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

  • 3
    Welcome to mi.yodeya, Jeff Forman. Thanks for your provocative question. Please consider rewording the title to make it more directed toward the particulars of your question, and including in the question some specification of what you mean by a feeling (subjective) being a disqualification (objective).
    – WAF
    Apr 24, 2011 at 15:51

1 Answer 1


If you mean technical ritual impurity (tum'ah) - then that's not an issue; all Jews nowadays are presumed tamei (and if they live in the Diaspora, then they are impure anyway, since all places outside of Eretz Yisrael are tamei by Rabbinical decree).

If you mean that he feels unworthy - that's not a good reason to not perform birkas kohanim; that would amount to saying that because he's committed one sin, he should commit another. Ultimately, whether a particular kohen is worthy or not doesn't matter (aside from certain sins): the blessing comes from Hashem, not from the kohen. (Shulchan Aruch Harav 128:52 citing Rambam)

  • He wouldn't be sinning by not blessing the people if he left the synagogue before the leader called him up to do so.
    – Double AA
    Nov 29, 2012 at 5:33

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