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    Retirement at 50 – B’ha’alot’cha

    The Levites had a retirement age of 50 (Num. 8:25-26).

    What did their retirement mean? Because they were no longer so strong and energetic, at 50 they no longer carried heavy burdens on their shoulders, but they were not lost to the community thereafter.

    The text says, “They shall serve with their brothers” (verse 26). Though some commentaries say this means that they served their fellow Levites, the more accepted view is that they had less onerous duties than before.

    They could still lock the Temple gates, sing in the choir, and load the wagons. This is the view of Rashi based on the Sifrei.

    The Ramban – Nachmanides – says they could not continue to sing after 50.

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