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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18
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3answers
436 views

Can you become “more tamei”? If not, why do we worry about it today?

Without the temple and access to the ritual of the red heifer, we're all tamei (ritually impure) today with no way to fix it. Yet we work to avoid situations that would make us tamei (e.g. kohanim ...
7
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
10
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2answers
593 views

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?
9
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2answers
714 views

Can the child of two converts marry a Cohen?

Can the child of two converts marry a Cohen? How does the situation differ if only the mother, or only the father, is a convert? (I have read that "ideally" the child of two converts should not ...
5
votes
7answers
2k views

Which surnames are exclusively Kohanim's and why?

It is well known that is a person has a certain surname (last name) they are more likely to be a Kohen. Examples: Cohen - for obvious reasons Kahn Katz - stands for "Kohen Tzedek" What are some ...
12
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3answers
469 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
297 views

Who says the Ribbono shel Olam in Birkas Kohanim?

I've "seen" many Talmidei Chachamim not saying the Ribbono shel Olams following each bracha of Birkas Kohanim. At least, I hear them chanting with the Kohanim from start to finish. Are these tefilos ...
13
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2answers
703 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
211 views

relative fractions of Kohanim and Levi'im

Does anyone have reliable statistics (and barring that, reasonable anectdotal evidence) of the fraction of Kohanim, Levi'im, and Yisraelim in various Jewish communities today. By "communities" I don't ...
5
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1answer
196 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
11
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2answers
165 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
135 views

Issues of Tumah vis a vis non-Jewish human remains

I was once told that there's a crypt in the Old City of Jerusalem near one of the gates (I forget which one), which houses the remains of a well-regarded non-Jew (once again, I forget the exact ...
8
votes
1answer
177 views

Kohen Gadol Yibum

Is it ever possible for a Kohen Gadol to perform the Mitzvah of Yibum. After all, every case of Yibum involves a widow which the Kohen Gadol is not allowed to marry?
7
votes
3answers
283 views

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?
6
votes
2answers
331 views

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?
6
votes
1answer
441 views

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be eligible to marry a Kohen?

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be eligible to marry a Kohen? Case #1 -- Assume her husband is a Jew by birth. Case #2 -- Assume her husband converted to Judaism prior ...
3
votes
5answers
3k views

Is a Kohen required to marry a virgin?

In a recent conversation with several friends regarding ba'alei teshuva marrying Kohanim (specifically college students), one person present said that a Kohen can only marry a virgin. I contested this ...
3
votes
2answers
269 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
153 views

Kohain First questions

1)Is there a Din that a Kohain must be allowed to cut you online in a supermarket because of "Vkidashto"? 2)Do they go first when it comes to Davening when there are two Chiyuvim? 3)When you learn ...
5
votes
1answer
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
209 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
309 views

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 ...
8
votes
4answers
365 views

If Eliyahu is Pinchas and Pinchas is a Cohen how was he in the Room when he did Revival of the Dead?

In Melochim there is a famous occurance of the Eliyahu Hanavi reviving the Dead Child of Ovadiah's Hanavi's widow's child who some say was Yonah Hanavi. If Eliyahu was a Cohen how was he allowed to be ...
8
votes
2answers
323 views

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 ...
7
votes
4answers
442 views

Etymology of the surname “Katz”

Are there sources for the etymology of the surname Katz being an acronym for Kohen Tzedek? Is that simply a backronym?
6
votes
1answer
414 views

Where did the Levitical priesthood go?

Has the sacrificial system of the Torah been abandoned? Do those in the Tribe of Levi still act as priest? I have just never seen or heard of anyone making sacrifices of animals or going to a ...
6
votes
1answer
190 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
165 views

Riddle: when do 10 Kohanim equal 1 Yisrael? [closed]

Pretty much what the title says. Where in the Torah do we find something for which we need 10 Kohanim or 1 Yisrael?
5
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0answers
44 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
270 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?
5
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0answers
167 views

Relations among King David, the Sanhedrin, and the high priest

Do we have any historical source that discusses the relations among King David, the Sanhedrin during his reign, and the high priest during his reign? Were they on friendly terms? Was there a power ...
4
votes
1answer
374 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?
4
votes
2answers
268 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?
4
votes
1answer
208 views

Kohen following a Mes into a tunnel

We know a Kohen can not be in the same ohel as a dead person. From what I learned, a moving vehicle does not block the tumah from coming into the car/van/plane etc. So, if one is traveling in a ...
3
votes
2answers
201 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?
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Can a Kohain do Birchas Kohanim if he did not wash his hands?

Suppose a Kohain for some reoson forgot to wash his hands or was unable to, can he still do Birchas Kohanim?
1
vote
1answer
40 views

If a Cohen couple gets an embryo donation do they perform pidyon?

If a Cohen couple gets an embryo donation and their first born is a boy, do they have to do pidyon or is the baby a Cohen?
1
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2answers
148 views

How exactly is a Zona labeled a Zona

Does the fact that a Zona (who becomes Forbidden to a Kohen) enters that status depend on the act that happens, or does the nature of how it happens, and what evidence we have about it, matter? It ...
0
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2answers
102 views

May a Kohen marry a giyores?

Is it permissible for a Kohen to marry a giyores (convert)?
-2
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1answer
58 views

Can a כהן marry a גרושה בתולה

We know that a כהן may only marry a woman who was not divorced. However what about a case where a woman got married then got divorced but never had relations. Is she still fit for a cohen ...
-3
votes
1answer
86 views

Can a כהן marry a גרושה בתולה under 3

A cohen may not marry a woman who was divorced (Leviticus 21:7). So too in a case where a woman got married then got divorced but never had relations. However what about a case where a woman got ...