The leftovers of the Mincha offering were to be given to Aharon and his sons. These were the Kohanim, members of the tribe of Levi.
Now, of course, the Levites worked in the temple, but there were so many of them that as a result, there was a rota system. So, in addition to serving God through sacrificing in the temple, the tribe of Levi became our teachers – the prime educators of the nation. And Hashem here declares that it is important that the people should support the educators, hence, this contribution.
In Pslam 17, King David tells us, “The mighty ones take from your hand, O Lord.” And the Midrash tells us that this is a reference to the tribe of Levi taking from the hand of God, that is to say, benefiting from these handouts in the temple.
Isn’t it fascinating that the tribe of Levi are referred to here as the ‘mighty ones’? You know, if you went into any Jewish community around the globe and you were to ask people, ‘who are the mighty ones of your Jewish community?’, I think they would refer to perhaps Presidents or Chair Persons, CEO’s, trustees, philanthropists. Would anybody mention the teachers? I doubt it.
You know, it’s into the hand of our teachers that we entrust the future of the greatest gift that the Almighty has given to us – our children. They are the ones who are molding and shaping the minds and the hearts of the next generation. So, therefore, surely within our communities, we need to change mind-sets. We need to provide adequate incentives for outstanding young men and women to enter into the teaching profession, to take it on as a vocation through which they can excel in the contribution that they give to the Jewish world and to our society.
“The mighty ones take from your hand”, in truth, we learn from this week’s Torah portion that it is our teachers who are the greatest.