- Moshe Ben-Chaim
- Question: I have been told that Exodus 13:2 &
24:5 were originally interpreted to mean that the first born
son of each Jewish family was intended to be deemed a Cohen to
serve as his family's representative to the Holy Temple. I have
read the passages and it seems a stretch, is this the way it
was before Hashem changed it when only the Levites crossed the
line to accept the Torah?
- Thank you.
Mesora: Rashi says that when
all the Jews sinned by the Golden Calf, except for the Levites,
the Levites then replaced the firstborns' designation of Temple
service. The firstborns received the priesthood to promulgate
Torah ideology, much like the Egyptian firstborns carried the
status of passing down their philosophy. We see that the Egyptian
firstborns were killed, and as Rabbi once mentioned, it was in
order to sever the lineage of those who would teach the corrupt,
- Perhaps it is inherent in the position of first born male,
that he commands respect and status. He is then the most fit
to act as leader since he carries inherent reverence. Just as
killing the Egyptian first born would terminate those leaders,
G-d sought Jewish firstborns as natural Torah leaders. However,
when they sinned, they were no longer fit to minister to G-d.
They showed weakness towards alien G-ds. This contradicts the
monotheistic perfection required in Temple worship. Only those
perfectly devoted to G-d can relate to G-d in Temple service.
Knowledge of His undeniable status as the only G-d is essential
for relating to what is truly "Him".