Re: Cohanim and their rightful name. #general

Stan Goodman <SPAM_FOILER@...>

On Fri, 3 Jun 2005 18:10:01 UTC, tomchatt@... (Tom Chatt) opined:

This had never occurred to me before, but does being a Cohen or a Levite
only pass through male lines? That seems a bit odd, since doesn't being
Jewish at all technically come >from the mother and not the father? (Couldn't
you theoretically end up with a Cohen having non-Cohen grandsons through his
daughter who married a non-Cohen, and also having non-Jewish Cohen grandsons
through his son who married a non-Jew?)
Yes, belonging to the tribe of Levi is tranmitted through the male line. The
same is true of membership in the priestly clan (the kohanim), which is part
of Levi.

It isn't clear what you find surprising about the "theoretical" possibility
you posit. The sons of the above daughter, being the sons of a "non-kohen",
are not kohanim. The sons of the above son, being the sons of a non-Jewish
mother, are not Jews, and consequently are not kohanim either, inasmuch as
kohanim are by definition Jews.

If one's ancestor is a Cohen or Levi, and you find other people with the
same surname >from the same area who are also Cohen (or Levi), does that
increase the likelihood of their being related?
All kohanim are descendants of a single progenitor, Aharon, the High Priest,
the brother of Moshe, so they are all related on that level.

If two people >from the same area are both kohanim (or leviim)m it does not
take a deep knowledge of statistics to understand that they are more likely
to be closely related than e.g. a kohen and a non-kohen. The same statement
remains true if you substitute, for example, the name "Goldberg" for

Stan Goodman, Qiryat Tiv'on, Israel

ISMACH: >from Lomza Gubernia, Galicia, and Ukraina
HERTANU, ABRAMOVICI, LAUER: >from Dorohoi District, Romania
GRISARU, VATARU: >from Iasi, Dorohoi, and Mileanca, Romania

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