Friday, June 24, 2011

Why do we need Cohanim (Temple Priests) and Levi'im (Levites) ?


This Shabbat is "Shabbat Korach". The Torah tells us that Korach was the son of Yitzhar and a relative of Moshe. He started rebelling against the leadership of Moshe and Aharon, as Korach himself became jealous and didn't want to accept that it wasn't his task leading the Jewish nation.

Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook (1865 – 1935) asked the question why, in Judaism, we need Cohanim (Priests) carrying out special duties ? Can't we just all be equal ?

In his answer, Rabbi Kook compares the need for a Jewish priesthood with the organs of a human body. Every single organ has its function and task in order to keep us alive. Moreover, every society consists of different professions and capabilities: One person is a scientist, another is a farmer and a third person may be a plumber. Although each of them has a different task and ability in life, together they all have one goal: Keeping human society alive.  The same with the Jewish people. Everyone has his individual place and task !

See the entire commentary of Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook HERE !

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