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Today's chain of inquisitive learnings Sep. 14th, 2010 @ 02:21 pm
Step 1: Read something which refers to Leonard Cohen's song First We Take Manhattan.

Step 2: Want to hear song. YouTube for it.

Step 3: Curiosity piqued by odd YouTube comment, look up Leonard Cohen.

Step 4: See reference to a comment he made about being a Kohen, and how he apparently had a very "messianic childhood".

Step 5: Google Kohen.

Step 6: WIKIPEDIA TRAP

So far: Kohens, the Jewish Rebellions, the First, Second, and Third temples, redemption of the firstborn, and the Western Wall.

I knew little to nothing about all of these. Some of it is thoroughly fascinating - for a start, I had no idea that it still really, truly mattered which of the tribes of Israel a given Israelite descends from. But you don't have to do redemption of the firstborn if you're a Levite, for example. (Or if you're Reform/Reconstructionist.)

All very theoretical knowledge, since, you know, I'm not Jewish, and even if I converted to Judaism, which isn't likely, I'd still be a convert, what with the thing where I have (as far as I know) zero Jewish ancestry and therefore really, truly can not claim descent from any of the tribes, but it's still very interesting.
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