In this week’s haftorah, some of the many (and I do mean many) specifications of the rights and
responsibilities of the kohanim are iterated in painstaking detail from how they shall dress in the
Temple, to whom they may marry (sorry, no divorcees), to personal care rituals like when and how
much they must trim their hair.
So who exactly are these special class of priests to whom all of these particulars apply? The lexicon gets
tricky because the Hebrew word, represented as kohain or kohen, just means “priest” and is used in
reference to both Jewish and non-Jewish priests. The Koanim referenced in the haftorah, however, are
not just Jewish priests, but those believed to be directly decendant from Aaron (Moses’ brother) and
who have special roles in the Temple. So for extra priesty priests, we’ll use Kohanim (with a capital K)
and for just regular priests, kohanim, no capital. Clear as mud? Let’s continue.
King David assigned 24 priestly [Read more…]