The Kohanim constitute dependable hearsay evidence of the authenticity of the Five Books of Moses
Hearsay evidence is normally inadmissible in a South African court. Simply put, this means that if A says B told him that he (B) saw C punching D, A’s statement of what B said cannot be used to prove that C punched D, and B himself would have to give the evidence of what he saw. There are exceptions to the hearsay rule. The reliability of specific hearsay evidence may, together with other factors, provide a basis for a court to admit it.
The descendants through the male line of Aaron, Moses’ brother, are known as Kohanim (singular – Kohen). Aaron lived over 3 000 years ago, and today there are many Jews who are Kohanim, and therefore, his descendants. Most Cohens and Kaplans, but not all, are Kohanim. Every Kohen knows he is a Kohen because his father told him so, and, of course, his father and all those generations of fathers going all the way back to Aaron’s time must have been told the same by their fathers.
There is no material advantage in being a Kohen. On the contrary, there are disadvantages: A Kohen may not marry a divorcee and cannot come within a specified short distance of a dead body. And so the hearsay evidence of every father today, and of all the fathers who preceded them going back to Biblical times, constitute dependable evidence, and are consistent with, and in fact part of, living proof of Aaron’s existence and his status as Judaism’s first high priest.
I understand that in certain situations requiring the exercise of compassion, a father’s statement to his son of his being a Kohen is sometimes rejected as insufficient to establish that fact. But that does not detract from the overwhelmingly dependable hearsay evidence of thousands of different Kohanim, who have no contact with each other and are to be found throughout much of the world, speaking many different languages and practising many different lifestyles.
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