imaginary family values presents

yesh omrim

a blog that reclines to the left



23 May 2004

“So have you found something to blog about the parsha yet?”

“Well, I have a kashe, but no teretz.”

“What’s the kashe?

“The text reminds us of Nadav and Avihu getting toasted (Numbers 3:4), and right after that (3:11–4:20) it goes on about all the special duties of the Levites to serve as assistants to the priests. I feel like there must be some connection, but I don’t know what it is.”

“It’s a warning to the Levites. Duh!”


“Because of all their duties connected with the Mishkan, they are at particular risk for stepping out of line. The regular Israelites are too distant from the sacrificial activities to be likely to do anything, and the priests are trained for their work. For the Levites, as they say, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing—as we see later on from the story of Korach (15:1–10), a group of Levites who wanted to take over the priesthood. If they remember what happened to Nadav and Avihu, then they’ll be less tempted to step outside the limits of their roles, even as they see the priests doing the sacrificial service all around them.”

“Oh, yeah. Duh.”