“Be careful lest you neglect the Levite all your days on your land” (Devarim 12,19)
It is a negative commandment not to neglect the Levites, and not to be careless about fulfilling their needs. That is to say, that we should not withhold their tithes from them, and all the more so during festivals when we are additionally warned about them that we must make them happy at the appointed time. Concerning this it says “Be careful lest you neglect the Levite all your days on your land”.
Amongst the roots of this commandment is the following: Because Hashem, may He be blessed, desires the good of his people Yisrael whom He has chosen for Himself as a people, and He wants to give them merit and to make them treasured in His world, as a wise and understanding nation so that all who see them recognize them as people who Hashem has blessed to be men of truth and fame, and since it is the will of Hashem that they should be constantly occupied with the acquisition of wisdom, in order to uphold and strengthen this wisdom amongst the nation the law designated one specific tribe who receive no portion or inheritance in land property, and who do not go out to plow and to sow the fields or to dig bores with which to water the land, so that all their time is freed to study wisdom and to understand the upright ways of the L-rd. This designated tribe will teach His laws to their brothers in every state and in every city. Since this tribe is forever designated to be occupied with the acquisition of wisdom and understanding, and all of the people of Israel must seek Torah from their mouths, to agree to their opinions, and to follow their advice however they may guide them, it is G-d’s will that their brothers provide them with their livelihood, lest their wisdom be engulfed in the lack of their provision.
The intention of the verse in saying “who are in your gates” does not mean that the Levites, G-d forbid, must go begging from door to door, but rather that they do not receive a portion of land like the rest of Yisrael.
This commandment applies at a time when the Jewish people are established on their land. One who refrains from giving happiness to the Levite and withholds his tithes from him on the festivals, transgresses this negative commandment. Included in this commandment-as any person should understand-is that one must provide for and do good with all those who strive constantly in the wisdom of Torah for they are the ones who uphold the true law and strengthen the faith, who increase peace in the world and love all of G-d’s creations, for they have no time to wander the courtyards hither and thither in search of their living, therefore one who has mercy on them and seeks their good, will be treated with mercy from heaven and will benefit equally with them in the world to come.