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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How does the kohein gadol's substitute wife work?

The first mishna of Yoma1 explains that before Yom Kippur, a substitute wife is prepared for the kohein gadol lest his wife die -- because the torah says he makes atonement for himself and "his ...
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Somebody named “Cohen” who is not a kohen: should he change his name?

My question has to do with deception, and concerns whether or not a person needs to change his name. (I'm not thinking of a specific person, and don't require a psak). For the sake of an argument, ...
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Are there any Jewish records of Ananus ben Ananus aside from Josephus?

In Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, he records an incident that led to the removal from office of the high priest of the Temple. According to this account, the Roman proconsul of Judaea, Porcius ...
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472 views

Is a Cohen who had a vasectomy allowed to perform Birkat Kohanim?

Is Cohen who had a vasectomy allowed to Bless the congregation? Also marry? What happens if he does marry?
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25 views

Could Kohanim use pottery or only stone kelim?

Someone told me that when the Temple was standing, Kohamim could only use stone kelim because they could not become tomeh. OTOH (are these abbreviations well known here?), on the other hand, it seems ...
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65 views

How do you decide how the aliyos should be arranged when there are not sufficient yisroelim in a minyan?

(This is a question based on an event. A shaaloh was asked. The object of the question is to examine the underlying reasons for the dinim in the situation.) A family minyan meeting once only on ...
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4answers
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Kein Yehi Ratzon by Birchas Kohanim

The Minhag by most Shuls where there is no Birchas Kohanim and the Chazan just says the Birchas Kohanim is to say Kein Yehi Ratzon. Why do we say Kein Yehi Ratzon instead of Amein?
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106 views

Can I make a Cohen bless me

I heard many times that a Cohen if obligated to bless once he is asked to. (That this is the reason the shliach tzibur says (calls) "kohamin" before birchas kohamin) Is this is true? If yes what is ...
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801 views

What if the Kohen Gadol accidentally kills someone?

An ordinary person who accidentally kills someone has to go to an Ir Miklat (city of refuge) until the Kohen Gadol dies. But what if it's the Kohen Gadol himself who accidentally kills? He would ...
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40 views

Two types of kohanim; are there any practical differences between them?

Peninim on the Torah says: Thus, the Kehunah, which he (Pinchas) received as a reward, was a totally new Kehunah, not connected with that of Aharon HaKohen. Are there any practical differences ...
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50 views

Can Kohanim enter a hospital?

As a Cohen is prohibited from deliberately defiling himself through contact with a dead body, may he enter a hospital where there is a high probability that someone might die and render the Cohen ...
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37 views

Can Kohanim live in a condo or apartment building?

Asking the question because if there is a Jewish person living in the same building that dies in the building, couldn't this pose a problem for a Kohen being under the same roof?
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324 views

If a Kohan married a giyeurit by orthodox rabbi, is it a legitimate marriage?

If a Kohan was married to a giyuerit by an observant ("orthodox") rabbi, and if the rabbi wasn't aware that he was marrying a Kohan and not an Israelite, is the marriage legitimate? Sources requested ...
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2answers
35 views

Kohen aliyah during shiva

If a kohen is in his shiva period, can he take the kohen aliyah if there is no other kohen present? We had such a situation on Shabbat at mincha. One ruling said that the kohen should take the ...
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32 views

Where did the sanhedrin get its power from?

I guess we always assume that the power invested in the Sanhedrin comes from "Lo Sasur". However, this posuk is talking about either the Kohanim, or the shofet. Now, I know originally the cohen gadol ...
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51 views

Can a Kohan get a divorce?

I've always thought the answer was yes, but apparently, I recently heard a different opinion related to whether or not the marriage that the Kohan got into was a legitimate marriage. Can someone ...
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203 views

Would a violated woman be allowed to remain married to her Cohen husband?

As a continuation from my last question, Would looking away help a Cohen stay Married to his wife?, would a raped woman be allowed to live with her Cohen husband? Would there be room to allow them to ...
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2k views

May a Kohen become a doctor?

May a Kohen, who is not allowed to be around dead bodies and the like, become a doctor? Please mention only sourced answers, and I realize that there are some programs that don't require work with ...
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99 views

Is it correct that a kohen could not be Moshiach?

We know that Moshiach will be a descendant of the House of David. We know for various reasons that David was not a kohen (he was the great-grandson of a convert; he was from the tribe of Judah). This ...
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57 views

asking a cohen whether he wants to perform a mitzva in shul

Once when I was a gabbai in a very small jewish community, we had two cohanim: one was our Rabbi and usually I gave him an aliya l'torah -called him up for a torah reading. The other was secular and ...
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53 views

Did people who were not priests or Levites enter the Tabernacle for ritual purposes?

(Note: I am posting this more specific follow-up to a previous question based on the recommendation of Isaac Moses here.) Aaron and his descendants were designated as priests to do the ritual service ...
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291 views

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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83 views

During Torah reading service, is a Cohen allowed to forgo a Levi Aliyah?

Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayyim 135:8 says that during Torah reading, if there is a Cohen present but no Levi, the Cohen gets the first two aliyot. Let's say that on a Monday or Thursday, when there ...
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1answer
36 views

Why different pesach:chagiga ratios depending on kohen status?

In King Yoshiahu's Pesach celebration (famous among diaspora Jews from the haftara of the second day of Pesach and among Israeli Jews because they know Nach), a good many animals were slaughtered. ...
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194 views

Did people who were not priests ever enter the Tabernacle?

Is there any mention in the Tanakh of people who were not priests entering the Tabernacle? Leviticus 17:5 says that the people were to bring their sacrifices to the priest at the entrance of the tent ...
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49 views

What makes a Kohen not a Kohen?

If a Kohen has sex with a non-Jew do they lose their Kohen status forever? If a Kohen becomes impure through lesser means, for example walking on a grave or touching a dead body, do they lose their ...
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111 views

How did the Cohanim manage to walk on the Copper Mizbeach?

Copper is a very good heat conductor. In the Mishkan the outside Mizbeach was made of copper, and had a fire burning on it continuously. (Actually it's a dispute if it had 3 or 4 fires burning on it ...
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96 views

Kohen marrying a giyoress

Can a widowed or divorced kohen who already has children marry a woman convert who cannot have children (eg, because of a hysterectomy or being postmenopausal)?
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28 views

Can Tzaraas be Declared Nowadays? [duplicate]

Based on my understanding of Tzaraas, it seems like what ultimately makes or breaks whether a person is considered impure is whether or not the Kohen declares the person impure. What would happen ...
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74 views

What is an אדם כשר w.r.t. precedence for aliyos?

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 23:9: כשיש כהן בבית הכנסת צריכין לקרות אותו תחלה ואפילו אם הוא עם הארץ אלא שהוא אדם כשר הוא קודם אפילו לתלמיד חכם When there is a kohen in the synagogue, we must call ...
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Can a Cohen marry a bat niddah?

Can a Cohen marry a bat niddah? Are Cohens generally restricted from marrying baalei teshuva because of the possibility that they may be b'not niddah?
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Kohanim slept on guard?

The very start of mishnayos maseches Midos mentions that the kohanim guarded the bes hamikdash in three locations, including bes hamokad, a room on the north side of the mikdash courtyard. The mishna ...
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68 views

Why don't Kohanim and Levi'im thank Hashem for not making them regular Israelites?

As answers to Why don't we thank God for making us men/women? say, men thank Hashem for not making them a woman because the obligations or mitzvot that a man has is greater in number than that of ...
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154 views

Would looking away help a Cohen stay Married to his wife?

I read recently about a Jewish woman raped in France at home in front of her husband. If Chas VeChalilah a wife of a Cohen is raped, they have to get divorced. Would it be advisable for an ...
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26 views

Whats Up With Ascending Sinai: Kohanim

What is the role of the Kohanim in the ascent of Sinai? They are listed second in Exodus (19:22) as being prohibited from ascending, but are listed first in v. 24. Why single them out? why switch ...
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90 views

Can two Levi'im be called up for Torah reading?

This morning (an ordinary Thursday) at shul, the gabbai called up a Kohein (good), then a Levi (good), and then a second Levi. What?? Just to say, there were plenty of Yisraelim who could have been ...
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Kohenim Taking shoes off during rosh hashana

Why did Kohenim take off their shoes on the bimah during a certain prayer on Rosh hashana? Why did they also hold their tallit up over their heads more like tents with their arms raised?
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First Rights for Kohanim

The Gemara Gittin 59b states that there's a Biblical command to respect Kohanim by giving them 'first rights': תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל וקדשתו לכל דבר שבקדושה לפתוח ראשון ולברך ראשון וליטול מנה יפה ...
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Why did they cancel the kohein races over an isolated incident?

Mishna Yoma 2:1-2: ב,א בראשונה, כל מי שהוא רוצה לתרום את המזבח, תורם; בזמן שהן מרובין, רצין ועולים בכבש, וכל הקודם את חברו לתוך ארבע אמות זכה. ואם היו שניהם שווין, הממונה אומר להן הצביעו: מה הן ...
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379 views

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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239 views

Why didn't the Kohanim wear Tzizis?

The Kohen Gadol wore 8 garments, and regular Kohanim wore 4. Why wasn't tzizis one of their required garments? Also, did they have to fulfill the mitzvah of tzizis before or after their daily service, ...
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1answer
103 views

May Kohanim visit Hayden Planetarium in NYC?

May Kohanim visit Hayden Planetarium in New York City? The planetarium in question is adjacent to the Natural History Museum. Issues in question are presumably sof tumah latzeit (the idea that the ...
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15 views

The Tabernacle/day of Atonment

On the day of atonement, the high priest would go into the holiest place... How did he know when it was time to go past the veil? Was there a sign given by God, or did he just say a specific prayer ...
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discrepancy between parashat emor and yechezkel regarding if it is possible for a kohen to be mitame for a spouse

In parashat Emor (Vayikra 21:2) it is written כִּי, אִם-לִשְׁאֵרוֹ, הַקָּרֹב, אֵלָיו: לְאִמּוֹ וּלְאָבִיו, וְלִבְנוֹ וּלְבִתּוֹ וּלְאָחִיו.כא,ג וְלַאֲחֹתוֹ הַבְּתוּלָה הַקְּרוֹבָה אֵלָיו, אֲשֶׁר ...
4
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58 views

What happens if the Kohen Gadol is replaced while someone is in the Ir Miklat?

During the late Second Temple period, the Roman governors would often sell the position of Kohen Gadol to the highest bidder, sometimes even disposing one before serving a whole year. What if, during ...
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886 views

Can one be a Kohen without being Jewish?

I know that being Jewish is passed down maternally; however being a Kohen is passed down paternally. I was wondering in a theoretical situation, if a Kohen father were to have a child with a ...
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Difference between the RamBam and Talmud Kiddushin 82a in list of jobs that posul a King/High Priest?

Anyone have any insight as to why there is a difference between the two, or why the RamBam seems to omit several of the jobs (i.e. cleaner, peddler, etc.)? Thanks
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64 views

how is a Jewish war leader dedicated?

As I recall from some passages, there were times when a priest had to anoint a war-leader... not necessarily a king, but sometimes a dedicated warrior to handle an emergency. Can an expert in sword ...
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1answer
288 views

If a Cohen slept with non-Jews, may he marry a Jewish woman who has done the same?

Suppose a Cohen is dating a Jewish girl, and both parties have had relations with non-Jewish people. Normally, a woman who's had relations with non-Jews is forbidden to a Cohen. Does the fact that he ...
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1answer
109 views

Better for a kohen to daven in a minyan with one other kohen or no kohanim at all?

Say a kohen has an option of davening in one minyan where there is no kohanim at all in order that they should have bircas kohanim. Or he could daven in a minyan where there is at least one other ...