Thursday, July 23, 2009

Waiting for Moshiach

Rav Kahaneman, the Ponevezher Rav, zt”l, recalled how he became the youngest member of the kodshim kollel of the Chofetz Chaim, zt”l, in Radin.
“A short while after I had joined the yeshiva in Radin, I left the Beis Medrash one day after Shachris, and I noticed the Chofetz Chaim, zt”l, standing by the door with his tallis bag in his hand. He looked at me in a marked manner as the baalei Mussar generally do when they want to speak with someone. Naturally, I immediately approached the Gadol.
He took me by the arm and said, “You are a kohein, so let me ask you a question: In Taanis 17 we find that since the Beis HaMikdash can be rebuilt on any weekday, it is proper nowadays for kohanim to refrain from drinking wine. We kohanim must be ready to do the avodah at all times, and since it is prohibited to do the avodah while drunk, we really shouldn’t be drinking at all. Yet the Gemara then says that our ‘kalkalah,’ that which might otherwise be our ruin, is also our rectification. Since the kohanim don’t know to which mishmar they belong now, there will be a big wait until each kohein will be told this vital information by Eliyahu HaNavi.”
The Chofetz Chaim went on, “We are taught that drinking too much wine wears off by sleeping or walking. For this reason, any negative effects of the wine will wear off by the time each kohein gets to his turn on line. Now, that’s all very well with regards to wine. But what will a kohein do who is not familiar with the seder avodah? A kohein who is not proficient in all aspects of the avodah will certainly not be able to serve! Is he not much worse off than a drunk? Traveling or sleeping will correct inebriation, not ignorance! You are a Kohein. We are waiting for Moshiach every instant. How will you do the avodah when he comes? It is incumbent upon you to learn seder kodshim right away!”
“As you can imagine, I joined the Chofetz Chaim’s kodshim kollel that very day!”


shloime said...

how come we dont see such a tremendous anxiousnes for moshiach by his followers? even the big ones?

William Dwek said...

Rav Kahaneman, the Ponevezher Rav, was not a true Cohen. Nor was he a descendant of Aharon HaCohen. Are we saying that Aharon came from the family of "Kahaneman?"! Araon Kahaneman? And Moshe Kahaneman?

True Cohanim are identified by their family name and place of origin. Their surname is, "DWEK".

Anonymous said...

Did the Chofetz Chayim say the explanation in the Gemora as you quoted?
It is the opposite of Rashi's explanation.

Spiritual Dan said...

so interesting. we should all merit to experience the intoxication of moshiach, speedily in our days, Amen v'Amen.

Micha Golshevsky said...

Shlomie: How many great followers of the Chofetz Chaim have you met? The Greatest certainly yearn for Moshiach!
But you may ask why they are not stressing that people should yearn for Moshiach.
Many people actually are yearning for Moshiach, but this is not so readily apparent since they work on this from a different direction.
This is probably their cheshbon.
The Baal Shem Tov teaches that one should also yearn for the geulah haperatis, personal redemption from all of our many flaws and blemishes. Many Litvisher work on bringing Moshiach in this manner.
But anyone who works on their davening is yearning for Moshiach or not paying any attention to shemonah esrei.

Micha Golshevsky said...

William Dwek: I am not sure what you mean. Do the Dwek family have a kesva yuchsin going back to the Beis Hamikdash?
The Rappaport family did. When they showed it to the Gra he declared that they were clearly not safek kohanim and that people should do pidyon haben with them.
Similarly, a certain Kahane went to see the Rebbe Rav Elimelech and bumped his head on the oil lamp (he was very tall.)
Rav Elimelech said something to that indicated that since Kahane was a kohain he was anointed.
Since then many chasidim were careful to only use him and his extended family for pidyon haben.
We are saying that many of these people took on a surname that sounds like Kohain (or alludes to it in some way) because they were known to be descendants of Aharon.

Micha Golshevsky said...

Anonymous: Thank you for your comment. The story is from Meor Einei Yisrael, volume V, pg. 336-338.
I don't have time to look at the gemara now will try to check into it later.

Micha Golshevsky said...

Spiritual Dan: Amen! Thank you for the beautiful comment.

William Dwek said...

To Micha,

The Dwek family are the only family of the true Cohanim. They are the ONLY true descendants of Aharon HaCohen. True Cohanim are also identified from their place of origin – Syria.

The surname of Aharon HaCohen was not “Aharon Rappaport”! or “Aharon Kahaneman!”. Nor did we receive the Torah from Moshe “Rappaport”. The Gra was entirely wrong in his “declaration,” and it is time people came to terms with that fact. Rav Elimelech was also wrong.

Anyone who has taken on the surname, “Cohen” is clearly identifiable as a fraud, a liar and an imposter of the true Cohanim, going right back into his family history – right back to his original ancestor who LIED, and said he was a Cohen when he was not.

Anyone called, “Mr. Cohen or Rabbi Cohen” is definitely NOT a Cohen! Someone who calls himself, “Mr. Cohen or Rabbi Cohen” is effectively calling himself, “Mr. Torah!”

The Cohanim are part of the Torah – but they are not called, “Mr. Torah.” It is preposterous for a man to call himself, “Mr. Torah!” If someone makes you a cup of coffee, or sells some bread to you, will you say, “Thank you Mr. CoffeeMaker!” or, “Thank you Mr. Baker?!” The coffeemaker and the baker have a Family Name.

Similarly with the true Cohanim. And that family name is, “DWEK.”

Micha Golshevsky said...

William Dwek: It appears that you are unaware that Jewish surnames are not at all an ancient reality. It was just the son of (first name).
So when people started to take on last names it is only natural that a kohain would take on a name so people would know them for what they were.
However, it is true that without a kesav delineating the precise lineage from the Beis Hamikdash all kohanim of today are questionable kohanim.
It is possible that your family is one of those who have a clear lineage from the temple. But you are incorrect to feel certain that other kohanim are not valid.
Those who have a kesav (or stem from a family that had a kesva) are not of questionable status. Other kohanim are.
I do not understand why you reject the Gra out of hand, especially since you have not even seen the evidence presented to him.
(I personally trust the Noam Elimelech too, but I could understand someone who felt he was mistaken. After all, Rebbe Nachman did say that even a tzaddik sometimes errs.)

Micha Golshevsky said...

William Dwek: I just posted a piece on Kohanim which may interest you. There are very many sources regarding the lineage of kohanim...

William Dwek said...

To Micha,

I repeat again:

The Dweks from Aleppo, Syria, are the only family of the true Cohanim.

We are the only true descendants of Aharon HaCohen, the Cohen HaGadol.

William Dwek said...

And, we are the only true descendants of Pinhas ben Elazar ben Aharon HaCohen.

It was the great act of Pinhas, who stopped the plague in Am Yisrael, when he struck the spear into Cozbi and Zimri. 24,000 died in a plague from the sins of idolatry and immorality with the Midianite women.

Micha Golshevsky said...

I will also repeat a comment from another post: I would be happy to hear sources for your lineage (not "we say so." On that logic a person could be sold the Brooklyn Bridge...)
Are you not aware that Pinchas was not the only kohain? Even if you are the only descendants of Pinchas why would you deny others their kehunah?
We see that you are very dogmatic but not much else.
I imagine that you know that the claim that other kohanim are certainly not valid is not in keeping with any genuinely great posek including Rav Ovadiah Yosef. How strange.

Eliyahoo William Dwek said...

We have no need to produce any sources for our ancient lineage, which goes right back to Pinhas ben Elazar ben Aharon HaKohen.

We never changed our Family Name.