|The Hebrew word, HaKohen,
is found in fourth line from the bottom, first word from the left on the stone of Aaron Cohen. Click here for a complete translation.
Aaron Cohen's tombstone has the word for HaKohen, which you see in the top right. The engraved hands on the gravestone are held as if making the blessing and are the sign of a HaKohanim.
The Levim were responsible for seeing that before embarking on their duties, the Kohanim did the washing prescribed by God in the book of Exodus.
Aaron Cohen is buried at Mt. Zion, Maspeth in Queens, NY. Also buried there is Ethel Rubenstein's husband, Harry Varonok. His older daughter, Rose Varonok Sollender, told her nephew, Larry Varon, that Harry was a Levi. We don't yet know why his headstone is not engraved with the customary pitcher (click here for photo).
Shlomo Simcha Isaacson
Chaim Boruch Isaacson
Shaya Mordechai Isaacson
Dovid Yitzchok Isaacson
The DNA mapping of the Y chromosome carried only by males is how modern science can determine whether a man is a Cohen.
Researchers in Haifa, Israel, at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, have found, according to a New York Times article published September 28, 1998, that there are "at least 350,000 priests in the world today -- 5 percent of all Jewish men -- with the telltale Y chromosome." While the Cohens can be identified, the much larger group of Levim cannot.
The hands (above) were carved on the gravestone of Barnet Cohen 53 years after his father's (top left). Click here for more photos.
The Hebrew word HaLevi (above) means "the Levi or descendant of the tribe of Levi." The engraving of a water pitcher on the grave- stone signifies a Levi.
Click here for
of gravestone of Harris Farberman. His living male descendants are listed in the middle column.
Aaron and Moses were brothers, and both
were of the Tribe of Levi. (Their father, Amram, was Levi's grandson.)
The descendants of Aaron were chosen by God as His high priesthood in the Book of Exodus. They had the duty of saying special prayers four times a year, including the High Holy Days.
Sources: Old Testament Book of Exodus; cousins Sandi and Douglas Isaacson; cousin Larry Varon, The New York Times; and cousin Eli Schwartz for loan of the photo that brought the Levim to our attention.
|The Kohens and the Levis were
the subject of a letter from a cousin in Ethel's branch, who immigrated to Israel in 1980.
There he has since pursued Torah study along with his "day job" as a
Larry Varon is on a course of intense study that another cousin characterized as "the Rabbinic track." In a letter Larry sent in November 1998, he wrote:
More explicitly, all the descendants of Levi became the general priestly class. Within that, the two surviving sons of Aaron -- Eleazar and Ithamar -- and their descendants became the HIGH priesthood. The duties they are to fulfill are spelled out in explicit detail in Exodus.
How do you know who is a Cohen, and
who is a Levi?
Exodus cannot be improved upon, and so what follows are
quotations, one after another, with ellipses to indicate omissions.
Moses told the people what the Lord had said, and the next day he built an altar at the foot of the mountain and "set up 12 stone pillars representing the 12 tribes of Israel." The 12 tribes derive from the descendants of the 12 sons of Jacob, of which the Levi were but one.
Then God gave instructions about the temple and its furnishings, and then the ark, the altar, and the priestly garments:
God ordered Moses to have made "sacred garments for your brother Aaron and his sons, so they may serve Me as priests. Have them use gold, and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and fine linen "
Repetition makes point
"So I will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve Me as priests. Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God."
Levim to wash Kohanim
Then God tells Moses that he has "chosen" a man from the tribe of Judah and another from the tribe of Dan to make certain decorations for the temple and clothing for the priests, and "they are to make them just as I commanded you."
`Inscribed by the finger of God'
Then Moses came down with the tablets and saw that while he was gone, the people had made a golden calf to worship, and at this point, you might turn to the last pages of Exodus.
HaKohen: Commander Spock of Star Trek
Rushing the Messiah
Many devout not Levim