In order to demonstrate conclusively that the tribe of Levi (the priests and the Levites) had been set apart from the rest of the Jewish people for their respective tasks by G‑d Himself, G‑d commanded Moses to take the staffs of the princes of each of the 12 tribes and place them next to the Ark in the Holy of Holies, the inner chamber of the Tabernacle. Moses did so, and Aaron’s staff miraculously sprouted almonds overnight, whereas the other staffs remained unchanged.
The Need for Speed
וְהִנֵּה פָּרַח מַטֵּה אַהֲרֹן לְבֵית לֵוִי וַיֹּצֵא פֶרַח וַיָּצֵץ צִיץ וַיִּגְמֹל שְׁקֵדִים: (במדבר יז:כג)
Aaron’s staff – for the house of Levi – had blossomed; it gave forth blossoms, sprouted buds, and produced ripe almonds. Numbers 17:23

Of all fruits, almonds are the quickest to blossom, ripen, and be ready for human consumption. This attribute of speed characterized the priests’ function in the Tabernacle in two ways:

The priests blessed the people every morning. The purpose of their blessings was to enable G‑d’s goodness to reach the Jewish people speedily and directly.

The priests performed their duties quickly and with liveliness.

Inasmuch as the Jewish people are “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation,” we should learn from the priests’ quickness to fulfill their duties. We should not relate to our Divine mission in life halfheartedly or resignedly. Rather, we must respond to every opportunity quickly, energetically, and wholeheartedly. When we do so, we are assured that G‑d’s blessings and the success of our efforts will not delay in coming.1