Re: Cohanim, Leviim and Yisraelim #general


In a message dated 3/28/2006 1:21:21 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, responded to a posting by Israel Pickholtz:

I once saw a man called up for the third aliyah, as "... ben so-and-so
halevi." It seems the father married a non-Jewish woman, so the son was
not a levi, but a ger. Nonetheless he cited his father's name as
Yisrael Asper responded with:
< It sounds like a compromise was struck as he was called up for what should be
the first Yisrael's Aliyah but mention was still made of his father being a
Levi. Both pieces of information are helpful for genealogy but there may be
some discord between Orthodox and some NonOrthodox congregations over these
designations when some of them may not go according to the traditional
Halacha that gives one's tribal status according to one's father and requires
that the child be born into a tribe or else just gets the generic Yisrael title.>

==Not so. The Father's name is correctly "[ploni] haLevi." If you look at
a ketuba or a tombstone, you will find a Levi's daughter designated as
"[plonit] haLevi." It makes sense.

==Of course Reform congregations and some Conservative congregations don't
concern themselves at all with ancestral status. Which is a pity. For
example, one large branch of my direct male ancestral line is the Frensdorf[f]
line, and like my family they are all Levites. I have traced a number of female
Frensdorfs to records in American Reform congregations--and no one I have
contacted there has any idea if those Frensdorfs were Levites (and therefore
almost certainly, my relatives) or not (and therefore definitely not my family).

Michael Bernet, New York

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