Can a Kohen baal Teshuva who was previously not religious and married to a Christian woman perform birkas kohanim? How to deal with the fact that pursuing his truth research he was previously in Christian group before finding the genuine Jewish practice and faith?

  • See this meta post. You are welcome to ask/answer your own question, but questions shouldn't just be a springboard for an answer. Put some detail into the question as if you were asking it without knowing the answer.
    – Daniel
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 20:04
  • @Daniel Thank you, I will change the question. What is your opinion for the (bad) option tot make question from someone else by shlichut?
    – kouty
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 20:24

1 Answer 1


Can a Kohen converted to Christianity or married with a non-Jewish woman recite the Birkat Kohanim after Teshuva?

This answer is referenced, but an explicative part is based on personal reflection, which may be questionable.


It is allowed. But I want to show two sides. At a first glance this question seems strange, why not?

The source of the problem of a man with a Kadosh and public fonction when he was in the past over avera. The source is in Gemara Menachot and Zvachim. The more sensitive is with Kohen ih its Avoda. The shulchan Aruch ruled that if he is now in the right way he can make Birkat Kohanim.

About a Kohen who served AZ Mishna Menachot 13, 10 :

הַכֹּהֲנִים שֶׁשִּׁמְּשׁוּ בְּבֵית חוֹנְיוֹ, לֹא יְשַׁמְּשׁוּ בַמִּקְדָּשׁ בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם {כז}, וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר לְדָבָר אַחֵר , שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מלכים ב כג), אַךְ לֹא יַעֲלוּ כֹּהֲנֵי הַבָּמוֹת אֶל מִזְבַּח ה' בִּירוּשָׁלָיִם כִי אִם אָכְלוּ מַצּוֹת בְּתוֹךְ אֲחֵיהֶם, הֲרֵי הֵם כְּבַעֲלֵי מוּמִין, חוֹלְקִין וְאוֹכְלִין, אֲבָל לֹא מַקְרִיבִין: ‏

The priests who ministered in the temple of Onias may not minister in the temple in Jerusalem; and needless to say [this is so of priests who ministered to] another matter (idolatry); for it is written, nevertheless the priests of the high places came not up to the altar of the lord in Jerusalem. But they did eat unleavened bread among their brethren. Thus they are like those that had a blemish: they are entitled to share and eat [of the holy things]. But they are not permitted to offer sacrifices.

About a Kohen who converted to Christianity and come back to Teshuva, Tosfot (Menachot 109a) reported a controversy between Sefer Vehizhir and Rashi in responsa:

בספר הזהיר כתוב כהן שהמיר דתו לא ישא את כפיו ולא יקרא ראשון דכתיב וקדשתו והוא אחליה לקדושתיה ועבדו ליה רבנן מעלה מפני דרכי שלום והאי כיון דאידחי אידחי כדתנן הכהנים ששמשו בבית חוניו לא ישמשו במקדש שבירושלים ורש"י פירש דכשר וזה לשונו הרי אלו כבעלי מומין כו' מהכא נפקא לן דכהן שהמיר דתו וחזר בתשובה כשר לדוכן ‏

The sefer Vehizhir prohibits him to make the Birkat Kohanim in synagogue and Rashi allows. The Nos'e kelim of Shulchan Aruch OC 128, 37 ruled as Rashi. (See Rama sayif 35, Baer Heytev SK 60, Machatsit Hashekel SK 54 in name of Bedek Habayit, Beur Halacha on Sayif 35, Pri Chadash on Sayif 37)

About a Kohen Who married divorced woman Mishna Bechorot 7, 7 (ruled in SA YD 128, 40):

הַנּוֹשֵׂא נָשִׁים בַּעֲבֵרָה, פָּסוּל, עַד שֶׁיַּדִּיר הֲנָיָה. ‏

a priest who contracts an illegal marriage is unfit [for the priesthood] until he vows not to derive any benefit from the woman.

I think that the explanation is this. Many disqualifications for Kohanim follow an aesthetic principle. People need to look at the Kohanim as only good. If a Kohen is known for past problems, its value diminished in front of people. Despite that this negative sentiment is not rational, it is important for Kohanim. As a physical defect, which is not a sign of a low value for a man, is problematic for a Kohen at Beit Hamikdash service.

But in conclusion both can make Birkat Kohanim.

  • 1
    The Shulchan Aruch doesn't rule according to Rashi. He merely cites Rashi as a "יש אומרים".
    – Fred
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 19:42
  • @Fred fixed I think. agree you?
    – kouty
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 20:23
  • see also judaism.stackexchange.com/a/92548/11501
    – mbloch
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 20:31
  • In my humble opinion, neither of these two answers, answers the original question. Commented May 28, 2018 at 8:21
  • I see the question has been changed. Commented May 28, 2018 at 17:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .