web analytics
April 18, 2015 / 29 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Arei Miklat

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

This column is dedicated to the refuah sheleimah of Shlomo Eliezer ben Chaya Sarah Elka.

In parshas Masei the Torah discusses the halachos regarding when one person accidentally kills another. The Torah says that a relative of the victim (goel hadam) may avenge the death of his relative by killing the murderer who acted accidentally. According to the Torah, the perpetrator must go to one of the arei miklat (city of refuge). While in the ir miklat the goel hadam may not kill the murderer who acted accidentally. If he does kill him while he was in the ir miklat, he will be liable for murder.

The Gemara in Makkos 11b draws from a pasuk in this week’s parshah,asher nas shamah, v’yashav bah – he should run there and dwell there,” that an accidental murderer must remain in the ir miklat forever; even if klal Yisrael needs him, he may not leave. The Mishnah says that even if he is someone like Yoav ben Tziruya, a general in the army, he may not leave the ir miklat to fight a battle for klal Yisrael.

The Acharonim are bothered by this halacha. They point out that pikuach nefesh is generally docheh (takes precedence) over all other mitzvos. Why then is the pikuach nefesh of all of klal Yisrael not docheh the mitzvah of remaining in the ir miklat?

The Ohr Somayach (Hilchos Rotzeach 7:8) suggests that the reason why the accidental murderer should not leave the ir miklat, even for the pikuach nefesh of all of klal Yisrael, is because as soon as he leaves the city the goel hadam may kill him. One is not obligated to risk his own life in order to save someone else’s life. Therefore the accidental murderer should not leave under any circumstance.

However, this answer only fits according to those who opine that one is not required to save another person when his action possibly puts his life in danger. The Hagaos Maimanis (Hilchos Rotzeach 1:14) quotes a Yerushalmi that says that one is required to save another person who is definitely in danger of losing his life, even if by doing so he is putting his own life at risk. The Beis Yosef (Choshen Mishpat 426) explains that since one person’s life is in certain danger, that fact precedes the possibility that another person’s life is in danger. According to this opinion, this question remains: Why can the accidental murderer not leave to save another person’s life? After all, it is not assured that he will be forfeiting his life by leaving the city. Thus, according to this opinion, he should be obligated to leave.

Others suggest that although it is not certain that the goel hadam will kill the accidental murderer if he leaves the ir miklat, nevertheless when he leaves he attains the status of a gavra kiteila (dead man). If someone else kills him, that person will not be liable for murder, for he killed someone who was already considered dead. A person is not required to place himself in a situation whereby he considered killing a gavra kiteila in order to save another person’s life.

The Cheshek Shlomo, in Makkos, asks another question on the halacha that an accidental murderer cannot leave the ir miklat under any circumstance. He says that the implication is that he may not leave, even to eat the Korban Pesach. If one does not eat the Korban Pesach he is liable for kareis. Why does the assei of eating the Korban Pesach, which has the punishment of kareis if not eaten, not doche the mitzvah of remaining in the ir miklat?

According to the Ohr Somayach that explains that the reason why the accidental murderer may not leave the ir miklat is because this action endangers his life, we can answer this question as well. There is a mitzvah of v’chai bahem v’lo she’yamus bahem (we should live by the mitzvos and not endanger our lives by performing the mitzvos). Since by leaving the ir miklat the accidental murderer will be endangering his life, he is not required to perform the mitzvah of eating from the Korban Pesach.

Perhaps we can extend this answer to explain the opinion that one must enter into a safek sakanas nefashos – which is certain danger – in order to save another person’s life. For this opinion only posited that one must enter a safek life-threatening situation in order to save another person’s life. It was not said that they do not consider a safek life-threatening situation to not indeed be safek life- threatening. Consequently, even the Yerushalmi would agree that one should not put himself into a safek life threatening situation in order to perform a mitzvah – even if the mitzvah has a punishment of kareis if not performed. Therefore, an accidental murderer would not leave the ir miklat – even to perform a mitzvah (such as eating the Korban Pesach) that has kareis attached to it.

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Arei Miklat”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Daniel Lubetzky  president of V15 and CEO of Kind "healthy" bars
No Victory for V15 and Not Healthy ‘Healthy’ Snack Bars
Latest Judaism Stories
Hertzberg-041715

Lincoln was not a perfect man. But he rose above his imperfections to do what he thought was right not matter the obstacles.

Arch of Titus

Adon Olam: An Erev Shabbat Musical Interlude Courtesy of David Herman

Daf-Yomi-logo

Oh My, It’s Copper!
‘…And One Who Is A Coppersmith’
(Kethubboth 77a)

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

The omer sacrifice of loose barley flour was more fitting for animal consumption than human consumption and symbolizes the depths to which the Jewish slaves had sunk.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

When Chazal call not eating treif food a chok, that refers to how it functions.

His mother called “Yoni, Yoni!” Her eyes, a moment earlier dark with pain, shone with joy and hope

Kashrut reminds us that in the end, God is the arbiter of right and wrong.

In a cab with Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach & Rav Elayshiv discussing if/when to say tefillas haderech

The successful student listens more than speaks out; wants his ideas critiqued, not just appreciated

Why would it not be sufficient to simply state lehoros from which we derive that in such a state one may not issue any psak?

What do we learn about overcoming loss from the argument between Moses and Aaron’s remaining 2 sons?

Each of the unique roles attributed to Moshe share the common theme that they require of and grant higher sanctity to the individual filling the role.

Because of the way the piece of my finger had been severed, the doctors at the hospital were not able to reattach it. They told me I’d have to see a specialist.

“The problem is that the sum total is listed is $17,000. However, when you add the sums mentioned, it is clear that the total of $17,000 is an error. Thus, Mr. Broyer owes me $18,000, not $17,000.”

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Why would it not be sufficient to simply state lehoros from which we derive that in such a state one may not issue any psak?

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

The Netziv answered that there is a difference between a piece of bread that was cut already in front of you, and one that was cut from beforehand.

Why is it necessary to invite people to eat from the korban Pesach?

The Ran asks why the Gemara concludes that since we are unsure which two of the four we must recline for, that we must recline for all four.

The Chasam Sofer answers that one of only prohibited from wearing a garment that contains shatnez if he does so while wearing the garment for pleasure purposes.

The Aruch Laner asks: How can Rashi say that the third Beis Hamikdash will descend as fire from heaven when every Jew prays several times a day for the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash?

The Ohr Hachayim rules that one may not manipulate the system; rather he must state his opinion as he see the ruling in the case; not as he would like the outcome of the verdict to become.

He suggests that the general admonition only dictates that a father may not actively enable his son to perform an aveirah.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/arei-miklat/2013/07/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: