Shabbat Parashat Bamidbar| 5765
Bamidbar | | 02/01/2004
A careful look at the p’sukim that describe the Levi’im’s appointment as functionaries in the activities of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) (Bamidbar 3:6-13) uncovers the following observations: 1) The choice of Aharon and his sons as Kohanim preceded that of the Levi’im to their job. 2) The Levi’im were “handed over” to the Kohanim to assist them in their duties. 3) The Levi’im received the responsibilities that were originally supposed to be given to the frstborn. But the p’sukim do not spell out when and why the responsibilities were transferred from the firstborn to the Levi’im. Let us search for answers.
Case: A wealthy man was buried in one of the most honorable plots in a cemetery. The chevra kadisha demanded that his son pay 500 lira for the special plot as was agreed upon before the burial by them and the deceased’s brother-in-law, who served as the son’s representative (the brother-in-law concurs). The son denies authorizing his uncle or ever agreeing to the price of 500 lira and says that he need not pay for more than the price of a regular plot. He says that, in any case, the chevra kadisha, which is supposed to serve the community of which he is a part, has no right to charge more for one plot than another. He continues that, in any case, any obligation that he made was under duress, as halacha recognizes the pressures on a bereaved family before burial, as we see from their exemption from mitzvot at that point.
Indeed we hear of a strong awakening toward full repentance. There are many among those who were never taught by their parents to believe in Hashem who admit and say: “from Hashem this came into being, it is fascinating in our eyes.” Indeed it is fascinating in all of our eyes. Rabbis of Israel, the obligation placed upon us to guard the holy fire which has been revealed lest it be covered by a pile of compost has grown manifold.
This edition of
A weekly divrei Torah leaflet: A Glimpse at the Parasha, Ask the Rabbi, From the writings of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, zt”l, Pninat Mishpat (Jewish Monetary Law).