1 The number of Israelites—chiefs of clans, officers of thousands and hundreds and their clerks, who served the king in all matters of the divisions, who worked in monthly shifts during all the months of the year—each division, 24,000.
uv-NAY yis-ra-AYL l’-mis-pa-RAM ra-SHAY ha-a-VOT v’-sa-RAY ha-a-la-FEEM v’-ha-may-OT v’-sho-t’-ray-HEM ha-m’-sha-r’-TEEM et ha-ME-lekh l’-KHOL d’-VAR ha-makh-l’-KOT ha-ba-AH v’-ha-yo-TZAYT KHO-desh b’-KHO-desh l’-KHOL khod-SHAY ha-sha-NAH ha-ma-kha-LO-ket ha-a-KHAT es-REEM v’-ar-ba-AH A-lef
27:1 The number of Israelites
After listing the jobs of the Kohahim and Leviim, we are told that the rest of the Children of Israel also have an important task: They must perform national army service. While the tribe of Levi is entrusted with the job of spiritually fortifying the nation, the rest of the people are charged with the responsibility of physical protection and defense. In contemporary Israel as well, every citizen is required to perform national army service in the IDF, except those engaged in full time Torah study. In the early 1950’s, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion reached an agreement with the leaders of the religious parties, exempting full time Torah scholars from serving in the IDF. Since its earliest days, Israel has affirmed the fact that just as the army strengthens the Torah, the Torah strengthens the army.