he can miss Amens for washing the Kohein's hands as it is similar to when people extend their personal Shmoneh Esrei into the repitition thereby missing Amens. I find that comparison tenuous. Who wrote this anyway? –  Double AA Apr 30 '13 at 16:01
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This is saying that if the Levi asks his rabbi "I'd really rather stay in shul unless you tell me I should go wash the kohanim?" The rabbi generally should say "go wash, that's the mitzva G-d wants from you right now." I presume the question was a case where the Levi is having a tantrum and saying "I'm not washing the kohen's hands!" (Maybe the kohen looked at him the wrong way or something.) In which case you just ignore the Levi and call upon someone else. –  Shalom Apr 30 '13 at 16:04
    
ו''ת גם אני אודך - ב קס"ח תשובות ובירורי הלכה בענינים הנוגעים למעשה שקיבלתי ממורי ורבי מרן הגאון האדיר רבי יוסף ליברמן שליט''א על שאלותי שחקרתי בס"ד ובחסדו הגדול הרב גמליאל הכהן רבינוביץ שליט''א בן אאמו"ר הגה"ח רבי אלחנן י.ד. שליט"א - ב''ב - תשע"ב לפ"ק I think they both are NK eida rabbonim. –  user2709 Apr 30 '13 at 16:05
    
@Shalom re "generally should say...": IIUC Rav YD Soloveitchik haLevi did not move his feet in order to go and wash the Kohanim's hands. –  Double AA Apr 30 '13 at 16:07
    
The link you posted is flagged by my firewall as being malicious. –  Seth J Apr 30 '13 at 16:19
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The Gemara simply talks about a kohen washing hands. It's the Zohar that says a Levi should do it.

If no Levi is available, the job is given to a firstborn; if no firstborn is available, the kohen just washes his own hands.

I strongly suspect that if the Levi doesn't want to do it, just ignore him and go find a firstborn.

(Conflict-of-interest disclaimer -- I am a non-Levite firstborn, and don't get a lot of kohen-washing business!)

Chayei Adam 32:8:

Ritually impure hands [disqualify]; how so? A Kohen who hasn't washed his hands is prohibited [from doing the blessings] ... and a Levi pours the water. If no Levi is available, a mother's-firstborn, naturally-born should do it; and if no firstborn is available, the kohen should wash his own hands. If the Levi is a scholar and the kohen an ignoramus, Magen Avraham records this as a dispute ... but others wrote explicitly that even so, the Levi must do the pouring.

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I'm also a non-Levite firstborn, and I've never been asked! Harumph! –  Seth J Apr 30 '13 at 16:20
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Can you provide a source, btw? –  Seth J Apr 30 '13 at 16:21
    
my answer says where the zohar is, and that the levi does it is only a minhag, also with a source in the graz.. Your answer is only a 'suspect' whereas mine has a source. –  user2709 May 1 '13 at 14:00
    
@shulem Anyone can see where the Zohar is as well as its "Scriptural support" in my answer in the linked question on the side. –  Double AA May 1 '13 at 15:23
    
@Double AA, I didnt find a link there to the zohar. But never mind. Things based on kabala are difficult to find reasons for. But I have thought of my own reason. Wont put it there though, to be downvoted. With the poroh aduma only 'specially' prepared people were allowed to spray it. So one sees the notion that it makes a difference who does it. –  user2709 May 1 '13 at 19:19
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