Student Teaching in the New Millenium

5771 B’midbar III

In Numbers on May 26, 2011 at 12:01 am

Given, Given, they to him?
Taken, Taken they to Him?
Bless’d? Curs’d?
What?

And how do they feel?

Is the special treatment of the Levites a blessing or a curse? They are spared the draft but are also placed in a servile role. Are they totally reliant on the other tribes for defense? How are they supposed to feel about this? What about the other tribes?

What if I were a Levite and wanted to fight for my people? What then? Or does the Torah ask “is this really about what you want?”

Does the taking of the Levites satisfy the redemption of the first born? Why?

Why the Levites? Let’s assume this is a lesson in humility: why not Simeon and Levi? Was not the blessing to “scatter them in Israel”? For that matter, why not Reuben? He might have given up his status, but he was still the first-born of Israel. Why not Joseph? Not the first-born in time, but in love?

What does it mean here to keep the charge of the children of Israel?

How does camping the Levites around the tabernacle prevent anger? Why not inspire jealousy? On the one hand, they’re not military. On the other hand, they live on the backs of the others.

Does the changing ordering point to the eventual unification of the tribes? How does this honor the preciousness of the individuals? Does the Prophet ask if the tribes are lovers? Does the prophet ask if the tribes are children?

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