Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Portion for Levi

The Rashbam and Tosfos write that in the Messianic era, the division of Eretz Yisroel will be different in two respects.
1. The Tribe of Levi will receive a portion along with the other tribes.
2. Menasheh and Efraim will receive a portion as one tribe – the sons of Yosef; and not as two different tribes.

The Ra”n, Maharsha and others all challenge this from the verses in Yechezkel which clearly indicate that Yosef will receive two portions. It is also evident from there that Levi will not receive a portion at all!?

The verse that mentions Levi and also mentions Yosef as one is referring to the twelve gates that will be in Yerushalayim corresponding to the twelve tribes.

The Minchas Chinuch asks: How can it be that in the future, the prohibition against giving the Tribe of Levi a portion in Eretz Yisroel will be violated? A prophet does not have the right to institute any new commandments, so how could Yechezkel negate this prohibition explicitly written in the Torah?

Reb Dovid Pavarsky answers that the prohibition was not that Levi should not receive a portion; rather, it was that Levi should not take a portion that was not his. In the future, they will not be taking a portion that does not belong to them! It will be rightfully theirs!