The Torah assigns the exact Mishkan-related tasks to be performed by the families of Gershon, Kehat, and Merari, the sons of Levi. A census reveals that over 8,000 men are ready for such service. All those ritually impure are to be sent out of the encampments. If a person, after having sworn in court to the contrary, confesses that he wrongfully retained his neighbors property, he has to pay an additional fifth of the base-price of the object and bring a guilt offering as atonement. If the claimant has already passed away without heirs, the payments are made to a kohen. In certain circumstances, a husband who suspects that his wife had been unfaithful brings her to the Temple. A kohen prepares a drink of water mixed with dust from the Temple floor and a special ink that was used for inscribing
The Eye of the Beholder
One of the phenomena of the twentieth century that defies complete understanding is The Beatles.
Granted, they had two outstanding composers and a third who was pretty good. They were prolific, writing around 300 songs. It’s true that Schubert wrote over 800 tunes, but only about a hundred are truly memorable. Mozart comes close to that, but you have to wait a long time until you get to someone who wrote so many good tunes. The “mop-tops” were all appealing, thin, and full of youthful enthusiasm. And they were witty and iconoclastic. But nothing really can explain their huge success.
In this week’s Torah portion we find the blessing of the Kohen. The second stanza reads:
The word “gracious” in Hebrew here is chen. When Yosef was imprisoned in Egypt, the Torah says, “…and He endowed him with charisma, and He put favor in the eyes of the prison warden (Ber. 39:21) Chen in this verse is again translated as “favor”.
The message is the same in both verses. You can have bags and bags of charisma, but you'll only ever be a legend in your own lunchtime if
You can be a lovable mop-top, a great songsmith and cute as a button, but to be a musical and sociological phenomenon — that only the Master of the World can grant.
- Sources: Based on the Degel Machane Ephraim; Statistics: Howard Goodall