Questions tagged [kohen-priest]

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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
13 votes
1 answer
3k views

Prohibition of a Kohen marrying a Zonah

In the prohibition of a Kohen marrying a Zonah (cf. Vayikra 21:7), what defines a woman as a Zonah? Is it just having had relations with a non-Jew, or does it also include having relations out of ...
22 votes
3 answers
1k views

Can you become "more tamei"? If not, why do we worry about it today?

Without the temple and access to the ritual of the red heifer, we're all tamei (ritually impure) today with no way to fix it. Yet we work to avoid situations that would make us tamei (e.g. kohanim ...
13 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can a Kohen Marry a Woman with a Non-Jewish Father?

Is a Kohen allowed to marry a woman who is the daughter of a Jewish woman and non-Jewish man?
8 votes
7 answers
9k views

Which surnames are Kohanim's and why?

It is well known that is a person has a certain surname (last name) they are more likely to be a Kohen. Examples: Cohen - for obvious reasons Kahn Katz - stands for "Kohen Tzedek" What are some ...
  • 1,710
22 votes
2 answers
3k views

What happens to the family of a Kohen today if his wife is a victim of rape?

What happens to the family of a Kohen today if his wife is a victim of rape? What are the steps taken and how does this come to be resolved according to halachah and in the most constructive way for ...
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can the child of two converts marry a Cohen?

Can the child of two converts marry a Cohen? How does the situation differ if only the mother, or only the father, is a convert? (I have read that "ideally" the child of two converts should not ...
  • 19.3k
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why do the Leviim wash the hands of the Kohanim when they go up to bless the people?

When the Kohanim washed their hands and feet in the Beis HaMikdosh they did not have anyone to help. Why then do the Kohanim need others to wash their hands when they go up to bless the people? Why ...
5 votes
5 answers
14k views

Is a Kohen required to marry a virgin?

In a recent conversation with several friends regarding ba'alei teshuva marrying Kohanim (specifically college students), one person present said that a Kohen can only marry a virgin. I contested this ...
  • 916
17 votes
1 answer
592 views

How does the kohein gadol's substitute wife work?

The first mishna of Yoma1 explains that before Yom Kippur, a substitute wife is prepared for the kohein gadol lest his wife die -- because the torah says he makes atonement for himself and "his house",...
15 votes
3 answers
887 views

Did the kohanim wear tefillin during their Temple services?

The Torah and the Gemara (especially in Yoma) gives us fascinating detail about the bigdei kahuna (clothes of the priests) that were worn in the Holy Temple. What is not clear is whether tefillin ...
  • 15.7k
14 votes
3 answers
1k views

Nose Job in Halacha

Is a nose job allowed Hallachicly? Not all cosmetic surgeries, but rhinoplasty in particular, as I heard that rhinoplasty is allowed because we see by a Kohen that having an abnormally long nose is a ...
  • 8,959
11 votes
1 answer
734 views

How are we to understand Malchi-Tzedek, non-Jewish priest of God?

Malchi-Tzedek is a gentile priest who worships God. I initially read this as just saying God is not exclusive (it says somewhere in Nevi'im that God also has covenants with other peoples), but today ...
17 votes
3 answers
1k views

Can a kohen be a mamzer?

A friend and I were discussing this. Generally speaking, it seems that it should be impossible for a person to be a kohen (rather than a chalal) and also a mamzer, because the set of women whom a ...
  • 89.3k
7 votes
2 answers
239 views

Kohain First questions

1)Is there a Din that a Kohain must be allowed to cut you online in a supermarket because of "Vkidashto"? 2)Do they go first when it comes to Davening when there are two Chiyuvim? 3)When you learn ...
  • 32.8k
7 votes
1 answer
339 views

Source for bechorot losing/reclaiming priesthood

At a parshat hashavua shiur that I regularly attend, the rabbi has stated on multiple occasions that the bechorot (firstborn sons of Israel) were supposed to serve the purpose that the Leviim and ...
  • 24.4k
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be eligible to marry a Kohen?

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be eligible to marry a Kohen? Case #1 -- Assume her husband is a Jew by birth. Case #2 -- Assume her husband converted to Judaism prior ...
  • 19.3k
9 votes
1 answer
558 views

Issues of Tumah vis a vis non-Jewish human remains

I was once told that there's a crypt in the Old City of Jerusalem near one of the gates (I forget which one), which houses the remains of a well-regarded non-Jew (once again, I forget the exact ...
  • 41.1k
8 votes
1 answer
724 views

Cohanim in Auschwitz

A lot of people died in Auschwitz, and since cohanim are not allowed to become tamei (ritually impure) by touching a corpse, may cohanim enter Auschwitz?
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is a Cohen who had a vasectomy allowed to perform Birkat Kohanim?

Is Cohen who had a vasectomy allowed to Bless the congregation? Also marry? What happens if he does marry?
  • 105
6 votes
2 answers
869 views

Can any kohanim trace all the way back to Aaron?

Can any kohanim alive today trace their lineage all the way back to the High Priest Aaron? If not, who can go the farthest?
  • 2,437
5 votes
3 answers
971 views

Why didn't the Kohanim wear Tzizis?

The Kohen Gadol wore 8 garments, and regular Kohanim wore 4. Why wasn't tzizis one of their required garments? Also, did they have to fulfill the mitzvah of tzizis before or after their daily service, ...
  • 8,585
4 votes
2 answers
610 views

Is a Cohen Allowed to Perform CPR?

CPR is performed when the heart has stopped but the brain is still alive. We have a general rule that a Cohen is not allowed to come in contact with a dead body. If so, does this mean that a Kohen ...
  • 38.2k
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the significance of the Choshen stones assigned to each tribe?

Shemot 28:17-20 discusses the types of stones and their arrangements on the Choshen (breastplate). Each stone had the name of a tribe inscribed in it. Verse 21 mentions that the order of the stones ...
  • 69k
12 votes
2 answers
225 views

Preference to Kohanim in repeating situations

Based on this question and answer, it seems that the obligation to honor the kohein is when everyone has equal rights, the kohein gets first pick, but not everything. For instance, if a host serves a ...
  • 95.6k
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

Kohanim Dating Ba'alot Teshuva

Is it necessary for a Kohen to clarify that a prospective match who is a ba'alat teshuvah has not had sexual relations with a non-Jew before dating her, or can one rely on a chezkat kashrut? If the ...
  • 1,501
10 votes
2 answers
634 views

Is a Kohen Allowed to Receive an Organ Donation?

A Kohen is forbidden from becoming Tamei Meis (coming in contact with a dead body) (Vayikra-21) Aside from being allowed for Pikuach Nefesh reasons (life threatening situation). What other reasons ...
8 votes
2 answers
2k 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 cohanim (priests) to do the ...
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Kohen flying over a cemetery?

Is there a problem with a kohen flying in an airplane that may fly over a Jewish cemetery? If so, how can a kohen be sure that a flight does not go over a Jewish cemetery?
  • 24.4k
7 votes
1 answer
278 views

Riddle: when do 10 Kohanim equal 1 Yisrael? [closed]

Pretty much what the title says. Where in the Torah do we find something for which we need 10 Kohanim or 1 Yisrael?
  • 89.3k
7 votes
2 answers
561 views

Would looking away help a Cohen stay married to his wife?

I read recently about a Jewish woman raped in France at home in front of her husband. If Chas VeChalilah a wife of a Cohen is raped, they have to get divorced. Would it be advisable for an ...
  • 5,967
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

specification of premarital sex

I read on this site that: "A born-Jewish woman who has had premarital relations may marry a kohen only if all of her partners were Jewish.". How is premarital relations described in Judaism for this ...
1 vote
2 answers
519 views

May a Kohen marry a giyores?

Is it permissible for a Kohen to marry a giyores (convert)?
16 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can a Cohen marry a bat niddah?

Can a Cohen marry a bat niddah? Are Cohens generally restricted from marrying baalot teshuva because of the possibility that they may be b'not niddah?
  • 19.3k
11 votes
1 answer
246 views

Why did Aharon request that Hashem declare Miriam pure?

Rashi says that one of the meanings of Aharon's prayer regarding Miriam ("Let her not be like the dead, which comes out of his mother's womb with half his flesh consumed!"; Bamidbar 12:12) was that ...
9 votes
4 answers
1k views

Bimei Matisyahu ben Yochanan Kohen Godol

In "Al Hanisim" we say "Bimei Matisyahu ben Yochanan Kohen Godol", "in the days of Matisyahu the son of Yochanan the Kohen Gadol (=high priest)". Who was the Kohen Godol: Matisyahu or Yochnan?
  • 32.8k
9 votes
1 answer
385 views

Kohen Gadol Yibum

Is it ever possible for a Kohen Gadol to perform the Mitzvah of Yibum. After all, every case of Yibum involves a widow which the Kohen Gadol is not allowed to marry?
  • 38.2k
8 votes
3 answers
473 views

Relative fractions of Kohanim and Levi'im

Does anyone have reliable statistics (and barring that, reasonable anectdotal evidence) of the fraction of Kohanim, Levi'im, and Yisraelim in various Jewish communities today? By "communities&...
  • 8,678
6 votes
1 answer
255 views

Kohanim and the Third Temple

Are there any organizations that provide ongoing preparation for Kohanim to immediately assume their priestly duties upon the arrival of Moshiach? I would imagine that performing the sacrifices and ...
  • 1,584
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Marriage of a Cohen to a woman with a non-Jewish father: Are the sons Cohanim?

Asking because it is not answered here: If, as suggested in the linked question, a Cohen may b'dieved (but not l'chatchila) marry a woman whose father is a non-Jew, will the sons from such a marriage ...
  • 19.3k
3 votes
5 answers
731 views

Why there was no railing on the 5m high Mizbeach?

While looking at drawings of the Temple's Altar, I was impressed by its dimensions: up to 5m (16ft) high and 15m (100ft) wide. Here's a pretty truthful depiction (courtesy of WIKI) that gives an idea ...
  • 24.9k
3 votes
2 answers
397 views

Kohen aliyah during shiva

If a kohen is in his shiva period, can he take the kohen aliyah if there is no other kohen present? We had such a situation on Shabbat at mincha. One ruling said that the kohen should take the ...
3 votes
1 answer
103 views

Does a Kohen have to give "Chalah" from his own dough? What about "Terumah" from fields that his wife inherited from her family?

Since a Kohen is the recipient of "Chalah" that a non-kohen separated their dough, does a Kohen have to still separate the "Chalah" portion from the dough and give it to himself? ...
  • 101
2 votes
2 answers
233 views

Physical defect vs. defect in Holiness

Vayikra/Leviticus 21:17 and 21 describe that a person (who is a kohen) and has a physical defect can't bring offerings made with fire and can't approach to bring near the food/bread for G-d. This ...
  • 7,168
11 votes
1 answer
275 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 ...
  • 95.6k
7 votes
3 answers
4k views

May a Kohen become a doctor?

May a Kohen, who is not allowed to be around dead bodies and the like, become a doctor? Please mention only sourced answers, and I realize that there are some programs that don't require work with ...
5 votes
2 answers
816 views

Bas Cohen having relations with a non-Jew

It says in SA YD Siman 305 that a Bas Cohen that has a bechor (firstborn) with a non-Jew there is chiyuv of pidyon haben since the Bas Cohen through having relations with the non-Jew she looses her ...
  • 15.7k
4 votes
1 answer
439 views

Tribe of the son of a Kohen and a convert

Kohanim are not allowed to marry a convert. However, if such a case happens (where there is a fully valid conversion), what is the status of the child? On one hand, they would be chalal, but would ...
21 votes
2 answers
318 views

Making the Kohen's Gesture

Is it forbidden for a non-Kohen to form the hand formation that Kohanim use during their priestly blessings?
  • 5,647
14 votes
4 answers
1k views

If Eliyahu is Pinchas and Pinchas is a Cohen how was he in the Room when he did Revival of the Dead?

In Melochim there is a famous occurance of the Eliyahu Hanavi reviving the Dead Child of Ovadiah's Hanavi's widow's child who some say was Yonah Hanavi. If Eliyahu was a Cohen how was he allowed to be ...
  • 2,232
10 votes
3 answers
778 views

Can the daughter of two people who could not marry a Cohen marry a cohen?

Can a woman whose father's father isn't Jewish, but whose father's mother is a regular Jew, and whose mother is the child of two converts marry a Cohen? On the one hand she isn't purely from converts,...
  • 31.4k