We had our Monday morning Torah service today, and the first reading was the following:
The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, Take a census of the sons of Gershon also, by their fathers’ houses and by their clans. From thirty years old up to fifty years old, you shall list them, all who can come to do duty, to do service in the tent of meeting. (Numbers 4:21-23)
Daniel Lancaster made an excellent midrash on this passage. He discussed the problem with the seeming contradiction between this passage and Numbers 8:24, where the age for the beginning age of the Levites is not 30, but 25. He stated the answer given by the sages, that the 25 year olds were being taught by the retired 50 year olds until they can actually take part in the duties of the Tabernacle at the age of 30.
He then applied this midrashically to the Messianic movement. He said that the reason Messianic organizations, particularly FFOZ, has had so many major shifts from the left to the right and vice versa is that we have a lot of 25 year olds, but very few (if any) 50 year olds. The 25 year olds have been zealous, but haven’t listened to the 50 year olds. We need more 50 year olds and their wisdom in the movement, but they will only be developed over time.
I thought this was a great analogy that really made sense.