By Rabbi Avraham Fischer, provided by the Orthodox Union, the central coordinating agency for North American Orthodox Congregations for MyJewishLearning.com
The Service Of Song
The duty of the Levites to accompany the Tabernacle service with music and song reminds us to serve God with joy.
The G-d-centric, Torah-centric, Mishkan (Tabernacle)-centric Israelite camp described in the opening section of the Book of B’midbar [Numbers] is ordered, sanctified and serene. A census of the population is taken. The tribe of Levi is counted separately, and their holy tasks in the Mishkan are assigned:
All those that were numbered, whom Moshe and Aharon and the princes of Israel counted of the Levites according to their families and according to their fathers’ houses; from thirty years old and upward, until fifty years old, all those who come to perform service to a service (avodat avodah) and the service of carrying in the Tent of Meeting. Their accounts were 8,580. According to the word of Hashem through Moshe did he appoint them, each one to his service and to his burden, and those that were numbered constituted that which Hashem had commanded Moshe (Bamidbar 4:46-49).
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