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How do you know if your a Kohen/Cohen in Judaism?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Being a Cohen is something that is genetic because its only found in someone who is born a Jew because Kohanim are descendants of Aaron. There is a known study that tested a large number of Kohanim and it was found that they all had a common male ancestor from the Y chromosome who is Aaron. If you want to know if you are a descendant, then first, are you Jewish? You have to be considered Jewish to be considered a Kohanim, but you don't necessarily have to be Jewish to be a descendant of one. Does that make sense? Like here is an example:

    You can have a father who is a Kohen but you could have a non Jewish mother. In Orthodox and Conservative Judaism, you wouldn't be considered a Jew(You would though in Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism) but you would still be considered fully a descendant from a Kohanim. But again, Kohanim can't marry converts or non Jews, from what i have studied, so he would also not be considered a Kohanim anymore. But still, you would be considered a descendant because at least your grandfather was a Kohanim. Its an unbroken chain. Even in the liturgy sense, if one isn't considered a Kohen, in the genealogical sense, they always would be because its an unbroken chain from Aaron. Our DNA doesn't change from conversion or marriage.

    In Summary: Contact a Rabbi who would forward you to an online or genealogical research center who can search your family history for any relatives who are Kohanim or levites

    Source(s): I'm Jewish
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  • 1 decade ago

    There are three basic requirements.

    1 - Your natural father must be / have been a Kohen.

    2 - Your mother must be a Jew.

    3 - Your mother must have been able to be legally permitted to marry a Kohen at the time of your conception.

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  • Since a Cohen is a direct descendant from Aaron, the person would need to provide lots of historical evidence of his genealogy, I don't think there's much people who can provide more than 3000 years of genealogical evidence.

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