18 votes
Accepted

What if the Kohen Gadol accidentally kills someone?

Mishna in Makoth 2:7 וְכֹהֵן גָּדוֹל שֶׁהָרַג , אֵינוֹ יוֹצֵא מִשָּׁם לְעוֹלָם A Kohain Gadol who kills goes to the Ir Miklat forever. They would have to appoint another one, to do the Avoda on Yom ...
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17 votes
Accepted

How did the Kohanim eat in the Azara?

Tosafot to Yoma 25a discuss whether the kohanim sat down to eat korbanot in the 'azarah. They suggest three approaches: They would eat standing up in the 'azarah, due to the prohibition on sitting ...
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  • 38.2k
14 votes
Accepted

Is a Kohen Allowed to Receive an Organ Donation?

Quoted from the book Healing in Halacha By Rabbi Micha Cohn (page. 245-247 Mosaica Press 2016) Rav Moshe Feinstein (Iggros Moshe Yoreh Deah 1:230), wrote on the opinions of a contemporary Rabbi ...
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14 votes
Accepted

What were (some of) the names of the 24 families of Kohanim?

There are a number of sources that list the mishmarot or make mention of them. Some were mentioned in the comments. Tanach: Divrei Hayamim 1:24:7-18, as @JoelK noted, brings the list from the time of ...
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  • 20.2k
13 votes

Did each Kohen Gadol wear his predecessor's garments?

Rambam, Hilchot Klei HaMikdash 8:5: כָּל בֶּגֶד מִבִּגְדֵי כְּהֻנָּה שֶׁנַּעֲשׂוּ צוֹאִין אֵין מְלַבְּנִין אוֹתָן וְאֵין מְכַבְּסִין אוֹתָן אֶלָּא מַנִּיחָן לִפְתִילוֹת וְלוֹבֵשׁ חֲדָשִׁים. ...
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  • 38.2k
11 votes

If a Cohen slept with non-Jews, may he marry a Jewish woman who has done the same?

The answer is that a Cohen who has relations with a non-Jewish woman is not removed from his sanctity and therefore not permitted to marry a woman who's had relations with non-Jews. רמבם הלכות איסורי ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Cohanim in Auschwitz

Chayim K'halacha question 223 - Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Blizinsky - says a Kohain may go on the paths that lead to Auschwitz however may not enter the area where the incinerators are.
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10 votes
Accepted

Can one be a Kohen without being Jewish?

Kohanim need to be Jews first. The child of a non-Jewish woman is not a Jew, and thus cannot be a kohen. Even if a kohen marries a convert (which halacha forbids, but if he did), so his child is ...
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9 votes

Why didn't the Kohanim wear Tzizis?

First of all, to clarify what the question is/should be, there's no obligation to wear tzitzis under normal circumstances, unless one is wearing a four cornered garment. Hence, the fact that tzitzis ...
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9 votes
Accepted

What happens if the Kohen Gadol is replaced while someone is in the Ir Miklat?

Rambam Rotzeah 7:9 (English) אחד כוהן גדול המשוח בשמן המשחה, ואחד המרובה בבגדים; ואחד כוהן גדול העובד, ואחד הכוהן שעבר: כל אחד מארבעתן שמת, מחזיר את הרוצח.‏ If any of the current or former ...
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  • 95.1k
9 votes
Accepted

Can I make a Cohen bless me

Possibly this is a (mistaken) extension of the idea that once summoned for birkath kohanim in the synagogue service, a Kohen who declines to perform the blessing is in violation of the positive ...
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  • 17.2k
9 votes

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

To answer the last part of the question that wasn't addressed yet. Is there any significance as to why a specific stone was assigned to a specific tribe? Was it something within the color, or the ...
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  • 1,693
9 votes

Is a kohen who embarrasses someone publicly prohibited to duchen?

Responsa Shevet Halevi 8:172 rules that such a person is allowed to duchen, because the verse that is the source of the prohibition, as well as the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch imply that the issue is ...
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  • 6,375
9 votes
Accepted

What did it use to mean for a kohen to get a second aliyah?

Tosfot (Gittin 59b) answers (based on a similar case in Tosefta Megilla 3:6) that to distinguish the two sections, the kohen would go sit down back in his seat and then stand up again and go up to the ...
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  • 95.1k
8 votes

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

Shemesh U'magen Volume 3 Even Haezer 58 says that they may even get married Lchatchila according to the Rambam, and Bdieved according to the Rif and the Ramban. Rabbi Ovadya Yosef Zatzal in Yabia ...
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8 votes

Kohanim Dating Ba'alot Teshuva

My understanding is that many people today will start off with the assumption that a woman who bacame baal teshuva after a certain age is just not kohen-eligible. As for your question -- it's not an ...
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  • 126k
8 votes

Kohen status of a son by intermarriage?

There is no chain of descent. This is similar to the questions about relatives who convert and the various laws of inheritence. A man who has a child by a non-Jewish woman is not considered to have ...
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  • 41.8k
8 votes

Kohenim Taking shoes off during rosh hashana

This was birkat kohanim, the priestly blessing, which (in the diaspora, at least for Ashkenazim) is done only on the high holy days and festivals. In Israel it is done at each morning service (where ...
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8 votes

Did people who were not priests ever enter the Tabernacle?

How about Yoav (Melachim I, 2:29)? He goes into "Ohel Hashem" (literally translated as Tabernacle in some places), and holds onto the "horns of the altar". Yoav was not a cohen (...
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  • 3,626
8 votes

Can a Kohen get a divorce?

A Cohen may divorce his wife. The Mishna and Halacha mention special rules for the divorce procedures of a Cohen, so it follows that may do so: For example, in the laws of how to write the names of ...
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8 votes

David's sons were kohanim - Really?

Is there anywhere else in Tanach where "kohanim" does NOT mean priests? 1. Shoftim Ch. 17 - 18: In the end of Shoftim the ben-Levi who served in Micha's place of worship is referred to as a Cohen ...
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8 votes

What does the Cohen do with the pidyon money?

In my experience (having being the Cohen receiving the pidyon haben money), a Cohen who does many pidyonei banim will often own his own set of 5 silver shekalim (I do not, but was gifted a set by ...
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  • 8,621
8 votes

Could a Cohen burn a body to escape the impurity?

ABSOLUTELY NOT. Recall that a Cohen -- even a Cohen Gadol -- is obligated to contact a dead body if that's the only way it will receive a proper burial -- this is known as meis mitzva. So in your ...
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  • 126k
8 votes

Birkas Kohanim when wife is a niddah

This is cited by Raavad in his commentary to Tamid (end, s.v. He'chelu): ובספר מקצועות מצאתי כתוב היכא דאיכא נדה בביתא דכהן אסור אסור ליה למסיק לדוכן כל אימת דאיתא בנדתה דחייש דלמא נגע במידי דנגעה ...
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  • 11.7k
8 votes

Is a woman considered a sotah if she cheated on her husband with another woman?

The Babylonian Talmud sets forth in Yemavot p.76 A that relations between women are not considered actual sexual relations, stating, "“And even according to Rav Eleazar, who stated that an unmarried ...
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8 votes

Where are the 24 places that Kohanim are called Leviim?

I could not find any mainstream commentary which listed them. Based on a search, I found 14 cases where they are explicitly referred to as Kohanim Haleviyim, with a couple more questionable (unlikely) ...
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7 votes

Difference between the RamBam and Talmud Kiddushin 82a in list of jobs that posul a King/High Priest?

(If you're in a rush, skip to the last paragraph.) Let us first compare the texts to see what the discrepancies actually are. The Talmudic passage reads as follows: Kiddushin 82a תנו רבנן כל ...
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  • 47.8k
7 votes

Why don't Kohanim and Levi'im thank Hashem for not making them regular Israelites?

Your question is referred to in the review Beis Hillel כסלו תשס''ה under the title “Why does not a kohen make a blessing שעשני כהן". Rav Asher Anshil Schwarz asked the question and offered several ...
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7 votes
Accepted

How did the Cohanim manage to walk on the Copper Mizbeach?

With thanks to Danny Schoemann who pointed me at a reference to what I’d remembered without a source. Here is how the Torah describes the tabernacle altar (Shemot 27:8): נְבוּב לֻחֹת תַּעֲשֶׂה ...
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