Shabbat Parashat Matot-Masei| 5764
Matot | | 08/01/2004
In our parasha, the Torah commands to set aside both arei miklat (cities of refuge for unintentional murderers) and arei Levi’im (cities of Levites). These are not just similar sounding commandments, as the two types of cities are interconnected. “The cities that you shall give to the Levites: the six arei miklat that you shall give for the murderer to escape to, and upon them you shall give forty-two cities” (Bamidbar 35:6). Even in the desert, before the arei miklat existed, the Levi’im’s encampment already absorbed unintentional murderers (Zevachim 117a).
Case: The defendant (=def) owns two out of the four apartments in an apartment building. He wants to build on half of the roof (his proportional part) two apartments to rent out to tenants. The plaintiffs (=pl) own the other apartments and claim that they will be damaged by the building project in a few ways. Primarily, they feel that the presence of additional dwellers in the building will create more noise and other unpleasant phenomena. They also claim that during the building process, they will be further affected by noise and dirt.
According to Rashi (Vayikra 19:19), all elements of mixing of species are a “decree of the King, without a [known?] reason.” The Ramban (ad loc.) argues, pointing out that this is not one of the areas of halacha that Chazal identified as being questioned by the nations of the world.
This edition of Hemdat Yamim
A weekly divrei Torah leaflet: A Glimpse at the Parasha, Ask the Rabbi, From the writings of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, zt”l, Pninat Mishpat (Jewish Monetary Law).