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#325284 06/20/09 07:28 AM
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Strictly speaking, a Rabbi is not a cleric but a lawyer - presumed to be learned in Jewish law. That in turn raises the question of whether or not the rabbinate, particularly in Israel, will recognize this particular rabbi and the juridical acts which she may perform (this can arise in such matters as conversion to Judaism); Reform rabbis in general often find this a problem.

The matter has nothing whatever to do with skin pigmentation; in Ethiopia and elsewhere there are African or African-descended rabbis; if they are Orthodox they are recognized by the Israeli rabbinate and therefore the Israeli courts.

Fr. Serge

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Originally Posted by Fr Serge Keleher
Strictly speaking, a Rabbi is not a cleric but a lawyer - presumed to be learned in Jewish law. That in turn raises the question of whether or not the rabbinate, particularly in Israel, will recognize this particular rabbi and the juridical acts which she may perform (this can arise in such matters as conversion to Judaism); Reform rabbis in general often find this a problem.

The matter has nothing whatever to do with skin pigmentation; in Ethiopia and elsewhere there are African or African-descended rabbis; if they are Orthodox they are recognized by the Israeli rabbinate and therefore the Israeli courts.

Fr. Serge

Dear Father Serge,

Are there any Jewish clerics? I only recently found out that a Rabbi is a learned/wise person. What happened to the high priests of the Bible?

Thankyou for your answer.

In Christ,
Alice

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Originally Posted by Alice
Originally Posted by Fr Serge Keleher
Strictly speaking, a Rabbi is not a cleric but a lawyer - presumed to be learned in Jewish law. That in turn raises the question of whether or not the rabbinate, particularly in Israel, will recognize this particular rabbi and the juridical acts which she may perform (this can arise in such matters as conversion to Judaism); Reform rabbis in general often find this a problem.

The matter has nothing whatever to do with skin pigmentation; in Ethiopia and elsewhere there are African or African-descended rabbis; if they are Orthodox they are recognized by the Israeli rabbinate and therefore the Israeli courts.

Fr. Serge

Dear Father Serge,

Are there any Jewish clerics? I only recently found out that a Rabbi is a learned/wise person. What happened to the high priests of the Bible?

Thankyou for your answer.

In Christ,
Alice

The priests ceased carrying out Temple ceremonies when the Temple was destroyed. Rabbis function more as teachers and guides, theoritically any Jew over 13 may lead a religious service in Judaism. Cantors also play a significant role. In fact in some congregations the cantor is the representative licensed by the state to solomnize marriges. See: http://www.jewfaq.org/rabbi.htm for a good brief summary.

Conservative and Reform Jews accept female cantors and rabbis; Orthodox Jews do not. In Orthodox Judaism a woman may only lead prayers for a group of women; this has to do with rules relating to modesty.

Last edited by DAVIDinVA; 06/20/09 12:41 PM.
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Dear Alice,

There is no longer a High Priest, and has not been for a very long time, but there are still Jewish priests, who retain some vestigial liturgical functions. They are often known by the term "Cohen", used as a surname. Some rules of ritual purity are still applied to them.

Since the Jewish priesthood is hereditary, the occasionally-voiced thought of rebuilding the Temple and restoring the Sacrifices would require proving the descent of a sufficient number of priests to fulfil their office (or perhaps the coming of a Prophet to restore the priesthood in some other way).

Fr. Serge

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Fun trivia: Leonard Nimoy based the "Vulcan Salute" on the gesture the konhamin make when pronouncing the priestly blessing:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priestly_Blessing#Pop_culture


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Thank you Father Serge and David for your answers.

In Christ,
Alice

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I for one find the fact that she converted from Christianity to Judaism disturbing. Frankly I could care less about the fact that she is a rabbi...

Just my 2 cents.

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Originally Posted by Fr Serge Keleher
Since the Jewish priesthood is hereditary, the occasionally-voiced thought of rebuilding the Temple and restoring the Sacrifices would require proving the descent of a sufficient number of priests to fulfil their office (or perhaps the coming of a Prophet to restore the priesthood in some other way).

I recall reading something (a decade ago?) to the effect that a common gene was found confirming the common male ancestor of most of today's Cohens.

hawk

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Originally Posted by dochawk
Originally Posted by Fr Serge Keleher
Since the Jewish priesthood is hereditary, the occasionally-voiced thought of rebuilding the Temple and restoring the Sacrifices would require proving the descent of a sufficient number of priests to fulfil their office (or perhaps the coming of a Prophet to restore the priesthood in some other way).

I recall reading something (a decade ago?) to the effect that a common gene was found confirming the common male ancestor of most of today's Cohens.

hawk

yes and it's also been handed down in written records and orally. in jewish cemetaries you'll come across headstones with a special inscription that indicates the person was a kohamin:

[Linked Image]

Last edited by DAVIDinVA; 06/24/09 08:08 AM.

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