What is a Kohain (Cohen, Kohen)?
A direct descendant of Aaron, the brother of Moses. He was consecrated as the first High Priest and all of his male offspring are consecrated as Priests.
Priests? I though Judaism has Rabbis, not Priests.
Rabbis are our religious spiritual leaders. Kohanim or Priests, worked in the Temple. Now that there is no Temple at present, the Rabbis are the leaders.
Have you been confirmed as a Kohain?
We go by word of mouth from father to son. But, yes, I did have a DNA test which confirms that I am genetically matched with other Kohanim and that we share a common ancestor from about 3500 years ago (Aaron). Note: The DNA test does NOT prove Kohain status. A Kohain can not have the DNA markers and a non-Kohain can have the markers.
Have you always been religious?
No. I was brought up in a very secular home. My extended family is quite anti-religious and recently became anti-Israel (now that it’s fashionable). About 90% of my family is intermarried. Most are not halachically Jewish.
How did you become religious?
I had a strong yearning to be religious since I was very young. My parents claim that when I was born they joined a Refom temple and when they brought me in I would cry inconsolably. They finally left. I was enrolled in Hebrew school and took it seriously. I continued to teach myself tefilot out of a siddur. Finally, in college, I decided to become fully observant. I put a kippah on my head and was Shomer Shabbos, kashrus, etc. from that point on.
Why are you so anti “Reform” and “Conservative” Judaism?
Because they are not Judaism. Only Judaism has the privilege of having “sects” that reject the very tenants of the religion. All Christians, whether Catholic or Protestant believe in Jesus and the so-called New Testament. All Muslims, whether Sunni or Shiite, believe in Allah, Muhammad and the Qur’an. Reform and Conservative Jews reject the divinity of the Torah and do not follow halacha. Therefore they are organized apostasy.
Are you Zionist or Anti-Zionist?
Radically Zionist. I believe that the return to Zion (Jerusalem) and the Land of Israel is the beginning of the Gelula or Redemption. We are now faced with a choice; reestablish our commitment to Hashem and His Torah or show that once again we are swayed by idol worship and