תני ר' ליעזר בן יעקב אומר מקלט מקלט כתיב בפרשת דרכים כדי שיהא הרוצח רואה את הכתוב והולך


Beraisa (R. Eliezer ben Yaakov): At every crossroads, there would be a sign with the word "Miklat - Refuge' indicating which way was the City of Refuge, so that a killer would see it and would immediately be able to follow it.

אמר ר' אבון כמין יד היתה מראה להן את הדרך.


(R. Avun): There was a picture of a hand pointing to the correct direction.

אמר רבי פינחס (תהילים כה) טוב וישר למה הוא טוב שהוא ישר ולמה הוא ישר שהוא טוב


Question (R. Pinchas): The pasuk states (Tehillim 25:8), "(Hash-m is) good and straight (therefore He guides sinners on the way). If He is good (implying that He is good even to those who do not deserve it), why say that He is straight (implying the opposite)? If He straight, why say that He is good?

על כן יורה חטאים בדרך שמורה דרך תשובה.


Answer: The end of the pasuk explains, "therefore He guides sinners on the way" - He bestows goodness by guiding the sinners to repent; once they have repented, they deserve to receive the reward that He gives in His straightness.


WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT OF A SINNER? (Yerushalmi Halachah 6 Daf 7a)

שאלו לחכמה חוטא מהו עונשו


They asked wisdom, "What is the punishment of a sinner?"

אמרו להם חטאים תרדף רעה


Answer (wisdom): The pasuk states (Mishlei 13:21), "Evil will pursue the sinners". (This refers to the destructive angel created by a person's sin, that later acts as the prosecution to bring him punishment.

שאלו לנבואה חוטא מהו עונשו


They asked prophecy, "What is the punishment of a sinner?"

אמרה להן הנפש החוטאת היא תמות


Answer (prophecy): (Yechezkel 18:20), "The soul that sins will die (as an atonement).

שאלו לקודשא בריך הוא חוטא מהו עונשו


They asked The Holy One, "What is the punishment of a sinner?"

אמר להן יעשו תשובה ויתכפר לו.


Answer (The Holy One): Let him repent and he will be atoned.

היינו דכתיב על כן יורה חטאים בדרך יורה לחטאים דרך לעשות תשובה.


This is seen in the pasuk (Tehillim 25:8), "Therefore, He guides sinners on the way" - he guides the sinners in the way to repent. (Wisdom and prophecy do not give a way for a person to repent - only Hash-m Himself, who goes beyond the letter of the law, gives a person such a possibility.)


ACCEPTANCE OF PRAYERS (Yerushalmi Halachah 6 Daf 7a)

כתיב כצפור לנוד כדרור לעוף כן (איש נודד ממקומו)[קללת חנם לא תבא] ותימר אכן


Question: (The Mishnah earlier (daf 9-2(h)) taught, "Therefore, the mothers of the Kohanim would supply food and clothing to the killers so that the killers would not pray for their sons to die.") The pasuk states (Mishlei 26:2), "Like a wandering sparrow and like a flying swallow, so a vain curse will not come." (So why were the mothers worried that the killers in the Cities of Refuge would pray for their sons to die?)

תיפתר שהיה עת ועונה


Answer: (Even such prayers might be answered) at a favorable time.

כיי דמר רבי יוסי בן חלפתא עתים הן לתפילה אמר דוד לפני הקב"ה רבון העולמים בשעה שאני מתפלל לפניך תהא עת רצון דכתי' ואני תפילתי לך ה' עת רצון.


Like the teaching of R. Yosi ben Chalafta that there are favorable times for prayer - King David said to Hash-m, "Master of the Universe, when I pray before You, it should be a favorable time, as the pasuk states (Tehillim 69:14), "As for me, my prayer to You Hash-m should be at a favorable time".

רבי שמואל בר נחמן בשם רבי יונתן בכל מקום שנאמר דיבור חידוש מקרא שם


(R. Shmuel bar Nachman citing R. Yonasan): Whenever the Torah uses the word "Vayedaber - And he spoke", it means that there is a novel thing being said.

והכתיב וידבר אלהים וכו'


Question: But it says (Shemos 6:2), "And Hash-m spoke (to Moshe and he said to him 'I am Hashem')" and no novel thing was said there?



Answer: {The Gemara writes an abbreviation indicating that one should look at the Midrash for the answer.} The Midrash there (in Shemos Rabah/ Tanchuma) tells of Hash-m speaking to Moshe in a stern way - this is shown by the use of the word 'Vayedaber' as opposed to 'Vayomer'.

מהו וישב עמם.


Question: (When Hash-m gave Yehoshua instructions about the Cities of Refuge, the pasuk states (Yehoshua 20:4), "they shall take him into the city to them, and give him a place and he shall dwell among them"). What do the words "and he shall dwell (VeYashav) among them" add?

רבנן דקיסרין בשם רבי שילה שאם היה תלמיד חכם עושים לו בית וועד.


Answer (Rabbanan of Kisarin citing R. Shila): That if the killer was a Torah scholar, they would make for him a Yeshiva.

שלש ערים הפריש משה בעבר הירדן משבאו לארץ הפרישו עוד שלש ולעתיד לבוא מפרישין עוד שלש שנאמר שלש שלש שלש הרי תשע


(Beraisa): Moshe set aside three cities in the Transjordan. When they came to the Land, they set aside another three. And in the future, they will set aside another three, as the pasuk mentions the word 'three' three times (Devarim 19:2), "you shall separate three cities for yourself"; (verse 7), "Therefore, I command you, saying, You shall separate for yourself three cities" and (verse 9), "you shall add three more cities for yourself, in addition to these three".

אבא שאול אומר שלש שלש שלש הרי תשע ועוד הרי שנים עשר


(Abba Shaul): There are those nine and the pasuk also says "(three) more (cities)", the extra word adding a further three, making a total of twelve.

ר' נהוראי אומר שלש שלש שלש הרי ט' ועוד הרי י"ב על השלש הרי ט"ו.


(R. Nehurai): There are those nine and the word "more" adds another three; making twelve. However, the pasuk also added the phrase, "in addition to these three", which adds a further three, making a total of 15.

כתיב שש ערי מקלט תהיינה לכם (שיהו ששתן קולטות כאחת) ותימר אכן


Question: How can you say that there will be more Cities of Refuge in the future if the pasuk seems to say that there will only be six; as it says (Bamidbar 35:13), "(The cities that you provide) shall serve as six cities of refuge (for you)"?

[שיהו ששתן קולטות כאחת]


Answer: This merely teaches that all six of them begin to absorb at the same time (so the three in the Transjordan were not active until the three in the Land of Israel were prepared).


THE DEATH OF THE KOHEN GADOL (Yerushalmi Halachah 6 Daf 7b)

ותייא כיי דמר ר' שמואל בשם ר' אחא חמשה דברים חסר מקדש אחרון ממקדש ראשון דכתיב עלו ההר והבאתם עץ וגו' עד ואכבדה ואכבד כתיב חסר ה"א אילו ה' דברים שחסר מקדש אחרון ממקדש ראשון.


(The Mishnah (in daf 9-2(g) above) taught - Whether an anointed Kohen Gadol (during the 1st Beis HaMikdash period) or one who merely wore the vestments (during the 2nd Beis HaMikdash period, when there was no longer the anointing oil)...the death of any of these allows the killer to return home.) This seems to follow the teaching of R. Shmuel bar R. Acha - Five things were lacking in the second Beis HaMikdash that were present in the first one, as the pasuk states in reference to building the second Beis HaMikdash (Chaggai 1:8), "Ascend to the mountain and you should bring wood (and build the house and I will accept it) and I will be honored [ve'ikavda] (said Hash-m)." However, it is actually written "ve'ikaved" (without the letter 'hei' - whose numerical value is five) - this alludes to the five things that were absent in the second Beis HaMikdash;

ואילו הן אש ארון אורים ותומים שמן המשחה ורוח הקודש


And they were - the fire (that would come down to the altar from heaven), the Ark (that was hidden away), the Urim VeTumim (from the Kohen Gadol's breastplate, that was used to answer questions posed on behalf of the nation), the anointing oil and the Holy spirit (prophecy) given to prophets.

אמר אביי תלמיד חכם צריך לפרסם את עצמו


(Abayei): A Torah scholar must publicize himself.

היך בר נש דחכם חדא מיכלה ואזיל לאתר ואינון מייקרין ליה כד הוא חכם תרין מיכלה צריך לומר לון חדא מיכלא אנא חכים


How can he do this? (On the contrary, a person should hide his wisdom in order not to benefit from the honor of the Torah!) - If a person knows one tractate of Talmud and when he comes to a new place, they honor him in a way that befits one who knows two tractates, he must inform them that he only knows one tractate. (We learn this from our Mishnah that taught that when the people want to honor the Torah Scholar, he must inform them. Rather, Abayei must be saying that he must inform them if they try to honor him.)

רב הונא אמר אומר בשפה רפה והימין


(Rav Huna): (In the case of a person repaying a debt after the Shemita year, as per the law of the Torah, the lender must tell him that he relinquishes his claim on the money.) He should say it a gentle tone with his right hand stretched out, in order to show the borrower that he doesn't really want to relinquish it, and that his hand is stretched out to accept it.


THE REDEEMER'S PERMISSION TO KILL HIM (Yerushalmi Halachah 6 Daf 7b)

מה טעמא (דר' יודה)[דר' עקיבה]


Question: What is R. Akiva's source (that the redeemer is permitted to kill the killer if he leaves the Techum of the city)?

כי יחם לבבו


Answer: The pasuk says (Devarim 19:6), "(lest the redeemer of the blood pursue the killer) while his heart is heated". If it was a mitzvah to kill the killer, why would the pasuk state the reason why the redeemer might kill him?

א"ר אבהו וחוזר במיתתו של (שלישי)[שלשה]


(R. Abahu): (The Mishnah (above daf 9-2(g)) taught that one who killed a Kohen Gadol or if a Kohen Gadol killed, he can never leave the city. However,) he does return home if there was another Kohen Gadol (of the three types listed in the Mishnah) who was in service at the time of the verdict, who later dies.

א"ר אבהו צרכו לדבר שולחין ומביאין אותו משם.


(R. Abahu): If the killer is needed for some important mitzvah or communal need, messengers are sent and he is brought out from the city.

א"ר יוסי מתני' לא אמרה כן אלא אפי' ישראל צריכין לו אפילו שר צבא כיואב בן צרויה אין יוצא משם לעולם שנאמר שמה שם תהא דירתו וכו':


Question (R. Yosi): The Mishnah said the opposite - And even if Yisrael needs him and even if he is the head of the army like Yoav ben Tzruyah, he may not leave, as the pasuk says (Bamidbar 35:25), "(and the congregation shall return him to the city of refuge) to which he had fled [Shamah - there]...