Initially, the Jews were divided into three groups: the Cohens, the Levites, and the nation (Israel). There was a time when a simple Israelite could become a Levite. But earlier, it was all inherited and the Cohens and Levites practically did not come from the common people.
And the fact that now people with such surnames live next to us all came to us from those distant times.
Comment: Many, by the way, are proud of this.
My Response: I have seen it more than once. But I do not think we can be proud of it today.
Before, it was really honorable to be a Levite or a Cohen, because it was a testament to the inner essence of a person who had reached a certain level in his knowledge and internal corrections. And now, everything is so grounded.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 8/23/21