In a message dated 3/15/2005 11:32:39 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
In the case of the three names you mention, I'd guess (and I mean, guess) that
ADLER was taken as a required surname more often than HALPERN or ALBER, the
latter of which was often a variant of the (often) Rabbinic name
==Adler is German for Eagle. Many were named after a dwelling home designated
with an eagle portrait
==Halpern designated people whose ancestry was in the German town Heilbronn
==Alber might be a variant of ALBERT, the Spanish Albo (=white), or as Roger
Lustig suggests, >from Halberstam, Halberstadt or any other name or location,
==In addition to COHEN, KOHEN, KAGAN, AARONSON etc. there are some family names
associated with Kohanim. RAPPAPORT is one, and they're actually named after a
==My Bernet family is Levites--but the only ones that produced a chain of rabbis
were the Frensdorff branch--named after our ancestral village.
==I do think that Levites have produced an inordinately high number of rabbinic
families: MAINZER/MENZ (after a German city), EPSTEIN (originally Benveniste who
took their new name >from an Austrian village after the expulsion >from Spain),
HOROWITZ/GUREVITCH (after a Moravian village), BAMBERGER (German town). But that
may have had familial-economic reasons--or it may be my prejudiced perception
Michael Bernet, New York
Sally Bruckheimer <sallybru@...>
1. No. Just because a person is a rabbi, that does not make him a Cohen and vice
versa. Anyone of any tribe can and could be a rabbi (for Orthodox you can
exclude women). The Cohanim were priests in the temple and Leviim their
assistants; that does not give them 'rights' to be rabbi's or exclude anyone; one
has nothing to do with the other.
2. See 1.
3. Unless you can prove that all Alber's or all Adler's or whatever were related,
you cannot claim all of them in your family. Adler, eagle in German, may have
come >from a house sign - many house signs in many different towns before house
numbers. And anyone could have changed the family name >from whatever to Adler or
Alber or whatever else they chose.
"I have 3 questions:
1. Should I assume that if the Beider Poland Book lists a last name as
"Rabbinic", (examples of some names: ADLER, HALPERN, ALBER), that the members of
these family were >from the Kohanim tribe?
2. In the 18th and 19th centuries, were there Rabbi who were Levy's and
Israelites? Or just Kohanim?
3. Should I, also, assume that there were Rabbi in the ADLER, HALPERN, and ALBER
families that I am researching (18th and 19th century) or not necessarily?"