Vol 38.18 - Pinchas 1 Spanish French Audio Video
Rambam Sefer Mitzvot HaGadol Talmud Rambam -Melachim Sifrei (cache)
(5751) Debate in Rambam's viewpoint if Levites will inherit a portion of Israel in the World to Come (Like the view of Semag Negative Commandments: 276-7) or not (Like the view of Shitah Mekubetzes Tal. Bava Batra 122a in the name of the Ran). specific wording of Rambam ( Hil Shemittah v'Yovel 13:10) "The entire tribe of Levi are commanded against receiving an inheritance in the land of Canaan"; The reason that the Levites inherit in the World to Come the lands of Keini, Knizi and Kadmoni - according to halacha and Pnimiyut
The Tribe of Levi in the Messianic Era
Answer: With the future Redemption, the Levites will be allowed to take an inheritance on the Eastern bank of the Jordan, and evidently, on the Western bank as well.
There is a difference of opinion regarding the status of the tribe of Levi in the Messianic era. According to a verse in the book of Ezekiel, there will be "one gate of Levi" amongst the tribes. Some conclude from this verse that the tribe of Levi will receive an inheritance among the tribes. (This is the view that the Lubavitcher Rebbe is inclined to accept, since the many of the differences between the Levites and the other tribes will be removed when Moshiach comes.)
Others interpret the verse to mean that each tribe will set aside land from its own portion for Levites, but the Levites themselves will not have their own land.
Maimonides offers a third view: The restriction on the tribe of Levi inheriting land applies only to the land of Canaan, which was promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and was conquered by their descendants. But any other lands that will later be conquered by kings of Israel will be divided up among all the tribes, including Levi.
In addition to the land of Canaan, there are three other lands, the Keini, Knizi and Kadmoni, which were promised to Abraham but not conquered by his children. Apparently, the tribe of Levi will also be able to receive an inheritance in these lands, since they are outside the borders of Canaan.
It follows, then, that Levites have an especial reason to anticipate the Redemption: They will finally merit receiving a portion in the land promised by G-d.
From Chabad.org (Ezekiel 48:31. Sm"g, Lavin, 276, 277. Baba Basra 122:1, see also Shita Mekubetzes. Rambam, Hilchos Shmita V'Yovel; see also Mishna L'Melech. Likutei Sichos vol. 37, p. 103. Toras Menachem 5746, vol. 1, p. 401. 5751, vol. 3, p. 363.)
1. On the verse (Num 26:53):
“You shall apportion the Land among these as an inheritance, in accordance with the number of names”.
The Sifri states,
“This implies that that all are included — Israelites, Kohanim, Levites . . It is, therefore, written (Ibid. 18:20) "And the L-rd said to Aharon”:
This is cited as Halacha in Rambam in the last chapter of Hilchot Shemita v’Yovel:
“The entire tribe of Levi are commanded against receiving an inheritance in the land of Canaan, and they were commanded against receiving a share in the spoil when the cities are conquered, as (Deut. 10:9) states: "The priest and the Levites - the entire tribe of Levi - should not have a portion and an inheritance among Israel." "A portion" (refers to a portion) of the spoil; "an inheritance" refers to (a portion of) the land. And (Num. 18:20): "You shall not receive a heritage in their land, nor will you have a portion among them," i.e., in the spoil. “
The Mishnah L’Melech writes on this:
“The Semag writes that in the Future, they will indeed take a portion in the land, as it is states: “the gate of Levi, one” (Ezekiel 48:31), as it states (in Tractate Bava Batra) chapter Yesh Nochalin (122a)”.
His intent is to the Beraita there:
“In the Future, Eretz Yisroel will be divided among thirteen tribes. For in the beginning it was only divided into twelve tribes".
This is like the explanation of the Rashbam:
“Further on it explains what that extra portion is. For if it refers to Levi, who will take a portion like the other tribes, as it states, “the gate of Levi, one”, then Ephraim and Menashe also only will take one portion, like the other tribes, as it states there, “the gate of Yosef one . . For initially, when they came to the Land, it was only divided only among the twelve tribes. For Levi did not have a share in the land. Rather, each and every tribe gave him cities to dwell in etc. " (which will not be so, in the Future, as aforementioned).
In other words, according to Rashbam’s explanation, the tribe of Levi will take one a portion of the twelve portions of the land, that was divided for the twelve tribes (and the thirteenth a portion is for the “Nasi” – for “King Moshiach”).
the Shitah Mekubetzes on Bava Batra there, cites the words of the RaN (R’ Nissim of Gerona) who questions the words of Rashbam from several verses in Ezekiel that explain that Yosef will take two portions.
"And what he (Rashbam) writes that the tribe of Levi will take a portion in the land, is also not correct. For it expressly states in Scripture that he (Levi) will not take a portion in the Land. Rather, he will have cities to dwell in (from the other tribes), and this is included in the Terumah that they donate etc. “.
The RaN concludes,
"However, this is the main thing, that just as the tribe of Levi did not take a portion initially, so too it will not take (a portion) in the second (allotment in the Future). Rather they, will give him cities to dwell in near Yerushalayim, and this is included in the holy Terumah".
2. One must examine the opinion of Rambam, who plainly writes that:
"The entire tribe of Levi are commanded against receiving an inheritance in the land of Canaan",
regarding what his opinion is, regarding the inheritance of the tribe of Levi in the Future.
The Minchat Chinuch writes regarding Rambam’s view that even in the Future, the Levites will not take a portion of the Land, and he proves this from that which Rambam did not write this explicitly - as he explicitly writes in Hilchot Melachim:
“King Moshiach may take a thirteenth portion of all the lands conquered by Israel as his own”.
However, since the Semag’s “consistent style is to always follow in the footsteps of Rambam, and in most places, in his book, it only like a copy (of Rambam’s writing) etc.”
Therefore, it is probable to say, seemingly, that even in this matter the view of the Semag is that this is Rambam’s view (that they will indeed take a portion in the land).
(This is also is also proven from the plain wording of the Semag, who cites the beginning words of Rambam, of the following Halacha, that if a king of Israel conquers etc. that the priests and Levites take a portion and inheritance there. He then adds afterward, "and in the Future they will take a share even in the land as it states, “the gate of Levi, one”).
One must clarify where he takes this from.
One must also examine the essence of this view (as the commentators ask).
For since it is a Lav (Negative Commandment) in Torah that the tribe of Levi will not take a portion in the Land, how can the Mitzvah be uprooted in the times of King Moshiach. Indeed, it states, “these are the Mitzvot etc.“ where a prophet is not allowed to innovate a thing.
On the other hand, since Rambam and also the Semag count this Lav in the enumeration of the Mitzvot. Moreover, Rambam has already written in Sefer HaMitzvot (foundation/Shoresh 3) that “it is not appropriate to count commandments that are not practiced for (all) generations”.
Therefore, if this Mitzvah is abolished in the division of the land, in the Future, why should it be counted in the enumeration of Negative Commandments?
(In the words of the aforementioned Sifrei:
“You shall apportion the Land among these as an inheritance ec.”. This implies that that all are included — Israelites, Kohanim, Levites, proselytes . . It is, therefore, written, "And the L-rd said to Aaron: In their land you shall not inherit" — to exclude Kohanim; "In the midst of the children of Israel they shall not have an inheritance" — to exclude Levites etc."
There are those that explain that there is no Mitzvah in this, at all, and the intent is just to remove their right to the inheritance in the Land - thereby saying that the Kohanim do not have a portion and inheritance in the Land, similar to proselytes, women and slaves. However, there is no warning of a Negative Commandment here upon them not to inherit, just as there is lacking any warning on proselytes, women and slaves. Moreover, Scripture did not exclude them, except to say that they have no right, share and inheritance in the Land. However, if it is given to them, they are allowed to accept and there is no prohibition in this, neither to the donors nor to the recipients.
(Seemingly this is so understood, from the simple meaning of the verses in our Parsha:
"To these You shall apportion the Land as an inheritance"; and further "These were the numbers of the Levites . . And those counted . . for they were not counted among the children of Israel, since no inheritance was given them among the children of Israel”).
However, according to the opinion of Rambam and the Semag who count the Lav in the enumeration of the Mitzvot, it is not understood - how is it possible to say that in the Future the Levites will take a portion in the land? Since the law will be abolished, it is not appropriate to enumerate it in the enumeration of the Negative Commandments).
3. One can explain this, simply, according to the precise wording of Rambam in writing regarding the warning:
“The entire tribe of Levi are commanded against receiving an inheritance in the land of Canaan”,
and not like the usual wording:
"in Eretz Yisroel" or in "the Land" and so forth.
One must explain what Rambam is negating with this.
Seemingly, one could say that, with this, he is negating other lands.
“All the lands which Yisroel conquers in wars led by a king and approved by the court are considered as conquered by the people at large. Thus, they have the same status as Eretz Yisroel which was conquered by Joshua in every regard”.
For although they are included in Eretz Yisroel, as Rambam states,
“Whenever Eretz Yisroel is mentioned, the intent is the lands conquered by the King of Israel or a prophet with the consent of the entire Jewish people.”
Nevertheless, in these lands the priests are not exhorted: "You shall not inherit in their land” (Num.20:20).
However, it is difficult to explain that Rambam is coming to negate only this alone.
For Rambam negates this is explicitly in the following Halacha:
“It appears to me that the above applies only with regard to the land for which a covenant was established with Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, their descendants inherited it and it was divided among them. If, However, other lands will be conquered by a king of Israel, the priests and the Levites have the same rights as the entire Jewish people”.
Plainly, Rambam’s intent with "the land of Canaan", is to negate a land that actually is related to the land of Israel, but is not from the land of Canaan, proper. These are the lands of Keini, Kenizi and Kadmoni (Edom, Moav and Amon).
(As Rambam writes in Hilchot Rotzeach regarding the addition of the cities of refuge in the era of King Moshiach, that:
“Where are these cities added? In the cities of the Keini, Kenizi, and the Kadmoni, concerning which a covenant was made with Avraham, but which have not yet been conquered. Concerning these cities, the Torah says: "And if G-d, your L-rd, will expand your boundaries").
According to this, it is understood that also according to Rambam’s view, it is possible to say and explain: “the gate of Levi, one”. Namely, that in the Future, the Levites will take a portion in the Land, however not in the land of Canaan but rather in the land of Keini, Kenizi and Kadmoni.
"The priest and the Levites - the entire tribe of Levi - should not have a portion and an inheritance among Israel."
is a Mitzvah is that is in practice for generations in the land of Canaan.
However, Rambam did not explicitly write, that in the Future, the Levites would inherit the land of Keini, Kenizi and Kadmoni.
(except solely as a hint, in his precise wording that they will not inherit "in the land of Canaan").
This was done so according to what is well-known in the rules of Rambam, that it is not his style to write innovative matters (ענינים מחודשים) and he only cites the Talmud.
(And where "something is not stated in the Talmud, except in the form of a question , as an aside, it is not his style to cite them").
4. However it requires an explanation:
In the reason that the tribe of Levi did not take a portion in the land, Rambam writes:
“Why did the Levites not receive a portion in the inheritance of Eretz Yisroel and in the spoils of war like their brethren? Because they were set aside to serve G-d and minister unto Him and to instruct people at large in His just paths and righteous judgments, as (Deut. 33:10) states: "They will teach Your judgments to Jacob and Your Torah to Israel." Therefore, they were set apart from the ways of the world. They do not wage war like the remainder of the Jewish people, nor do they receive an inheritance. . Instead, they are G-d's legion, as (ibid.:11): states: "G-d has blessed His legion" and He provides for them, as (Numbers 18:20) states: "I am your portion and your inheritance."
According to this it is not understood.
Why in the land of the Keini, Kenizi and Kadmoni, which will be an inheritance in the Future, will the Levites take a portion?
One could say that the explanation of this is:
The warning that they will not inherit the land, as it states, "in their land you shall not inherit", means in the Land of Israel (the land of Canaan) which was given to them so that they may have a land to dwell in
(similar to other nations that have a land and an inheritance in the world).
This is why the Levites were enjoined,
"The priests and the Levites . . - should not have a portion and an inheritance among Israel”.
For a portion and inheritance in the land, in this manner, is in the scope of the" ways of the world"; and the tribe of Levi "since they were set aside to serve G-d” - this portion and inheritance is not relevant to them, because “they were set apart from the ways of the world”.
However, what Israel will receive from the land of Keini, Kenizi and Kadmoni, is not in the category of "inheritance" like the land of Canaan - the land of seven nations - that Israel has as land in the world. Rather it is a special gift from G-d, as it states, “And when the L-rd, your G-d, expands your boundary".
This is not due to the necessity of their dwelling in the land. Therefore, the Levites are indeed able to accept this.
5. In the Pnimiyut of the matter, one could say:
The difference between "the land of Canaan" - the land of the seven nations – and the land of the Keini, Kenizi and Kadmoni - the land of three nations, is explained in many places. Namely, that in Avodat Hashem, it is the difference between the refinement of the seven Middot, versus the Avodah with the three intellects (Chochmah, Binah and Da’at). Currently, the Avodah is in the refining of the seven Middot. However, in the Future also the three intellects will be refined.
The difference in the manner of Avodah is similar to the difference between Middot and intellect. Middot are relevant to another person. In other words, the aspect of the Middot are the connection of a person, with feeling and emotion - to something that is outside himself. This is a descent compared to the person himself.
Whereas, the aspect of intellect pertains to the person himself. As we see, that people who engage in intellectual matters are solitary to themselves.
This is also the difference in the manner of their refinement. The refining of the Middot is through conquest and war. In other words, through enclothement and refinement (ע"י התלבשות ובירור).
Whereas the refinement of intellect, primarily, is not through enclothement in the garments of the one being refined. Rather, on the contrary, it is through separation and withdrawal (הבדלה והפשטה).
This is the difference between "the land of Canaan" - the land of the seven nations – and the land of the “Keini, Kenizi and Kadmoni”.
The aspect of the land of Canaan is the Avodah of conquest and refinement of the seven Middot. Therefore, the tribe of Levi, since it is set apart to serve G-d, which is above conquest and above refining – is not applicable to inheritance in the land of Canaan
This is not so regarding the land of the Keini, Kenizi and Kadmoni. For this represents the Avodah with intellect, which is above refining and conquest. Therefore, it is (also) applicable to Shevet Levi.
6. However, it still requires understanding:
Regarding the time of the Future, Rambam writes at the end of Hilchot Melachim:
“The occupation of the entire world will be solely to know G-d”.
Therefore, we find that all Yisroel will be separate from the ways of the world, for all their dealings will be only in the knowledge of G-d.
(This is similar to what Rambam writes at the end of Hilchot Shemita v’Yovel that:
“Not only the tribe of Levi, but any one . . whose spirit generously motivates him and he understands with his wisdom to set himself aside and stand before G-d to serve Him and minister to Him and to know G-d . . is sanctified as holy of holies. G-d will be His portion and heritage forever . . like He provides for the priests and the Levites etc.”
If so, why should there be, then, this division between Yisroelim and Levites – that all Yisroel will have a share and inheritance in the land of Canaan - the aspect of refining the Middot and enclothement in the garments of the one being refined, except the tribe of Levi?
The explanation of this is:
At the end of Hilchot Melachim there, Rambam writes:
“The Sages . . yearned for the Messianic era in order . . to be free to involve themselves in Torah and wisdom without any pressures or disturbances, so that they would merit the world to come”.
In continuation of this he writes:
“In that time (באותו הזמן), there will be neither famine or war, envy or competition for good will flow in abundance and all the delights will be freely available as dust. The occupation of the entire world will be solely to know G-d.”
According to this, it is understood, that while, in the Future (at least in the first era of the days of Moshiach) all Yisroel will be separate from the ways of the world, and will solely be occupied with knowing G-d - this is due to the state of the world (מצב העולם), which will enable this.
In other words, this is not due to an attribute of Bnei Yisroel in and of themselves, “in that time”. Rather it is a result of the state of the world.
"there will be no famine or war . . and all the delights will be freely available as dust”,
there is no place for any dealings in the aspects of the world. Rather it is "solely to know G-d".
Just as this is in physicality, similarly it is in spiritual Avodah.
This, that all Bnei Yisroel will then be in a state and condition of Shevet Levi:
"to set himself aside and stand before G-d to serve Him and minister to Him and to know G-d",
this separation is not due to himself, that he is at this level. Rather. it is due to the world that brought him to this.
However, that which tribe of Levi is separate to serve G-d, is because G-d separated them, as it states,
“At that time the L-rd separated the tribe of Levi etc.”.
They were distinguished (by G-d) "to serve G-d and to minister to Him",
If so, this this is an essential differentiation of the tribe of Levi, and not due to the condition of the world that gives place to it.
Therefore, we find that even in the Future (in the beginning of “that time”) when all Bnei Yisroel will be separate from the ways of the world, there will be the difference between all Bnei Yisroel and the tribe of Levi.
For this reason, there will also be a difference in the inheritance of the land between all Bnei Yisroel and the tribe of Levi:
The level of the Avodah of the land of Canaan, pertains solely to the other tribes. Therefore, they have a share and an inheritance in it. Whereas, the tribe of Levi does not have a portion and inheritance in it.
Solely in the land of Keini, Kenizi and Kadmoni, that depicts the Avodah of intellect, which is completely separated from the ways of the world – it is (also) appliable to the tribe of Levi. Therefore, they have a portion and an inheritance in it, as aforementioned.
Through the Avodah of each and every one of Yisroel now,
"to set himself aside and stand before G-d to serve Him and minister to Him and to know G-d",
this will hasten, even more so – “that time”, where,
“the occupation of the entire world will be solely to know G-d.”
“The L-rd, your G-d, (will) expand your boundary, in accordance with His oath to your forefathers, and give you the entire land that He promised to give to your forefathers” -
including the land of the Keini, Kenizi and Kadmoni - namely all ten nations - through King Moshiach, who will be revealed immediately, now - mamosh.
(M’Sichas Yom Simchat Torah 5746)
|Date Modified:||Date Reviewed:|