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Home -- Content: Series 7 (Laws) -- Translation: English -- Book: 1 (Tora) -- Part: 1 (Positive) -- Command: 183 -- Text
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The Sharia of Moses in the TORA
Part 1 - The 248 Positive Commandments of the Tora

183 - ASSINGING CITIES TO THE LEVITES


Numbers 35:2 -- "Command the children of Israel that they give the Levites cities to dwell in from the inheritance of their possession, and you shall also give the Levites common-land around the cities.”

In his Mishneh Torah, Maimonides explains why the Levites received no portion in the Land of Israel in the light of Scriptural tradition: “Now why did not the tribe of Levi deserve a portion in the inheritance of the Land of Israel and in its spoils together with their brethren? Because they were set aside to worship the Lord, to minister unto Him, and to teach the multitude His righteous ways and just statutes, as it is said, They shall teach Jacob Your judgments, and Israel Your law. (Deuteronomy 33:10)”

“It is for this reason that the Levites were set aside from the affairs of the world, engaging in no war as the rest of Israel might do, inheriting no portion in the land, gaining for themselves no acquisitions by their physical efforts. Instead, they are the host of the Lord, as it is said, Bless his substance, LORD (Deuteronomy 33:11); and He claims title for them, as it is said, I am your portion and your inheritance (Numbers 18:20).”

“And this is true not only of the tribe of Levi, but of every man throughout the world whose spirit has made him willing, and whose intellect has guided him, to set himself apart to stand before the Lord, to minister unto Him and to serve Him with a view to knowing the Lord, following the right path according to the Lord’s design, and casting off his shoulders the yoke of the many worldly affairs sought after by man. He who has thus dedicated himself is sanctified in the highest degree, and the Lord becomes his portion and his inheritance for all eternity, and will grant him in this world whatever will suffice for his needs, even as He has done to the priests and the Levites. Thus David, peace be upon him, said, O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. (Psalms 16:5)”*

* Mishneh Torah, Zeraim, Hilchoth Shemitah Ve-Yobel XIII, 12- 13

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