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 kohen so then he could make the bircas kohanim then a "d'oraisa". Which minyan should he daven in. The minyan where there will be 2 kohanim and the mitzvah will then be m'doraisa. Or in the minyan where there is no kohanim so at least then this minyan should have the minyan m'drabbanan (so to for the other minyan)

The same could be asked when one minyan has no kohanim but the other minyan has 2 kohanim. That minyan will have bircas kohanim m'd'oraisa, however the kohan if he goes to the minyan with no kohanim will only perform the mitzvah on a d'rabbanan level, perhaps better then to go to the other minyan and perform it on a d'oraisa level. This is different than the first case because even if he doesn't go to the minyan with 2 kohanim, they will still have bircas kohanim on the level of a d'oraisa, however he won't. Which is better?

  • Isn't the question in your second paragraph the same as the one in your first? Am I missing something?
    – msh210
    Jan 5, 2014 at 4:33
  • 2
    @msh210 In the second instance, the second minyan can already perform the birkat kohanim on a d'oraita level without the new kohen.
    – Daniel
    Jan 5, 2014 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


Your question is based on the mistaken premise that one Kohen in a Shul is not Biblically mandated to do 'Birkas Kohanim'. That isn't quite true.. What the Halacha does say is that if there is only one Kohen, then the Chazan isn't supposed to call out 'Kohanim', though if he mistakenly did (as often happens), the Kohen hasn't transgressed a Biblical Mitzva if he doesn't go up.

See, for example: קיצור ש''ע ילקוט יוסף קכח:א

'ואפילו אם אין שם כהן אלא כהן אחד, אם קראו כהנים ולא עלה, הרי זה עובר בעשה כנז'.

This doesn't necessarily make the 'Birkas Kohanim' done by one Kohen any different.

As it is a 'מצוה דאורייתא' either way, it would make more sense to go Daven where there is no other Kohen, as this way you are enabling everyone to receive the ברכה when they wouldn't otherwise.

  • But the op was asking according to tge other opinions
    – Double AA
    Nov 10, 2014 at 22:22
  • what other opinions?! The Mitzva is to go up - however many Kohanim there are! No Kohen has transgressed if they haven't called him up - however many there are. Thus, there is no difference!
    – Zvi
    Nov 10, 2014 at 22:31
  • It seems clear the OP is assuming that the lone Kohein will only be fulfilling a mitzva miderabanan. Those are the relevant opinions. IAE you dont answer the question because the Kohein can't assume that that day there will be a mistake made in shul. So -1
    – Double AA
    Nov 10, 2014 at 22:39
  • 1
    @DoubleAA what's the problem with rejecting the premise as an answer?
    – Daniel
    Nov 10, 2014 at 23:44
  • 1
    @DoubleAA So are there opinions that only one kohen makes a D'Rabanan? Without sources for the premise, an argument against the premise seems pretty solid.
    – Daniel
    Nov 11, 2014 at 0:46

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