Posted by: mosesfromsinai | June 30, 2013

Matos-Masii – Tribes-Journeys

This week’s Torah reading is a double portion. Matos – Tribes followed by Masii – Journeys. This also concludes the 4th Book of the Torah called Bamidbar – In the Desert.

Towards the end of Masii and thus the Book of Bamidbar we come across an unusual requirement that Moshe is instructed to give over to the Jewish Nation. This is the concept of Aray Miklat = Cities of Refuge. If a person killed someone accidentally he could flee to a City of Refuge where he could not be revenged by a relative. He/She would remain there until the Cohen Gadol – High Priest died. The Talmud explains that had the High Priest prayed properly there would not have been this accidental death.

If he left the City of Refuge before then, the relative could kill him/her. It should be noted that the City of Refuge did not protect a real murderer and a relative could take revenge even in the City of Refuge.

This whole section is a bit unusual. However, it does acknowledge the reality of a close relative wishing to take revenge and kill his relative’s killer.

Thus perhaps one of the things we can learn is to have feelings for our brothers and sisters that are intentionally murdered by our enemies and that there is no City of Refuge for them. They are to be hunted down by the relatives and killed wherever they may be found.

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