Yehoshua 21

לעילוי נשמות אמתינו היקרות Esther Oppenheimer and Sarah Shenker עליהן השלום, each deeply devoted and proud to transmit their families’ Torah legacy to the next generations. From their children, Nina and Chaim Shenker

Levis Fit Right

Next, the leaders of the Tribe of Levi approached Elazar and Joshua to apportion to them the cities and fields promised to them in parshas Masei. The Leviim were divided into four groups: the Kohanim, the rest of the descendants of Kehos, the descendants of Gershon and the descendants of Merari. Each of these groups received its own cities. In total, 48 cities were apportioned to the Leviim, along with the surrounding fields.

The Navi tells us that the Leviim approached Elazar and Joshua in Shiloh. Shiloh was the site of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Until the Mishkan was established in its place, the Leviim did not assume their "full-time" religious duties, which were the catalyst for their receiving cities, rather than a territory like the other Tribes.

The Kohanim received their cities in the portions of Judah, Benjamin and Simeon. These were near Shiloh, where the Mishkan was located, and near Jerusalem, where the Beis HaMikdash (Temple) would ultimately be built.

In a rare discrepancy, there are those who insert two verses between verses 35 and 36. The consensus, however, is that these two verses from Divrei HaYamim (I Chronicles 6) do not properly go here, despite their presence in the parallel text.

Author: Rabbi Jack Abramowitz