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He would automatically have vast financial resources and social status. After all, his only claim to fame is that some distant ancestor excelled!
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Rabbi David Fohrman is the founder and CEO at Aleph Beta Academy.
He is author of "The Beast that Crouches at the Door," finalist for the 2007 National Jewish Book Award, and "The Queen You Thought You Knew." Rabbi Fohrman seeks to open layers of meaning of Biblical text and to help the reader develop a relationship with the texts that make us who we are. My wife and I were married by a rabbi who also performed our son's Bris.
And since one's first child brings so much happiness, it's a fitting time to acknowledge that everything we have belongs to God.
(Numbers ) But what does the tribe of Levi have to do with all this?
Yet when all is said and done, aren't Kohanim still regarded as "special?
" The definition of peace is not that everyone is equal or that everyone has exactly the same needs as everyone else, but rather that everyone knows their place, knows what they're capable of, knows what their contribution is, and is accepting of themselves and that others' contributions as equally important and valuable.(Exodus ) At that point, God decreed that each family's first-born had forfeited their "Kohen" status – and henceforth all the Kohanim would come from the tribe of Levi.(More specifically, the descendants of Aaron became the Kohanim, with the rest of the tribe of Levi taking on other responsibilities in the Temple.) This created a situation where all Jewish first-borns are "potential" Kohanim, while the descendents of Aaron are the "actual" Kohanim.Indeed, if a Rockefeller would squander his wealth and abuse his social status, he would be held culpable – much more than if a non-Rockefeller did so! In Judaism there is a much higher value than one's status as a Kohen – the "Crown of Torah." Torah learning is regarded as the most important of all mitzvot, because it opens the door for observance of the other mitzvot.As the Talmud says (Shabbat 127a): "The study of Torah is equal to the sum total of all other mitzvot." The Talmud asks who deserves more honor: A non-learned Kohen Gadol (High Priest), or a Torah scholar with badly-tainted lineage (for example the product of an incestuous relationship)?The answer is that Torah scholarship supersedes simple Kohanic lineage.