On Berachos 32b Rabbi Yochanan said: Any Kohen who has killed a person may not raise his hands (to duchan). The notes say that the Shulcan Aruch says even if this is accidental.
The question arises:
Today, Kohanim fight in the Israeli army. If one kills a person, is he forbidden from ever duchaning again? The cite is Orach Chaim 128:35 and it mentions the dispute re whether teshuvah can allow him to return to his previous standing.
Also, does this only refer to killing a Jew?
What is the halachah today and why?
Barry Epstein, Dallas, USA
The Yechaveh Da'as (2:14) says that a person in the army would be allowed to Duchan, as it is similar to the Halachah that if someone was forced to kill a person he can still Duchan. The Yechaveh Da'as says that this is especially the case when the person killed was a Nochri, about whom there is an argument in the Acharonim whether this Halachah applies at all.
If the Kohen killed in a way where he would not be able to Duchan but did Teshuvah, there is an argument between the Shulchan Aruch (no) and the Remah (yes) whether his Teshuvah can enable him to Duchan once again. There are many Teshuvos among the contemporary Poskim regarding this Halachah, and in what circumstances it applies. One should ask a Rov if the question arises, Lo Aleinu.
All the best,