Numbers, Korach במדבר, קרח
1 א
ויקח קרח בן יצהר בן קהת בן לוי ודתן ואבירם וכו' (במדבר טז, א). הנה הרמב"ן הקדוש כתב מחמת שהמרגלים ידעו שזה הדור לא יכנסו לארץ ישראל מחמת זה נתקלקל קצת האהבה אשר היה לישראל אל משה וזה גרם שחלקו והרהרו אחר משה ולכך נסמכו הפרשיות עד כאן תוכן דבריו. הענין, כי הנה היה דור המדבר ודור שנכנסו לארץ ישראל. והנה דור המדבר, הלשון מדבר הוא דיבור שפעלו הכל בדיבור, כי יש צדיקים אשר הם פועלים הכל בדיבור ואין צריכין לשום עשיה. ודור שנכנסו לארץ ישראל, מרומז על העשיה שהיו צריכין לעשות איזה פעולה ולכך יהושע כאשר נלחם עם ל"א מלכים היה צריך לעשות איזה מעשה עם הכידון והאורב אבל משה שהיה בדור המדבר לא היה צריך לעשות שום פעולה, רק פעל הכל בדיבור. וזה שכבש יהושע את יריחו הכל בדיבור עלינו לשבח כמבואר בדברי רבותינו ז"ל (ירושלמי מו"ק ב, ד) הוא מחמת שיריחו כבש בשבת. ומבואר בכתבי האר"י ז"ל שהשכל שיש להרב בחול יש לתלמיד בשבת, והיה בו אז השכל שהיה למשה בחול ומשה פעל הכל בדיבור ובזה הבחינה כבש יהושע יריחו בשבת על ידי הדיבור אבל בעי ושאר מלחמות היה צריך לפעולה. והנה תורת משה הוא כנגד הדיבור שפעל הכל אצל השם יתברך עם הדיבור, אבל יש לה התלבשות על ידי המדות גם בעולם העשיה כמאמר הכתוב (ישעיה מד, ו) אני ראשון ואני אחרון. והנה קרח כשראה שאותו הדור לא יכנסו לארץ ישראל לא היה מאמין בזה שתורת משה יש לה התלבשות גם בעולם העשיה. וזה שפרע לו הקדוש ברוך הוא מדה כנגד מדה ותפתח הארץ את פיה, הארץ הוא העולם העשיה להראות שגם בעולם העשיה יש לה התלבשות תורת משה. וזהו הרמז בן יצהר, לשון בהירות. בן קהת, לשון אחדות על שם הפסוק (בראשית מט, י)ולו יקהת עמים. בן לוי, לשון התחברות עיין שם. והפעם ילוה אישי, לרמז שקרח לא היה מאמין רק בעולם הדיבור שיש לו שלשה בחינות אלו ולא היה מאמין שגם בעולם העשיה יש התלבשות אבל באמת שגם בעולם עשיה יש התלבשות כמאמר הכתוב אני ראשון ואני אחרון: Numbers 15,1. “Korach, son of Yitzhar, son of Kehat, son of ‎Levi, and Datan and Aviram took, etc;”
[At ‎this point there appears to me to be a major error in our editions ‎when the author claims that Nachmanides wrote that the spies ‎had been aware that the Israelites would not enter the Holy Land. ‎According to my understanding of Nachmanides on 15,1 he refers ‎to the people having been aware of this decree, seeing that the ‎spies were dead already. Ed.]
Nachmanides writes ‎that seeing that the (spies) people knew that the members of ‎their generation would not enter the Holy Land, the Israelites’ ‎love of Moses had already been undermined so that the people ‎would be more receptive to criticism of him. This is also the ‎reason why this episode was written in the Torah immediately ‎following the story of the spies. There had been several instances ‎since the sin of the golden calf when many people had died ‎without Moses having been able to prevent this, so that Korach ‎felt that an attempt at insurrection could meet with broad ‎support.‎
Basically speaking, the generation of the Israelites who had ‎left Egypt as adults was of a spiritual level that enabled them to ‎perform the commandments by merely using their power of ‎speech, i.e. prayer alone. The next generation was of a lower ‎spiritual level, requiring action in addition to prayer.‎
[Presumably the difference of the spiritual level of ‎these two generations was due to the older generation having ‎been addressed by G’d directly at the revelation on Mount Sinai. ‎Ed.] The author cites as proof of this distinction the fact ‎that Joshua when battling the 31 kings of the land of Canaan, had ‎to perform some action with the javelin signaling to the ambush ‎‎(Joshua 8,19) in order to secure victory. Moses, on the other ‎hand, did not have to perform such actions, but accomplished his ‎task by utterances emanating from his mouth alone. If you were ‎to argue that Joshua conquered Jericho relying only on ‎דבור‎, the ‎power of speech, as pointed out in the Jerusalem Talmud Moed ‎katan chapter 2 halachah 4, the reason for this was that ‎Jericho was captured on the Sabbath, and the Ari’zal has ‎pointed out already that the intellectual capacity of the Rabbi on ‎a weekday is attained by his disciple on the Sabbath. Similarly, the ‎relationship between Moses’ intellectual capacity and that of ‎Joshua was like that of the teacher compared to the student. ‎Moses had been able to accomplish everything he set out to do by ‎relying exclusively on the power of the word. [Perhaps ‎Moses’ failing to speak to the rock when commanded to and ‎striking it instead, represented this desecration of G’d’s name in ‎public that G’d accused both him and Aaron of. Ed.]
Both at Ai as well as during subsequent battles, Joshua had to ‎employ other parts of his body in addition to the power of ‎speech.‎
The Torah Moses presented to the Jewish people reflected the ‎power of the word used by G’d when He created the universe; ‎however, in common with other forms of energy emanating from ‎G’d’s essence which had to be “screened” in order that their ‎impact would not prove harmful instead of beneficial, even in our ‎world of the ‎עשיה‎, where matter appears as if it is “real,” this is so ‎only because what we see with our three-dimensionally oriented ‎eyes has already undergone such a process of being screened ‎before we see it. According to our author this has been alluded to ‎when the prophet Isaiah 44,6 quoted G’d saying: ‎אני ראשון ואני ‏אחרון‎, “I am no different at the end from the way I was at the ‎beginning.” [The usual translation, is, of course: “I am first and I ‎am last,” but I changed it to fit the author’s interpretation. Ed.]
G’d meant that if He employed “screens” to protect us from ‎His outpouring of Divine energy at the beginning of creation, He ‎did the same when He came to the final stage of His creative ‎activity, i.e. earth and man. The form that these “screens” take in ‎our material world is the attributes through which we try to ‎understand the nature of the Creator, His ‎מידות‎.
When Korach ‎had realized that the generation of which he was a part would not ‎be granted residence in the land of Canaan, he no longer accepted ‎Moses’ Torah as something to be understood as having been ‎‎“screened” by G’d before He entrusted it to us in the format that ‎we are familiar with.
When G’d punished Korach by making ‎the earth open its “mouth” to swallow him and his followers ‎alive, He actually paid him back ‎מידה כנגד מידה‎, “tit for tat,” seeing ‎that Korach had refused to believe that the earth as we see it is ‎not the “real thing;” he was taught at the last moment of his life ‎how wrong he had been, and that the earth had hidden ‎dimensions he had never dreamed of.
This has all been hinted ‎at when the Torah listed as Korach’s antecedents, i.e. Yitzhar-‎alluding to brightness, light, Kehat- and Levi. The word ‎יקהת‎ ‎alludes to “unity” as we know from Genesis 49,10 where Yaakov ‎blessed Yehudah by saying that the other tribes would rally ‎around him. The word ‎לוי‎ derived from ‎ילוה‎, when his mother ‎Leah, at his birth, expressed her hope that this son would be the ‎cause of her husband spending more time with her; (Genesis ‎‎29,34) When looking at the three names together, they suggest ‎that Korach only believed in the world of the power of speech, ‎the world that we know as the three-dimensional world, and ‎could not believe that behind what we see with our physical eyes ‎there is hidden another dimension, one which makes it far easier ‎to relate to the home of the Creator and the army of angels with ‎whom He has surrounded Himself. [some of these words ‎are mine. When someone insists on believing that the world we ‎see is all there is in the universe, so that physical death is the end ‎of all life, he has made the beginning of life equally irrelevant. ‎Ed.]
The words of Isaiah 44,6 are therefore most important if we ‎wish to understand G’d’s actions in creating different sections in ‎His universe.‎
2 ב
או יבואר, ויקח קווח, כי יש צדיק שעובד רק לעשות תענוג להבורא ברוך הוא ואצל זה הצדיק אין חילוק אם הוא עושה תענוג להבורא ברוך הוא או צדיק אחר עושה תענוג להבורא ברוך הוא. אבל מי שרוצה לקבל שכר על עבודתו זה רוצה שהוא בעצמו יעשה תענוג להבורא. וזהו ויקח קורח, שרצה שהוא יקח ולא אחר. וזהו פירש''י שלקח מקח רע לעצמו שבשביל זה חלק על משה ורצה להיות כהן גדול ואם היה עובד רק לעשות תענוג להבורא ברוך הוא בוודאי לא היה חולק שיהיה הוא כהן גדול: Another way of understanding the opening words of our ‎portion. There are some tzaddikim who, in their effort to ‎serve their Creator, are concerned solely with providing their ‎Creator with a feeling of satisfaction and pleasure. It does not ‎matter to such a tzaddik if others worship G’d with a similar ‎purpose in mind or not. If someone, however, serves the Creator ‎with a view to being rewarded for this at some future time, it ‎matters to him that it was he, and not someone else who had ‎provided G’d with this pleasure. When the opening words in our ‎portion are ‎ויקח קרח‎, “Korach took (credit),” this means that he ‎was concerned with being the only one to receive credit for his ‎actions. This is what Rashi had in mind when he commented on ‎these words, saying: ‎שלקח מקח רע לעצמו‎, “he made a bad bargain ‎for himself;” his urge to be appointed as High Priest, i.e. serving ‎the Lord for ulterior motives, though commendable on the ‎surface, was the beginning of his undoing. [I have not ‎been able to find where Rashi is supposed to have made the ‎comment quoted by the author. Ed.]
3 ג
פירש רש"י נתקנא על נשיאתו של אליצפן בן עוזיאל. לכאורה אינו מובן למה לא חלק תיכף אחר שמינה משה רבינו עליו השלום את אליצפן. אמנם קודם גזירת מרגלים היו ראוים ישראל ליכנס מיד לארץ ישראל על כן סבר קרח שגדולת אליצפן לא יהיה רק זמן מועט דהא בזמן מועט יכנסו לארץ ישראל, מה שאין כן אחר גזירת מרגלים וראה שיגזור שיהיו מ"ם שנה במדבר אז קינא שאליצפן יהיה נשיא מ"ם שנה: In his comment on the words ‎ודתן ואבירם‎, Rashi adds ‎that whereas these members of the tribe of Reuven had been ‎angry that their tribe had not been accorded the privileges due to ‎the first born, i.e. their founding father Reuven, Korach was ‎angry at not having been appointed as the leader of Kehatites, ‎rather than Elitzafan ben Uzziel whom Moses had appointed at ‎G’d’s instruction. (Compare Numbers 3,30). Rashi explains ‎that Korach felt slighted, feeling that since he was the first born ‎son of Yitzhar who was the second son of Amram, this position ‎was rightfully his, seeing that Elitzafan son of Uzziel was the son ‎of someone junior to his father.‎
Our author wonders that if Korach’s dissatisfaction had dated ‎back to these appointments described by the Torah in the third ‎chapter of Parshat Bamidbar, why had he not complained at ‎that time?
Our author answers this by reminding us that at ‎that time, before the episode with the spies, when it was assumed ‎by the people that they would all enter the Holy Land and secure ‎their ancestral heritage there, the position of tribal head or even ‎that of head of one of the three sections of the Levites, would ‎prove to have been a very temporary position, as entry into the ‎land of Israel was expected to take place within less than a year. ‎Now that they were condemned to spend 40 years wandering in ‎the desert this position carried with it far more importance. ‎Korach’s jealousy therefore had been aroused at this time.‎
4 ד
בוקר ויודע כו' ואת הקדוש והקריב אליו ואת אשר יבחר בו יקריב אליו.(במדבר טו, ד-ה) לתרץ השינוי לשון מתחלה אמר והקריב, ואחר כך יקריב. ויש בזה רמז לעבודתו יתברך. והענין הוא כך, על פי המשנה (ר"ה ב, ז) ראש בית דין אומר מקודש והעם עונין אחריו מקודש מקודש, יש לדקדק מפני מה ראש בית דין אומר מקודש פעם אחד וכל העם ב' פעמים. הכלל הוא כך, מי שרוצה לקרב עצמו לעבודת השם יתברך מתחילה צריך להיות בגדר סור מרע להפשיט מעצמו כל התאוה, ואחר כך ועשה טוב שילך בדרך השם יתברך לעבדו ביראה עילאי מעלה מעלה עד אין סוף. וזהו הענין מי שהוא כבר מופשט מתאות צריך להזהר בכל עת ורגע איך לעבוד את השם יתברך בתורה ובתפלה ולקדש שמו יתברך לעשות לו נחת רוח בלי הפסק. ועל פי זה יש לפרש המשנה ראש בית דין אומר והוא כבר מופשט כנ"ל, אומר מקודש פעם אחד, היינו לקדש שמו יתברך בכל עת ורגע, כי כבר הוא מופשט והוא בגדר סור מרע. וכל העם הצריכין לשני הסיגין יראה תתאי ויראה עילאי עונין אחריו מקודש מקודש, היינו פעם אחד שיעזור להם השם יתברך להיות בגדר סור מרע ושיעזור להם השם יתברך להיות ועשה טוב לעבודת השם יתברך ביראה עילאי מעלה מעלה בכל עת ורגע שלא לפסוק מעבודת השם יתברך. וזה פירוש הפסוק ואת הקדוש, שהוא כבר מקודש. והקריב אליו, מעצמו ואין צריך סעד לתמכו כמבואר פירוש רש"י בפרשת נח על הפסוק את האלהים התהלך נח (בראשית ו, ט) ובאברהם נאמר כו' עיין שם ואת אשר יבחר בו, היינו שצריך סעד לתמכו שיעזור לו השם יתברך לקרב עצמו לעבודתו וליראתו בכל עת ורגע ולעבדו באמת. יקריב אליו, שהשם יתברך יקריב אותו לעשות רצונו ולעבדו בלבב שלם: ‎ Numbers 16,5. Come morning, the Lord will make ‎known who is His and who is holy, whom He has granted ‎access to Himself. Him whom He will choose He will bring ‎close to Him.‎‏"‏‎
We need to understand why, in the first ‎half of the words Moses (G’d) speaks of “whom He had brought ‎close to Himself” in the past tense, whereas immediately ‎afterwards, “He will bring close to Himself” he changes to future ‎tense. This verse contains an allusion to the proper manner in ‎which to serve Hashem.
The subject is discussed in ‎‎Rosh Hashanah, chapter 2, mishnah 7 where the ‎‎mishnahreports that after the court had examined the ‎witnesses who reported having seen the new moon and their ‎testimony had been validated, the court proclaimed: ‎מקודש‎, “the ‎new month has been sanctified.” The people present‏ ‏then ‎repeated the declaration of the court saying twice: ‎מקודש מקודש‎. ‎Why did the head of the court say the word ‎מקודש‎ only once, ‎whereas the people were required to say it twice?
We have a general rule that when someone wishes to engage ‎in service of the Lord, he has to distance himself first from any ‎sins he had been guilty of, i.e. take his leave from a lifestyle that ‎opposes G’d will, before he can be enrolled in the class of people ‎actively serving the Lord, i.e. by performing His will. This will be a ‎process that intensifies gradually. During every step of the way, ‎the person who has left behind him a sinful lifestyle must be on ‎his guard to serve the Lord by studying Torah, praying, and by ‎sanctifying His name in various ways through his dealings with ‎his fellow man, causing Him continuous pleasure when observing ‎him. When keeping this in mind we can interpret the text of the ‎‎Mishnah as follows: when the head of the court proclaimed ‎the word ‎מקודש‎, he thereby indicated that the separation from a ‎negative lifestyle had been accomplished. When the people ‎responded by saying the same word twice, they indicated that ‎they were on the way to serving the Lord, reminding themselves ‎at each stage how they were supposed to do this, i.e. that they ‎needed both to keep distance from sin, and at the same time to ‎maintain their awe of the Almighty, never to become too familiar ‎with Him in the sense that they would permit themselves the ‎kind of familiarities one does when in the company of mortal ‎human beings. Moses refers to this when saying: ‎ואת הקדוש‎, ‎meaning that once one has attained this level of holiness one ‎must remember with Whom one consorts. This person described ‎as ‎הקדוש‎ in the verse above, is one who had already attained a ‎certain level of sanctity, ‎קדושה‎ by his own efforts, and was no ‎longer in need of being led by the hand all the time. (as ‎‎Rashi explains in Parshat Noach on the words: ‎את ‏האלוקים התהלך נח‎, “Noach walked with G’d.”) (Genesis 6,9) When ‎describing Avraham’s level of proximity to G’d the Torah (wrote ‎Genesis 17,15) ‎התהלך לפני‎, “strive to walk ahead of Me!”‎
When Moses (G’d) added ‎ואת אשר יבחר בו‎, “and Whom He will ‎select,” he indicated that the person concerned would require ‎further support from the Almighty to lead him to his desired ‎destination in his relations with G’d. The words ‎יקריב אותו‎ are the ‎assurance by G’d that He would help that person along his chosen ‎path to enable him to serve Him with a sincere heart.‎
5 ה
טעם מה שאמרו דתן ואבירם אף לא אל ארץ זבת חלב ודבש מה שאין כן קרח לא אמר זה. כי קרח היה משבט לוי ועל שבט לוי לא נגזר שימותו במדבר: The reason why Datan and Aviram added a complaint against ‎Moses that Korach had not mentioned, when they said: “you also ‎did not bring us to a land of milk and honey,” (Numbers 16,13) was that ‎Korach was a member of the tribe of Levi that had not been ‎condemned to die in the desert. Korach therefore could not have ‎leveled this accusation at Moses. [According to a view expressed ‎in Baba batra 121. Ed.]‎
6 ו
לא חמור אחד מהם נשאתי ולא הרעותי את אחד מהם כו' (במדבר טו, טו). הכלל, משה רבינו היה מעלה כל ישראל והיה מדבק עצמו תמיד לכל ישראל. וזהו לא חמור אחד מהם נשאתי, כלומר שלא נשאתי גוף אחד מישראל, רק כל ישראל נשאתי וכן לא דבקתי לאיש אחד מישראל רק לכל ישראל וזהו לא חמור כו'. ולא הרעותי, לשון דביקות מלשון אחי ורעי: Numbers 16,15. “I have not taken a single donkey of ‎theirs nor I have I knowingly wronged anyone of them.” ‎‎[The author considers the plain meaning of this verse as ‎unnecessary, the mere suggestion that Moses had taken ‎advantage of any Israelite being too obnoxious to warrant ‎mention. Ed.]
The general rule is that that Moses constantly tried to ‎spiritually uplift the people of Israel and to thereby bring them ‎closer to him. He states here that this endeavour of his included ‎every single one of the Israelites. He did not elevate a single ‎Israelite at the expense of others whom he did not elevate. ‎Similarly, when trying to be close to the people, he did not favour ‎any Israelite at the expense of another Israelite about whom he ‎supposedly cared less. According to our author, the word ‎הרעותי‎ ‎in this verse is presumed to be derived from ‎רעי‎, “my friend.”‎
7 ז
כי לא מלבי. ויבואר בו הפסוק אתם המיתם את עם כו' (במדבר טו, כח). הכלל, יש שהצדיק פועל דבר אף על פי שלא נגזר מלמעלה אף על פי כן הצדיק בתפילתו פועל זאת. ויש שהצדיק ממשיך הפעולה מלמעלה מה שנגזר מלמעלה וכאן חשדו ישראל את משה רבינו ואהרן שהם בצדקתם פעלו זאת בתפילתם. וזהו שאמרו אתם המיתם את עם ה' וזהו שאמר משה רבינו כי לא מלבי, כלומר הדבר הזה מן הקדוש ברוך הוא נגזר ולא אנחנו בתפילתינו: Numbers 16,28. “none of it was of my own ‎devising.” These words of Moses help us understand 17,8 ‎where the survivors accuse Moses and Aaron as having ‎engineered the death of “G’d’s people.” We have a rule that the ‎‎tzaddik, by means of his prayers, can bring about events ‎that had not previously been decreed by G’d to happen. On the ‎other hand, perhaps more frequently, the tzaddik’s prayer ‎is the catalyst that sets in motion the execution of a Divine ‎decree whose time had not previously been ripe for execution. In ‎this instance, the Israelites who had watched Korach and the ‎other rebels descend to their death, suspected Moses of having ‎been the instigators of the death of these people through their ‎prayers. In our verse, Moses wants to make clear that what is ‎going to happen is not something that he had either instigated or ‎hoped for. G’d Himself, without any contribution by himself or ‎Aaron, had both decreed and executed it.‎
8 ח
עבודת מתנה אתן את כהונתכם כו' (במדבר יח, ז). הנה כשאדם עובד את ה' אינו מתנה, כי כן החיוב על האדם. אבל כשאדם מעלה הנצוצות זה הוא מן האדם מתנה אל ה'. וזהו נשאת ונתת באמונה (שבת לא.) כשאדם עושה משא ומתן עם נכרי והישראל מרויח בהמשא ומתן ועל ידי זה יכולת בידו לעבוד ה' ביותר אזי מעלה הניצוצות מן האומות. וזהו נשאת, לשון עליות. ונתת באמונה, כמבואר כי הוא מתנה אל ה' מישראל שמעלה הנצוצות. ומזה בא הגרים מן האומות מחמת שישראל מעלים הניצוצות מהן כנ"ל וזהו עבודת מתנה: Numbers 18,7. “I make your priesthood a service that ‎is presented as a gift.”
When man serves the Lord this ‎is not a gift to G’d, as he is obligated to do so from the moment he ‎has been born. When man, in the process of serving the Lord, ‎tries to elevate other creatures spiritually at the same time, this ‎does constitute a gift he presents to the Lord.‎
When the Talmud in Shabbat 31 describes that the first ‎question the soul is asked when appearing before the heavenly ‎tribunal is: ‎נשאת ונתת באמונה‎, commonly translated as “have you ‎been fair and honest in your dealings with your fellow man,?” the ‎real meaning is: ”when you engaged in business dealings with ‎gentiles and you benefited financially by these dealings, did you ‎use the opportunity of displaying fairness as an opportunity to ‎bring the gentile closer to G’d the Creator?” If you did so you ‎succeeded in rescuing these “sparks” that had strayed from their ‎original path since they had been encased in a body. The word ‎נשאת‎ from the root ‎נשא‎ to raise, elevate,” in the line we quoted ‎from the Talmud, refers to whether the Jew whose soul now ‎appears for judgment in the celestial spheres being asked whether ‎it had been instrumental in helping stray human beings to return ‎to their sacred origins. When the Israelite, be he a priest or not, ‎succeeds in bringing about conversion of pagans for the right ‎reasons, he can claim to have presented his G’d with a gift, ‎מתנה‎.‎
9 ט
ברית מלח עולם (במדבר יח, יט). הוא נאמר אחר מעשה קרח, כי קרח רצה להיות כולם כהנים ולא לוי וכהן מורה על חסד ולוי על דין ורצה להיות הכל חסד ובאמת צריך שיהיה דין ורחמים בעולם. והנה הרמב"ן הקדוש כתב המלח הוא כח אש אשר במים נמצא המלח הוא מן כח אש ומים, היינו דין וחסד שניהם הם הנהגת העולמות. וזה שנאמר זה אחר מעשה קרח להראות כי בטל מעשה קרח שרצה להיות כולו חסד, ולא כן הוא כי צריך להיות דין וחסד: Numbers 18,19. “it is an eternal, salt-like, covenant ‎before Hashem.”
This statement had become necessary ‎after the revolt of Korach, who claimed that all Israelites are ‎entitled to be priests by dint of all of them having stood at Mount ‎Sinai. Korach had considered his status as a Levi, as a demotion. ‎He had not understood that the priests symbolise the attribute of ‎חסד‎ loving kindness, whereas the Levites symbolize the attribute ‎of ‎דין‎, justice. If both the Levites and the priests had symbolized ‎loving kindness, there would have been no room in the world for ‎the attribute of justice. G’d’s universe can function only when ‎both these attributes perform their respective ‎functions.
Nachmanides, commenting on the significance of ‎מלח‎, salt, writes that salt is a combination of the raw materials ‎fire and water, i.e. justice and loving kindness. Between them ‎these two “raw materials” are the foundation of our civilisation. ‎This concept had to be brought to the attention not only of the ‎Levites, but to the attention of all the Israelites, so that they ‎would understand that both the role of the Levite and the role of ‎the priest are indispensable to the Jewish nation, and are not to ‎be regarded as part of a pyramid, the priests representing the ‎pinnacle.‎