In a message dated 8/2/2003 5:22:47 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
firstname.lastname@example.org in explaining why some Levite families are
surnamed SEGAL, writes:
<< The fact is that the Kohanim (priests) were >from the Levis, and we can
see in the book of Yeheskel, chapter 44, that the Levies sons of Zadok,
were the only priests who were aloud to enter the most holy place. >>
==This is an unfortunate misreading of the text. Zadok was one of the
earliest High Priests, >from the time of King David. For some reason this
line was termed "HaKohanim HaLevi'im" the Kohanim of the tribe of Levi
(which all Kohanim were in fact, descendants of [a great grandson of?]
Levi, the eponymous founder of the tribe). That is, they were a select
line in the select clan of Kohanim, who were all members of the tribe of
==In the last period before the destruction of Jerusalem, the Zadokites,
their descendants and their political supporters, were known by the Greeks
(and in modern English) as the Sadducees.
==The Zadokites or Saducees were powerful politically, and claimed many
exclusive privileges--which made them the sole family >from which the
politically and economically powerful High Priests could be chosen.
==The reference cited >from Ezekiel 44 meant nothing more than that the
Zadok line of the Kohanim claimed the right to be the only ones to be
allowed entry into the Holy of Holies and hence to the exclusive claim to
the High Priesthood. SEGAL has no connection with Zadok or with Kohanim,
only with Levites who were not Kohanim..
==The question of how the surname SEGAL came to be associated with
Levites, remains unsolved.
Michael Bernet, New York