Michael Bernet, New York MBernet@aol.com wrote:
=All very nice, but I know of no tradition that the Levites suddenlyorganized themselves into a guild or anything else. Two Levi'im can not
even be called to the Torah in succession, and the only place I know where
two or more Levi'im (as Levi'im) could be found adjacant was when washing
the hands of the Kohanim before the latter mounted the Dukhan to pronounce
the threefold blessing. In the Rhineland, that would have averaged between
seven and eight times a year.
=I suppose that I was misunderstood in that one. I meant that just like the
union of Jewish tailors because of Jewish laws, the Levis' who took the
surname SEGAL, were branch of the Levies' who deliberately prepared
themselves to serve in the future temple (not all the members of the
extended Levi tribe served in the temple or meant to serve in the future
=Unless they were hiding >from the Kohanim or the tax authorities, therewas no reason for Levis to give their "guild" a new name. Levi'im was an
=In my paternal family I found the surname HALBE"Z [heh - lammed - bet -
tzadi], which is the initials of the written in the book of Yechskel,
chapter 44: ...Ha'Leviyim Bney Tzadok [The Levis' Sons Of Tzadok]. It is
indeed a rare surname in Ashkenazic circles, and I am trying to find out if
Levis' families of Bulgarian origin and >from the other hand of Bukharan
origin, who are called TZADIKOV, are the same as my HALB"Z.
So you have an example of Levis' who calls themselves in a different
surname, just like the SEGALs'.
So each branch chose a surname which gives hint about their origin
occupation, and kept it for the next temple...
Maybe HALB"Z = high priests, SEGAL = second to the high priests and or in
general: who served in the temple.
Udi Cain, Jerusalem