The Levites were subdivided into four groups: three clans, each descended from one of the sons of Levi, and the priests. Whereas the other 12 tribes were instructed to camp at a distance of approximately 900 meters (half a mile) from the Tabernacle, the Levites were instructed to encamp right next to it. The priests (Aaron and his sons), together with Moses, encamped to the east of the Tabernacle. The three Levite clans encamped on the other three sides of the Tabernacle.
Avoiding Contention
וְהַחֹנִים לִפְנֵי הַמִּשְׁכָּן קֵדְמָה . . . מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן וּבָנָיו וגו': (במדבר ג:לח)
Camping in front of the Tabernacle . . . were Moses, Aaron, and [Aaron’s] sons. Numbers 3:38

The tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun became great Torah scholars by virtue of having camped near Moses and Aaron. In contrast, the tribe of Reuben camped on the same side of the Tabernacle as the Levite clan to which Moses’ cousin Korach belonged. They were therefore caught up in Korach’s mutiny against Moses, as the Torah will recount later.

This teaches us that the way to avoid being dragged into a dispute is by studying the Torah and living according to its teachings, and the way to connect to G‑d through studying the Torah is by distancing oneself from any form of contention.1