Torah, the Greatest Honor
This week we start a new book of the Torah with Parsha’s Bamidbar. Much of the Parsha centers around the counting of the different tribes and the houses of the tribes. When the Torah counts the families of the house of Levi, it counts them out of order putting the family of Kehas first, even though he was the second born son. The family of Kehas was also given the most prestigious job in the mishkan, the carrying of the holy ark.
The Kli Yakar explains that this was done to teach us that unlike other areas of life, where prestige or titles come from family connections or other predetermined factors, Torah is open to all. Therefore, honor in Torah is solely connected to how much one applies oneself to learn it. These honors were given to the family of Moshe and Aharon because they were the greatest Torah scholars of their generation.
As we approach the holiday of Shavuos (it starts Sunday night) let us remember that the Torah is our common inheritance. Every Jew has their portion in the Torah and every Jew can become a great Torah scholar if they are willing to put in the work. As we accept the Torah on Sunday night, let’s accept it not just as our national gift, but as a personal possession.
Have a great shabbos and a Chag Sameach!