Cohen (surname)

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Cohen (Hebrew: כֹּהֵן, kōhēn, "priest") is a Jewish surname[1] of biblical origins (see: Kohen). It is a very common Jewish surname.

Bearing the surname indicates that one's patrilineal ancestors were priests in the Temple of Jerusalem. A single such priest was known as a Kohen, and the hereditary caste descending from these priests is collectively known as the Kohanim.[2] As multiple languages were acquired through the Jewish diaspora, the surname acquired dozens of variants.

Being a Kohen imposes some limitations: by Jewish law a Kohen may not marry a divorced woman, and may not marry a proselyte (someone who converted to Judaism).[3] Nor should an observant Kohen come into contact with the dead.[4]

An effort to trace whether or not people named 'Cohen' actually have a common genetic origin has been undertaken in the specific DNA signature associated with the name known as the Cohen Modal Haplotype.[5]

Cohen may refer to:

People[edit]

Cohen, the surname (or in a few cases, part of a double-barrelled surname) of many people:

Scientists[edit]

Educators[edit]

Writers / Journalists[edit]

Musicians[edit]

Artists[edit]

Technologists[edit]

Entertainment industry people[edit]

Sports and athletics[edit]

Spies[edit]

Politicians[edit]

Businesspeople[edit]

Lawyers[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

Names needing to be sorted[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Shengold Jewish Encyclopedia – Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  2. ^ Donin, Rabbi Haim Halevy "To Be A Jew. A Guide to Jewish Observance in Contemporary Life" (Basic Books 1972), p.198"
  3. ^ Donin p.291
  4. ^ Donin p.304
  5. ^ Sources for the genetic studies are given in the article Y-chromosomal Aaron.

External links[edit]