The first portion of the book of Numbers (lit. in the desert) starts with the third census of the Jewish people after the Exodus from Egypt.
“The Lord spoke to Moses in the desert (bemidbar) Sinai, in the Tent of Meeting (…)” (Numbers 1:1)
In this new census the Levites are counted separately from the rest of the tribes.
“Bring forth the tribe of Levi and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may serve him. They shall keep his charge and the charge of the entire community before the tent of meeting, to perform the service of the tabernacle. They shall take charge of all the vessels of the tent of Meeting and the charge of the children of Israel, to perform the service of the tabernacle.” (3:6-8)
“(…) and you shall take the Levites for Me, I am the Lord” (3:41, 45)
As we mentioned in previous commentaries, the Levites represent the highest knowledge of God, and also the highest awareness of our connection with Him through His love. The fact that they are counted apart does not mean separation from the rest of the tribes, but a definition of what they represent in their particular mission as part of the people of Israel.
We read in this portion that the tribes are counted “by families following their fathers’ houses; a head count of every male according to the number of their names.
“(…) you shall count them by their legions, you and Aaron.” (1:2-3)
This task is done specifically by Moses and Aaron who represent our highest knowledge of the Creator and the highest awareness of our connection to Him. This knowledge and awareness are the means to realize our true essence and identity that make us part of Him, and enable us to be led in His ways and attributes.
In this sense the Levites are the spiritual leaders and teachers of the Israelites, with their respective individual qualities. We mentioned many times that each tribe represents particular traits that must be directed and guided by the trait (Levi) that better knows the greatest love of all, God’s love.
We were created as multidimensional beings that encompass great diversity to face an also diverse and complex material reality, for which we are divinely commanded to deal and act according to the challenges the world has for us.
In this context all the tribes need each other for the common goal of making this world the best we can in order to turn it into a dwelling place for its Creator. This is the dynamics of His creation, and that is why we are here.
We have problems to solve, situations to fix, troubles to correct, and natural phenomena to make us aware that we must care for each other when natural disasters appear. Our differences and diversity indeed enrich us and invite us to make our journey in the world more interesting and pleasant. Thus we turn them into reasons to enjoy and be happy and not the opposite. In order to achieve our mission we must clear our consciousness of all fantasies and illusions derived from ego’s materialistic agenda.
We are in a world full of diverse people with their own principles, values and culture, including ideologies, beliefs and particular approaches to divinity. These beliefs clash when a person tries to impose his/hers on others, and that is the critical point in which we must reflect on.
We must find the true meaning and value of what we believe, and why that eventually may generate confrontation with other people’s beliefs. This makes us question what it supposes to be the truth and what is not, regardless of how relative or subjective that truth may be.
The Torah brings us to this reflection at some point and gives us the answer in the ways the Creator gives us, in contrast to the ways of the “nations” referred as the ways of idolatry. These are what we call love’s ways and attributes represented by God’s commandments, in contrast to ego’s fantasies and illusions as the idols followed by the lower aspects of consciousness. Love is the truth that transcends all beliefs, values, principles and ideologies.
In the haftarah for this portion, the prophet repeatedly warns us about the consequences of being subservient to ego’s materialistic desires.
“Because their mother (our consciousness) played the harlot; she who conceived them (ego’s fantasies and illusions) behaved shamefully, because she said ‘I will go after my lovers (ego’s fantasies and illusions), those who give my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drinks.’ (The self-absorbed conviction that ego is the real provider instead of love). Therefore behold, I will close off your way with thorns, and I make a fence against her, and she shall not find her paths (when we despise Love and let ego rule the result is harshness and self-isolation as a consequence of separation from love’s ways). And she shall pursue her lovers and not overtake them, and she shall seek them and not find them; and she shall say ‘I will go and return to my first Husband, for it was better for me then than now.’ (Once we get tired and fed up with our own materialistic fantasies eventually we return to love’s ways). But she did not know that I gave her the corn, the wine, and the oil, and I gave her much silver and gold, but they made it for Baal (our consciousness pretends to ignore that God’s love is our sole sustainer and provider, and we devote the love that nurtures our life to feed ego’s fantasies and illusions). Therefore, I will return and take My corn in its time and My wine in its appointed season, and I will separate My wool and My flax, to cover her nakedness.” (Hosea 2:7-11)
God’s love always sustains us and always waits for our consciousness to return to Him and fill all its levels, aspects and dimensions with His ways and attributes.
Let’s listen to the Levites that represent our highest thoughts, feelings, emotions and awareness of God’s love in our consciousness, and let them lead all dimensions of our life in His ways and attributes.