Harav Shimon Schwab, zt”l, described a conversation he had with the Chofetz Chaim, zt”l, when he had merited to spend Shabbos Parashas Vayakhel-Pikudei 5690 (1930) in the presence of this spiritual giant.
“I am a Kohen, perhaps you have heard,” the Chofetz Chaim told him.
“Yes,” Harav Schwab replied.
“Are you also a Kohen?” The Chofetz Chaim asked.
“No,” he answered.
“A pity!” the Chofetz Chaim remarked, and related that when the Beis Hamikdash will be rebuilt, everyone will sense a great longing to have a part in the avodah of the Beis Hamikdash, but only Kohanim will be able to do so.
“This is all because when Moshe Rabbeinu said ‘Mi laShem Eilei — Whoever is for Hashem should come to me,’ and all of the bnei Levi gathered, your great-great-grandfather heard and didn’t run to Moshe,” the Chofetz Chaim continued. “[Therefore] he, and his descendants lost the merit of partaking in the avodah in the Beis Hamikdash.
“When Mi laShem Eilei is called, all must run, otherwise one loses out,” the Chofetz Chaim concluded.
Our generation is once again being tested, and the call from Eretz Yisrael is one of Mi laShem Eilei, let us be sure to respond to the call.