Online Midweek November 11

The Day of the Priests

Historically the group of Israelite most connected to Jerusalem were the priests.

There were reasons for this:

Of all the tribes of Israel, Levi alone received no territory in the Promised Land. The reasons for this are given in Deuteronomy 10:

6 (Now the sons of Israel set out from Beeroth Bene-jaakan to Moserah. There Aaron died and there he was buried and Eleazar his son ministered as priest in his place. 

7 From there they set out to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land of brooks of water. 

At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to serve Him and to bless in His name until this day. 

9 Therefore, Levi does not have a portion or inheritance with his brothers; the Lord is his inheritance, just as the Lord your God spoke to him.)

In God’s plan those from the tribe of Levi, whom God had chosen to serve Him, were to be supported by the gifts and offerings of the people of the other tribes.

The opening verses of Deuteronomy 18 say:

The Levitical priests, the whole tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the Lord’s offerings by fire and His portion. 

2 They shall have no inheritance among their countrymen; the Lord is their inheritance, as He promised them.

3 “Now this shall be the priests’ due from the people, from those who offer a sacrifice, either an ox or a sheep, of which they shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach. 

 You shall give him the first fruits of your grain, your new wine, and your oil, and the first shearing of your sheep. 

5 For the Lord your God has chosen him and his sons from all your tribes, to stand and serve in the name of the Lord forever.

Verse after verse in the book of Deuteronomy (Moses’ final words to the nation of Israel) command the people of Israel not to neglect those from the tribe of Levi. When someone offered a sacrifice, and as they customarily did, had a feast afterwards, the Levite was to be invited to the feast. It was considered part of his support.

When the land was settled and the center of worship in Israel moved to Jerusalem, whether in the Tabernacle (II Samuel 6) or in the Temple (I Kings 6-8) the Priests and Levites were there living, serving and ministering. It was there, in Jerusalem that they cared for the sacrifices, and officiated over the nation’s Holy Days and festivals. As no other group of people they were connected to Jerusalem.

Tracing the chain of connections:

The priests are especially connected to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is connected to the Jubilean Mysteries

thus connecting the priests to the Jubilean Mysteries.

Beyond that: The priests were the ones who were in a sense the Keepers of the Jubilee.

The kept track of heralded and proclaimed the Jubilean Year to the rest of the nation. They oversaw the transaction, the releasing and restoring of the land

Putting it all together: The priests, as Jubilean ministers were linked to both the Jubilee and Jerusalem in a special way. Thus if the Jubilee of 1967 centered on the return of Jerusalem then there needed to be the return of the priests as well. And there was.

Among the first to enter Jerusalem on June 7, 1967 was a very special man God would use to bring this part of the Jubilean restoration about:

Among the first to enter Jerusalem was Shlomo Goren, the Head Chaplain of the Israeli Army. This was the chaplain who accompanied the soldiers onto the Temple Mount and the Western Wall and his deep who spoke the first blessings of the prayer service there.

As he stood there that day his thoughts turned to his Father-in-law, also a Rabbi and known throughout the Nation of Israel for his piety and his deep longing and yearning for the restoration of Jerusalem. Goren believed it only right that this man be there to witness the moment of Jerusalem’s liberation. So with the battle still going on Goren sent his assistant in a Jeep to find his Father-in-law and bring him to the city for this holy and historic moment. Driving on a road that was still under enemy fire the assistant arrived at the rabbi’s home, picked up another revered rabbi and set off for Jerusalem, being forced to take an alternate route because of the battle. This man was taking part in an ancient mystery, although he was unaware of it at the time. He was bringing the priests back to Jerusalem. The name of Chaplain Goren’s father-in-law was

David HaCohen, the other Rabbi was Tzvi Yehuda HaCohen Kook. The Jeep driver’s name was Menachem HaCohen. “Cohen” is the Hebrew word for “priest”. Remember: The priesthood in Israel was along family lines. All three of these men were of priestly descent and were returning to Jerusalem for the moment of it’s return and restoration, thus fulfilling the Jubilean mystery.