In Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim, Siman 128 Sif 22, the Mechaber writes that, regarding Birkas Kohanim, "we attempt to have the caller [i.e. the one who says the words of the Bracha before the Kohanim] be an Israelite". This contrasts what was said a bit earlier regarding how the process works if the Kohein is the Chazzan.

However, does anyone comment on whether the "caller" could be a Levi? The words of the Mechaber say "Israelite", but was that used simply to mean a non-Kohain, or is an Israelite preferred?

1 Answer 1


The Mishnah Berurah writes more clearly that the key part is that "it shouldn't be a Kohain", and he brings the Chemed Moshe I'm his Shaar Hatziyon that says according to all opinions, a Levi could be the "caller" Lechatichila.

  • 3
    I had the question while reading through the Aruch Hashulchan, and wrote up the question but decided to look further before hitting submit. Found what I was looking for, so figured I'd share with anyone else who might be curious. Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 13:06
  • Though notice "shouldn't" - it's my understanding that a Kohen can be a chazzan, and he just loses his chance to duchan and is mevateil the aseh in the process.
    – DonielF
    Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 4:23
  • I seem to remember learning (can't source it though) that if a Cohen is Shat"z he washes before the Repetition and raises his arms/covers himself, but does not turn round. I don't remember whether someone else should take over for the "prompting".
    – Epicentre
    Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 5:29
  • Many allow a Kohein who is Chazzan to move up like the other Kohanim and turn around and say the blessing like normal while someone else calls out the words. @DonielF Epicentre.
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 16:15

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