Levi - Silk Tie - Twelve Tribes
“And thy brethren also, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of thy father, bring thou near with thee, that they may be joined unto thee, and minister unto thee, thou and thy sons with thee being before the tent of the testimony.” (Numbers 18)
Levi: was one of the twelve sons of Jacob. His mother was Leah, who also gave birth to Reuben, Judah, Simeon, Issachar and Zebulun. Levi is the ancestor of the Tribe of Levi.The Tribe of Levi was not included in the tribes who were given allotments of land during the conquest of Canaan, when the nation of Israel was first established. Instead, Moses singled out the Tribe of Levi to serve as the nation's priests.Instead of a land allotment, Joshua, who led the conquest of Canaan, gave 48 towns, scattered throughout the land of Israel, to the Tribe of Levi. The descendants of Levi played a roll in guarding and serving the tabernacle (Numbers 3:21-37). Moses and his brother, Aaron, were descendants of Levi. The tribe of Levi developed separately from the other tribes of Israel. During the period in Egypt, the Levites maintained the traditions of Jacob. At Mt Sinai they remained loyal to Moses and G-d earning their reward as servants of G-d for all time. The Levites carried the Tabernacle and its vessels on its wanderings in the desert. Levites served as the honor guard, gatekeepers and musicians of the Temple. They also assisted the Kohanim in preparing offerings and in other aspects of the Temple's functioning. One particular family of the Tribe of Levi, the male descendants of Aharon, brother of Moses, were chosen to be the Kohanim - priests, the Temple officials of the nation. They were responsible for the daily functioning of the Temple and they themselves performed its most holy duties. The Kohen Gadol - High Priest - was the head of an extensive administration, which supervised all aspects of the service. Kohanim were sustained by 24 gifts and like the Levites received tithes from the people. To this day Kohen and Levites are given special honors in synagogues each week even though the Temple does not exist. When the Assyrian captured the Northern kingdom (tribes) around 720 BCE they disbursed the Israelites among many lands. When the Babylonian captured the Judean kingdom around 680 BCE the tribes of Judah and Benjamin held on to their identity as Judeans. It is said that all Jews descend from these two remaining tribes.