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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What type of olive oil was used for the shemen hamishcha (Anointing oil)?

I have looked through the relevant gemoros in Menachos and Krisos as well as the Rambam in H' Klei Hamikdosh but I can't find a source for what quality of olive oil was used for the shemen hamishchah. ...
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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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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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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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107 views

Does a Kohen have to be concerned about the surname of a potential mate?

In this question various surnames are explored that are strongly associated with being a Kohein. Some of them are rather unambiguously chosen simply because the chooser wanted to indicate their status....
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What % of kohanim were not members of a mishmar?

In the time of the Temple, kohanim were assigned to work in the Temple on a rotating, weekly basis. The term for such a a crew was a mishmar. But there were more kohanim than were needed. So some ...
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72 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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57 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 ...
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120 views

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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212 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 ...
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Should Cohanim and Levi'im prioritize their knowledge and study of sacrificial laws, today?

My understanding of Mashi'ach related to this question: According to one of Maimonides's principles, we are to expect it to come at any time The Temple will be rebuilt and sacrifices will be offered,...
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The “Chok” Status of Kohanim Drinking Before the Service

While reading the Parsha this past week, I was struck but what I thought was an interesting wording in the Passuk: ט יַיִן וְשֵׁכָר אַל-תֵּשְׁתְּ אַתָּה וּבָנֶיךָ אִתָּךְ, בְּבֹאֲכֶם אֶל-אֹהֶל ...
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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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28 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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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 paint Kohanim in ram's blood?

In parshas Tetzaveh 29:20 the Torah explains the details about painting different parts of the Kohen in ram's blood. I get the whole idea of the symbolism of the different parts of the body (...
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Kohanim in Eastern Europe

Another question on this website deals with the issue of kohanim in Auschwitz. To be "strict", a kohen today could simply avoid going to death camps altogether. Elsewhere, however, is not so easy. Are ...
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33 views

How many Kohanim at the time of the MIshkan?

After Nadav and Avihu were killed, until Pinchas was proclaimed a Kohen, were there only 3 Kohanim - namely, Aharon, Elazar and Isamor? Is there anything written about this? Is there anything written ...
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41 views

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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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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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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41 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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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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Who got the matnas kahunah before the Egel?

In the beginning the Avodah (service) of Karbonos was with the bechor (first-born -- see the mishnah in the last perek of Zevachim. The avodah was done by the bechorim until the Mishkan was built) ...
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95 views

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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91 views

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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Kohanim and Leviyim switching roles in the future

I once was told that at the time of Moshiach, the kohanim will become leviyim, and the leviyim will become kohanim with regards to their service in the third temple. I was told it was because Moshe ...
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If one has tzaraat but doesn't seek a Kohen

In parashat Tazria it mentions the Kohen's involvement of identifying tzaraat and rendering the person pure/impure (about 50 times!). Rashi (13:3) says that the Kohen's involvement in declaring 'pure\...
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31 views

Were the בגדי לבן‎ 30 ‎מנה in weight or value?

I'm studying משניות מסכת יומא and have come across this passage (in chapter 3 mishna 7, found in the Bavli on page 34:2): בשחר היה לובש פלוסין של שנים עשר מנה ובין הערבים הנדוין של שמונה מאות זוז ...