Levi'im and Kohanim- What's the Difference?!
Ein Aya, Shabbat 2, 246
We all know that the Levi'im (Levites) have a special status & had unique roles in the Beit HaMikdash, but what is it? What's the common denominator between their singing, guarding, opening the gates & their role as the Torah teachers of Israel? Levi means "accompany" & they escort both the aristocratic Kohanim & the "lay" Israelite farmers. They are the visible & "hear-able" go-between at the entrance of the Temple, & the Torah educators who go around the country. They are not the super-stars, but rather represent the functional & necessary, which often go "unsung". A review of all of the details of the Levite laws beautifully show this point, & explain the Talmudic connection between them & Lashon Hara (negative speech).