(א) אֵלֶּה מַסְעֵי בְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר יָצְאוּ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לְצִבְאֹתָם בְּיַד מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן.
(1) These are the stages of the children of Israel, by which they went forth out of the land of Egypt by their hosts under the hand of Moses and Aaron.
(6) And the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites, they shall be the six cities of refuge, which ye shall give for the manslayer to flee thither; and beside them ye shall give forty and two cities.
(13) And Moses commanded the children of Israel, saying: ‘This is the land wherein ye shall receive inheritance by lot, which the LORD hath commanded to give unto the nine tribes, and to the half-tribe;
ה. וחייבין בית דין א לכוין הדרכים לערי מקלט לתקנם ולהרחיבן. ומסירין מהן כל מכשול וכל תקלה. ואין מניחין בדרך לא תל ולא גיא ולא נהר. אלא עושין עליו גשר כדי שלא לעכב את הבורח לשם. שנאמר תכין לך הדרך. ורוחב דרך ערי מקלט אין פחות משלשים ושתים אמות. ומקלט מקלט היה כתוב על פרשת דרכים כדי שיכירו הרצחנים ויפנו לשם
The Jewish court is obligated to construct roads leading to the cities of refuge; they should be maintained and widened. Any stumbling block and obstacle should be removed from them.
On these roads neither a hill, a valley, nor a river should be left. Instead, a bridge should be built across so as not to impede a person fleeing there. This is all implied by Deuteronomy 19:3, which states: "You shall prepare the road for yourselves."
The width of the road to the city of refuge should not be less than 32 cubits. Signs stating "Refuge, refuge," should be written at intersections, so that killers would be aware of the way and turn there
Sefer Ha Chinuch
The Torah includes six hundred and thirteen mitzvot (commandments).... Of these, the mitzvot that can be observed today [following the destruction of the Holy Temple and our exile from the Holy Land] number, altogether, three hundred and thirty-nine. Among these are mitzvot for which a person becomes obligated only under certain circumstances, so that it is possible that never in his lifetime will these circumstances come about and he will never have the opportunity to do them--e.g., the mitzvah to pay an employee on time... The number of mitzvot that every Jew is obligated in is two hundred and seventy... Many of these, however, are binding only on certain days of the year or certain times of the day.
There are six mitzvot whose obligation is constant, and does not depart from the person for a single moment throughout his lifetime. These are: to believe in G-d, to avow His oneness, to renounce idolatry, to love G-d, to fear Him, and to avoid temptation to sin. They are symbolized by the verse, "Six cities of refuge shall they be for you."
The next time the Haftorah for Pinchas will be read is in 21 years from now.
Timeline . Read the Pasukim. Explain the situation.
Explain Eer Miklat, if you accidentally kill someone you must flee to this city of refuge and stay until the Cohen Gadol dies .
Why mention the story of the Journeys? Why is each one mentioned.
Guiding principles or general rules. One rule or principle every letter every Pasuk, everparsha every safer is relevant to each and every one of us today. The Torah is not a history book although it does contain history, it is an universal, eternal instruction manual for life. Every story has relevance to us today.
The journeys of Bnay Yisroel reflect our own journeys in life. Each stop each juncture is of note, is important. We are all on a journey. Through this world , Pirkeh Avot , fourth Perek mishnah 22, against your will you were born and against your will you will die. Each part of the journey is important , and each part has relevance. Wherever we are in life we should be learning from that situation.
The Luckiest unlucky man in the world .
We can ask the same question about the next source. These six cities of refuge. What are they to me?
And to strengthen the question, we have Halacha on it (Mishnah Torah) . One answer is if we learn about it and we are not able to fulfill it then it is like we did it, or we could be studying for the future .
We can find an answer in the Sefer Ha Chinuch . This is a safer written anonymously, it gives the source of each Mitzvah in order of the Parsha.
Reread the Mishnah Torah. It now has become more relevant to us. The Lubavitcher Rebbe states that this is our Job , to make sure the roads are clear and there are no stumbeling blocks. That we should know we can always seek refuge with these mitzvot.
There is a theme or connection to these 6 Mitzvot. One Pasuk that encapsulates it . A mnemonic device for remembering David in the Torah. Devarim, Perek Vav ,Pasuk Daled. Shema Yisroel Hashem....
Sfas Emes points out this connection, we have 6 words in the Shema, these are the six arey miklot, we can always find refuge in the Shema in these six mitzvot. then the 42 other cites of the Leviem, that is the paragraph of Vehavtah, 42 words long. The land is divided by lot. This seems random . We have all three cases we can say seem random. We could say the wanderings were random and accidently killing someone and giving out the land is all random, or does it just seem random?
We have other lotteries in the Torah and Tanach does anyone know any of them? The Cohen Gadol is involved in a lottery for the scapegoat. The same Cohen Gadol who must pass away to free the Eer Miklat, and who is also mentioned in our first source, the last word in the pasuk regarding the journeys.
So how do we bring it all together?
The luckiest unlucky man or the unluckiest lucky man. Depends on how you see it.
We are closing Sefer Bamidbar this week and the Torah is teaching several valuable lesson. The Jews are about to enter a new land .
At certain points in life we should reflect on our journeys in life, where we have been so we can know where we are going.
Malbim on our first source , the 42 journeys makes a connection between these journeys . There is a 42 letter name of Hashem, Hashem was with us in all the journeys. And when we reflect on this we will see that the seemingly random event are not random at all. Rashi comments on the accidental murderer.
A man is walking up a ladder he falls and accidentally kills someone so he must got to Galus, both are murderers , one killed without witnesses one with . The one with deserves the death penalty, that is the man that was crushed, the other deserved galut that was the man who fell on top of him .
How do we say coincidence in Hebrew? Mikreh.
Torah Riddle Ha’amek Dvar notes the command to eradicate idols was not given to Reuven, Gad and half of Minasheh. Why? because Eretz yisroel was not conquered yet so this land had no Kedusha.
Halacha Riddle: two items, each in a bucket, one Kosher , one nonkosher, combine them and seperate them , they switch.