A patrilineal descendant of the biblical Aaron, a male kohen (plural kohanim) could serve in the Temple in Jerusalem when it was standing; various other laws apply to kohanim also, male and female.

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Tourist guides for Kohanim

I recently saw a tourist guide for Kohanim, published online by the Chicago Rabbinical Council, listing certain Chicago tourist sites that are, and are not, problematic for Kohanim. Are there any ...
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Sadducee kohanim gedolim dying on yom kippur

There were a few hundred kohanim gedolim in the second bais hamikdosh many of whom died on 'the job' on yom kippur in the holy of holies. Knowing this, what induced them to become a kohen godol which ...
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315 views

Baldness as a disqualification for Kohanim

Is it true that most authorities say that baldness and left handedness disqualify a man for Kehunah? Does the same apply for Birchas Kohanim? And why?
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Does the rule of “zealots may strike him” also apply to a Kohen zealot?

If a Jewish man and non Jewish woman have relations they are not chayav misa, but if caught while in the act, a 'zealot' (kanoi) may kill them. A kohen is not allowed to become tomai, so since this ...
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Can a non-Yisrael get Maftir Yonah?

At the Torah Service on Yom Kippur Mincha, can a Kohen or a Levi be called up to read Maftir Yonah (Book of Jonah)? The "maftir" aliyah is also the third aliyah which in general goes to a Yisrael, not ...
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263 views

Spitting at the High Priest on Yom Kippur

My question might sound a little complicated, but it actually boils down to something very simple: does anybody know of any references to a kohen gadol (a high priest) performing the procedure of ...
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95 views

What does a Kohen write on his Kasubah (a “regular” kohen and a case of a challal?)

Normally when a Kohen who still has his regular Kohen status gets married what do we write on his Kasubah? Ploni HaKohen ben Ploni HaKohen or Ploni ben Ploni HaKohen As well in the case of someone ...
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Can a Kohen Marry a Woman with a Non-Jewish Father?

Is a Kohen allowed to marry a woman who is the daughter of a Jewish woman and non-Jewish man?
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Invalidating women from the priesthood and from terumah

In Yevamot 6:2, we are told that one who has sexual intercourse with various types of women will "invalidate" them. The language is as follows: וכן הבא על אחת מכל העריות שבתורה או פסולות כגון ...
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364 views

specification of premarital sex

I read on this site that: "A born-Jewish woman who has had premarital relations may marry a kohen only if all of her partners were Jewish.". How is premarital relations described in Judaism for this ...
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Maharshal's position about the status of Kohanim today

R Shlomo Luria, in Yam Shel Shelomo Bava Kamma 5:35, discusses the status of property nowadays declared by its owner cherem for Kohanim. He takes a strong position against the validity of modern ...
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Did the kohanim wear tefillin during their Temple services?

The Torah and the Gemara (especially in Yoma) gives us fascinating detail about the bigdei kahuna (clothes of the priests) that were worn in the Holy Temple. What is not clear is whether tefillin ...
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51 views

What was the name of the wife of Elozor HaCohen?

What was the name of the wife of Elozor HaCohen? (Assuming she was the sister of tzipporah and daughter of Yisro)
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71 views

Would a replacement kohen gadol be anointed on yom kippur?

Here is what I know: When a kohen gadol dies we replace him. In fact we've got a replacement kohen gadol waiting in the wings on yom kippur just in case Any kohen who becomes kohen gadol gets ...
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HaKohen, HaLevi - source and reason

What is the source, earliest recorded record, and reason many who are Kohanim and Leviyim write after their name HaKohen or HaLevi?
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127 views

Source for bechorot losing/reclaiming priesthood

At a parshat hashavua shiur that I regularly attend, the rabbi has stated on multiple occasions that the bechorot (firstborn sons of Israel) were supposed to serve the purpose that the Leviim and ...
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698 views

What happens to the family of a Kohen today if his wife is a victim of rape?

What happens to the family of a Kohen today if his wife is a victim of rape? What are the steps taken and how does this come to be resolved according to halachah and in the most constructive way for ...
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115 views

Levi does not want to wash Kohen's hands

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 ...
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326 views

Why do plastic bags and not fuselages protect against impurity?

In a picture on this article, we see a kohen who has enclosed himself in a plastic bag so as to avoid becoming impure as a result of flying over a cemetery. Why is it that a pressurized fuselage does ...
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182 views

What Chasam Sofer writes in regards to a Kohen Gadol marrying a Basuleh

The Chasam Sofer in Toras Moshe Parsha Emor writes the following: A cohen should marry a basuleh (virgin). The Ramabm counts this as a Mitzvas aseh (positive commandment). However one could have ...
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371 views

Kohen flying over a cemetery?

Is there a problem with a kohen flying in an airplane that may fly over a Jewish cemetery? If so, how can a kohen be sure that a flight does not go over a Jewish cemetery?
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197 views

Can any kohanim trace all the way back to Aaron?

Can any kohanim alive today trace their lineage all the way back to the High Priest Aaron? If not, who can go the farthest?
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Preference to Kohanim in repeating situations

Based on this question and answer, it seems that the obligation to honor the kohein is when everyone has equal rights, the kohein gets first pick, but not everything. For instance, if a host serves a ...
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140 views

Are there still descendants of Aaron serving as priests in Jerusalem?

Are there still descendants of Aaron serving as priests in Jerusalem?
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Mishna, Brakhot 2a: When the kohanim enter…where?

Mishna, Brakhot 2a מאימתי קורין את שמע בערבין משעה שהכהנים נכנסים לאכול בתרומתן What is the author implying as the direct object of the verb נכנסים? In other words, from the hour that the kohanim ...
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Prohibition of a Kohen marrying a Zonah

In the prohibition of a Kohen marrying a Zonah (cf. Vayikra 21:7), what defines a woman as a Zonah? Is it just having had relations with a non-Jew, or does it also include having relations out of ...
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83 views

Was it always the kohen who slaughtered the korbanot?

I'm not too experienced with the rabbinic literature and history, and from just plain reading of the text in this week's torah portion (V'Yikra) I'm finding that it says "HE shall bring it...HE shall ...
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248 views

My father-in-law was a Cohen. Are my children Cohanim?

I seem to recall that Kehuna passes from father to son. Does it pass through the mother as well? My father-in-law was a Cohen. That makes my wife Bat-Cohen, but what does it make my children? ...
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135 views

Blessing: who gets first?

A father who wants to bless his family, whom should he bless first? His wife? His oldest son? His oldest child? The oldest among his sons, daughters, sons-in-law, and daughters-in-law? The cohanim? ...
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105 views

Children of a Cohen who had a vasectomy

A previously asked question on this site was whether a Cohen who had undergone a vasectomy may get married. Assuming that he is permitted to marry in such a case - if he has a child (through invitro ...
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Is Cohen who had a vasectomy allowed to Bless?

Is Cohen who had a vasectomy allowed to Bless the congregation? Also marry? What happens if he does marry?
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Do Beta Israel have Kohens?

Does the Beta Israel community have Kohens? Are Kahens equivalent? If so, are they descended from Aaron?
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What if anything was the correspondence between mishmarim of kohanim and cities?

There were twenty-four watches (mishmarim) of kohanim. Each worked for a week, from Shabas to Shabas, and then the cycle repeated itself. (Rambam, K'le Hamikdash 4.) There were forty-eight cities in ...
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267 views

Is a bat kohen allowed to go to cemetery?

Besides the permitted reasons for male kohen, is a bat kohen allowed to go to cemetery for other reason?
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Can a kohen be a mamzer?

A friend and I were discussing this. Generally speaking, it seems that it should be impossible for a person to be a kohen (rather than a chalal) and also a mamzer, because the set of women whom a ...
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Bas Cohen having relations with a non-Jew

It says in SA YD Siman 305 that a Bas Cohen that has a bechor (firstborn) with a non-Jew there is chiyuv of pidyon haben since the Bas Cohen through having relations with the non-Jew she looses her ...
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Did the priest ever cast out evil spirits?

I see in scripture (see citations below) some instances of evil spirits. How did the priests (I'm guessing it was the priests as they also dealt with instances of leprosy) deal with people that were ...
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Kohanim and paternal lines

Do you know the explanation why in modern Kohanim there is a paternal line encompassing about 50% of the Kohanim and then many lines encompassing the other 50% 1. Is it possible for a Kohen to be ...
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When there is no Levi, why do we call up the SAME Kohen “bimkom Levi” - “in place of a Levi.”

The Torah.org halakha class says, If a kohen is present in the synagogue, he must be called to receive the first aliyah. After the Kohen, a Levi is called. If a Levi is not present, the same ...
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What do you do if there is no Levi or Bechor to wash the Kohain's hands?

What do you do by Duchaning when there is no Levi or Bechor to wash the Kohain's hands?
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Bimei Matisyahu ben Yochanan Kohen Godol

In "Al Hanisim" we say "Bimei Matisyahu ben Yochanan Kohen Godol", "in the days of Matisyahu the son of Yochanan the Kohen Gadol (=high priest)". Who was the Kohen Godol: Matisyahu or Yochnan?
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Which Yochanan Kohen Godol is in Al Hanissim?

In Al Hanissim we mention a Yochanan Kohen Gadol. Since there were several kohanim gedolim named Yochanan which one is this, historically?
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Why did Aharon request that Hashem declare Miriam pure?

Rashi says that one of the meanings of Aharon's prayer regarding Miriam ("Let her not be like the dead, which comes out of his mother's womb with half his flesh consumed!"; Bamidbar 12:12) was that ...
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124 views

Can/Should a Kohen Disqualify Himself from Birchas Kohanim because of Tumah?

Is it proper for a kohein to disqualify himself from duchaning if he feels that he is ritually unpure at that particular moment?
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Washing Kohen's Hands

Following kedusha during mussaf on a day when there is birchas kohanim (duchening), the Leviyim and Kohanim assemble at the sink and a Levi washes each Kohen's hands. What procedure of hand-washing ...
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Why do the Leviim wash the hands of the Kohanim when they go up to bless the people?

When the Kohanim washed their hands and feet in the Beis HaMikdosh they did not have anyone to help. Why then do the Kohanim need others to wash their hands when they go up to bless the people? Why ...
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How are we to understand Malchi-Tzedek, non-Jewish priest of God?

Malchi-Tzedek is a gentile priest who worships God. I initially read this as just saying God is not exclusive (it says somewhere in Nevi'im that God also has covenants with other peoples), but today ...
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Nose Job in Halacha

Is a nose job allowed Hallachicly? Not all cosmetic surgeries, but rhinoplasty in particular, as I heard that rhinoplasty is allowed because we see by a Kohen that having an abnormally long nose is a ...
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Is a Cohen Allowed to Perform CPR?

CPR is performed when the heart has stopped but the brain is still alive. We have a general rule that a Cohen is not allowed to come in contact with a dead body. If so, does this mean that a Kohen ...
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How is a kohen allowed to go outside Israel?

There is a decree which says that all the land outside of Israel is Tamei (as there is a ch'shash that the non-Jews bury their dead outside of official cemeteries). If so, how are Kohanim allowed to ...