Why did the Levites need to shave their bodies?


The Lord said to Moses: “Take the Levites from among all the Israelites and make them ceremonially clean. To purify them, do this: Sprinkle the water of cleansing on them; then have them shave their whole bodies and wash their clothes. And so they will purify themselves.” Numbers 8:5-7
            Shaving indicated a removal of the outer layer, the earthly, purifying one’s body of hair.  The ceremonial act (not all the time) meant to indicate a removal of a layer of sin from one’s body, cleansing them.  It set the Levites apart for this ritual, giving them a moment of dedication they were to remember.
            The regrowth process also pointed to “starting over, beginning fresh.”  The Levites were to grow into the role of priest.
            Shaving of one’s body occurred in Leviticus 13 and 14 in treating sores and leprosy.  There, it too carried the theme of removal, cleansing and starting anew.