Behaalotecha

A strange job, to be a Levite! A caste cast out of Israel, they are “given, given to God.” Rashi explains their double-nature: given to carry, given to sing. What can we learn from these poet-labourers, these wandering mercenary musicians? (And we must learn, for their ultimate task is to teach the people.) We can learn from the description of their tasks: every exception can also be applied outwards to reduce exceptionalism. Let us learn from them the freedom of landlessness, of wandering, of trust. Let us learn the power of music that accompanies, supports, invites and creates. Let us learn the strength that only matters when given away, supporting spiritual structures. Let us learn to teach, by example, always.

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[Inspired by: Numbers 8 with Rashi; Deuteronomy 33; Berayta d’Rabbi Ishmael and Zohar 3:148; and photos of the Jewish dervishes of Teheran.]

 

 

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