Whose Yer Daddy An interesting bit here from…

Whose Yer Daddy?: An interesting bit here from the Old Testament prophet Ezra.

When the Jewish people were returning to Jerusalem from their exile in Babylon, there was a significant effort to restore the buildings, furnishings, and staffing of the temple. Since jobs were assigned by family, determining your family line became critical, even to the extent that potential priests weren’t able to assume their duties because they couldn’t prove they were cohen (priests, i.e. Levites).


The following went up from Tel-Melach, Tel-Harsha, K’ruv, Adan and Immer; but they could not state which fathers’ clan they or their children belonged to, [so it was not clear] whether they were from Isra’el:

  • descendants of D’layah
  • descendants of Toviyah, and
  • descendants of N’koda

and of the descendants of the cohanim:

  • descendants of Havayah, 
  • descendants of Hakotz, and
  • descendants of Barzillai, who took a wife from the
    daughters of Barzillai the Gil‘adi and was named after them.

These tried to locate their genealogical records, but they weren’t found. Therefore they were considered defiled and were not allowed to serve as cohanim. The Tirshata told them not to eat any of the especially holy food until a cohen appeared who could consult the urim and tumim.

— Ezra 1:59-63 (Complete Jewish Translation)