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Spreading the Wealth

Friday, 9 July, 2010 - 5:17 pm

With all the free-agent hype in the NBA this week, one wonders if the landscape of professional basketball may change dramatically. Actually, with one superstar announcing his move to a team now loaded with stars, it seems likely.

All this causes one to wonder? Is it healthy for the sport to have the best talent concentrated in so few places?


In the Torah portion of Mas’ei we read about the apportioning of the Land of Israel to the Jewish people. Each tribe is given an inheritance. Except for one. The tribe of Levi is not given a portion in the land. Instead, 48 cities are designated as Levite cities. These cities were spread out among the provinces of all the tribes.

The Levites were not punished with the lack of a homeland; rather they were privileged to serve as beacons of spiritual light throughout the land. (They also were better equipped to receive the Levitical gifts – saving on travel time and costs).


 In life we also have our “Levite within.” Most of life is mundane. The minority are the holy moments. The times spent in prayer, observing a mitzvah, or studying Torah. These are our Levite moments.

We are often tempted to relegate the Levite within to a specific time and place. “I’ll be a good Jew on Yom Kippur, or on Shabbat. I’ll wear my yarmulke to synagogue. I’ll be on my best behavior when I’m with my parents.”

The Torah tells us that’s a very vulnerable approach. 

The Jewish way is to populate all of our provinces with Levites. Fill all your months, weeks and days with snippets of sanctity. Turn you home into a sanctuary.

Make Torah and mitzvoth so ubiquitous that you always bump into them.

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