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Is a Kohen married to a divorcee still considered a Kohen?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Jewish Identity » Kohains and Levites » The Holy Tribe | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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A Kohen who marries a divorced woman does not lose his status as Kohen. Rather, as long as he is married to this woman who is forbidden to him we do not give him those honors and distinctions normally reserved for Kohanim such as receiving the first Aliyah and blessing the congregation with the priestly blessings. As soon as he divorces the woman we once again treat him as a full-fledged Kohen. [Even while he is married to the divorcee he, like all other Kohanim, is still forbidden from coming in contact with a corpse.]

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Kohanim
Plural form of Kohain. Priests of G-d. This title belongs to the male descendants of Aaron, brother of Moses. The primary function of the Kohain was to serve in the Holy Temple. Today the Kohain is still revered and it is his function to recite the Priestly Blessings on certain occasions.
Aliyah
Literally means to rise up. Has two popular meanings: 1. Being called up to the Torah scroll and recite the blessings when the Torah is being read. 2. To emigrate to the Holy Land.