Kenneth Cohen

Cherish the Torah

The Keli Yakar makes an interesting observation regarding the various tasks of the Leviim. Gershon was the oldest, followed by Kehat and Merari.

Nevertheless, Kehat is mentioned first, because his family was given the honor of carrying the holy Ark in the desert. Similarly, after being instructed to build the Mishkan, the first item mentioned, was to make the holy Ark before anything else.

The reason for this is to show the importance of the Torah, and the respect we are meant to give to those who study and teach it.

The Torah is the anchor of the Jewish people. It grounds us and has been the primary reason why we have survived despite our long and bitter exile.

The Mishna in Pirkei Avot tells of three crowns given to the Jewish people. There is the Crown of Kehuna, where the Kohanim are granted twenty-four gifts. The Crown of the King, that is normally passed on from father to son. The third crown is the Crown of Torah. The first two crowns come through heredity, but Torah is available to all.

We must never minimize the importance of studying and cleaving to the Torah. When we do this, we cleave to all that is pure and holy, and we cleave to truth and to G-d.

Parshat Nasso always follows Shavuot, and the Keli Yakar made these points so that we continue the momentum of the celebration of receiving the Torah on Sinai.

We must get our priorities right in life. And our number one priority must be to cherish the Torah, study it, and respect its scholars and teachers.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at