Cohanim, Leviim and Yisraelim #general


Joseph Hirschfield
 

Another issue is that a child adopted by a male Kohen is not a Kohen unless
his natural father was a Kohen. If there are other natural children born to
the Kohen, then only the natural sons born to the Kohen are Kohen. Similarly
with the Levi'im.

Joseph Hirschfield
Portage, MI


ben-ari <yrcdi@...>
 

Another case of a mistaken Cohen: When I checked the origin of my family
name KATZOFF in the Diaspora Museum "Beit Hatefuzot" the person who
programmed the computer presumed that since the first part of the name is
KATZ so he claimed that it is a variant of KATZ and specifically mentioned
that it refers to Cohanim. My brother's name, Prof. Ranon KATZOFF of Bar
Ilan Univ. is one of the prominent KATZOFFs in Israel.

I know of no KATZOFF who are Cohens.
I mentioned this several years ago to my brother and he said that he going
to have the Museum change the material.

Yoni Ben-Ari,

I would like to correct several errors in David Kravitz's response to this
subject:

1) Leviim are not all descended >from Moses, but rather >from his uncles. In
fact, aside >from the two sons of Moses, later descendants are not known.

2) "There is no reason that the daughter of a Cohen might not marry the son
of a Levite creating a connection. Thus their son would be a Cohen but an
uncle or first cousin might be a Levite"

Just the opposite is the case. A child born to the daughter of a Cohen is
not a Cohen. If his father is a Levi then he is a Levi. If his father is a
Yisrael, he is a Yisrael.

3) Israeli civil registration does not include Cohen, Levi or Yisrael
status. That appears on religious documents such as Ketubah (marriage
certificate), synagogue membership lists, and tombstones.

But a word of caution: families which became assimilated may have forgotten
their tribal status, such that the absence of such even on religious
certification or tombstones, in modern times, does not necessarily negate
the possibility of Cohen or Levi ancestry in the male line.
snip<
Another factor can be when in an ancient family of Leviim such as Horowitz,
Epstein or Landau a son-in-law who is not a Levi may take his
father-in-law's surname. Thus there are families bearing the above names who
are not Leviim. Similarly with the non-Cohen son-in-law of a Cohen Rapoport,
Katz, etc.

Chaim Freedman
Petah Tikvah, Israel
chaimjan@zahav.net.il


Chaim freedman
 

I would like to correct several errors in David Kravitz's response to this
subject:

1) Leviim are not all descended >from Moses, but rather >from his uncles. In
fact, aside >from the two sons of Moses, later descendants are not known.

2) "There is no reason that the daughter of a Cohen might not marry the son
of a Levite creating a connection. Thus their son would be a Cohen but an
uncle or first cousin might be a Levite"

Just the opposite is the case. A child born to the daughter of a Cohen is
not a Cohen. If his father is a Levi then he is a Levi. If his father is a
Yisrael, he is a Yisrael.

3) Israeli civil registration does not include Cohen, Levi or Yisrael
status. That appears on religious documents such as Ketubah (marriage
certificate), synagogue membership lists, and tombstones.

But a word of caution: families which became assimilated may have forgotten
their tribal status, such that the absence of such even on religious
certification or tombstones, in modern times, does not necessarily negate
the possibility of Cohen or Levi ancestry in the male line.

Care should also be taken when a woman marries twice, once to a Cohen or
Levi and has children by him who are therefore Cohanim or Leviim, then a
second marriage to a Yisrael. Children of the second marriage are Yisraelim.
I am aware of cases where the descendants of these half brothers may become
confused as to their tribal affiliation. Or if which husband is the male
ancestor of later generations is not known, considerable confusion may
arise.

Another factor can be when in an ancient family of Leviim such as Horowitz,
Epstein or Landau a son-in-law who is not a Levi may take his
father-in-law's surname. Thus there are families bearing the above names who
are not Leviim. Similarly with the non-Cohen son-in-law of a Cohen Rapoport,
Katz, etc.

Chaim Freedman
Petah Tikvah, Israel
chaimjan@zahav.net.il


Israel P
 

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
"halevi".

Israel Pickholtz


ben-ari <yrcdi@...>
 

Please note that there are also KAHNs and/or KAHANs that are specifically
non-cohens ( a lot depends on how they write their name in Hebrew-Kaf or
Kuf). And as has been said before there are COHENs that are not Cohens
usually because of a change of family name.

Yoni Ben-Ari, Efrat, Israel

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
"halevi".

Israel Pickholtz


Yisrael Asper
 

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.
Yisrael Asper
yisraelasper@comcast.net
Pittsburgh PA

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
"halevi".

Israel Pickholtz


HPOLLINS@...
 

yrcdi@netvision.net.il writes:
And as has been said before there are COHENs that are not Cohens
usually because of a change of family name. <<

Including, of course, non-Jewish Cohens.

Harold Pollins
Oxford


MBernet@...
 

In a message dated 3/28/2006 1:21:21 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
yisraelasper@comcast.net 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
"halevi".
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


Israel P
 

OY!

However Ashkenazi Levites and Sephardi Levites do not share a common
ancestor with each other.
What might prompt you to say that?

The theory put foreward is that the Ashkenazi
common ancestor comes >from the subsuming of the Khazar Levite class into
the Ashkenazi gene pool at the timeof the fall of the Khazars.
There cannot be - by definition - a Khazar Levite, since a person is a levite
by virtue of being a descendant of Levi, who obviously was not a Khazar. In
any case, the Khazar converts are history except in the minds of those who
would use the story to cast aspersions on the Ashkenazi Jews' heritage. This
is a particular favorite of those who would deny the Jews' connection to the
Land of Israel.

Israel Pickholtz


Ben Forman <ben.forman@...>
 

Hi

If you want to continue this discussion further we should probably take
it off list, but just for the benefit of the list, I am sorry if anyone
felt I was casting "aspersions on the Ashkenazi Jews' heritage"

What might prompt you to say that?
Have a look at my previous email and also the reply >from Simon Tardell
where he writes

The Levi study is Behar et al., Multiple Origins of Ashkenazi Levites:
Y Chromosome Evidence for Both Near Eastern and European Ancestries, Am.
J. Hum. Genet. 73:768-779, 2003.
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/tcga/tcgapdf/Behar-AJHG-03.pdf

Have a read of the study and see what you think.

There cannot be - by definition - a Khazar Levite, since a person is a levite
by virtue of being a descendant of Levi, who obviously was not a Khazar

Presumably Khazar Levites can exist in the same way a German Levite may
move to France take a French Jewish wife and his son would be a French
Levite. Although I don not know if if the French Jewish wife was a
convert would the son still be a Levite?

The Khazar converts are indeed history, they were documented at the
time, their subsequent dissapearence and possible integrartion into
wider Ashkenazi culture does not belittle or negate anyones rights or
beliefs in my opinion. Theorys surrounding any Khazar diaspora are just
that, and as noted in both Simon Tardell's and Michael Bernet's replies
have yet to be proved conclusively,I was merely expressing one point of
view possibly evidenced in the study noted above.

Sorry for any insult caused,

All the best,

Ben
Ben Forman
manchester UK

searching: FURMAN: Kaluszyn; CAHN: Koeln; BERNSTEIN: Ylakai, STILLMAN:
Pilica/Czestechowa; SAWADY: Zavadi; GEVER: Daugavpils

MODERATOR NOTE: Ben is right. This message will end this subject. Thank you.