THE OWNERSHIP OF THE LEVI'IM (Yerushalmi Halachah 7 Daf 7b)

משנה ומעלות היו שכר ללוים דברי רבי יהודה


(Mishnah) - (R. Yehuda): They would pay rent to the Levi'im.

רבי מאיר אומר לא היו מעלות להן שכר וחוזר לשררה שהיה בה דברי רבי מאיר


(R. Meir): They would not pay rent. When the killer leaves the city, he returns to his former position.

ורבי יהודה אומר לא היה חוזר לשררה שהיה בה:


(R. Yehuda): He does not return to his former position.

גמרא תני ר' (יודה)[יוסי] אומר למחלוקת ניתנו


(Gemara) (Beraisa - R. Yosi): The cities of the Levi'im were given to them as their inheritance of the Land.

רבי [מאיר] אומר לבית דירה ניתנו


(R. Meir): They were given to them merely to dwell in.

ותייא דרבי (יוסי)[יהודה] כר' (יודה)[יוסי] ודר' מאיר כדעתיה


Let's suggest that R. Yehuda is like R. Yosi and R. Meir follows his own opinion...

[דף ח עמוד א] דתנינן מעלות היו שכר ללוים דברי רבי (מאיר)[יהודה]


(Mishnah) - R. Yehuda: They would pay rent to the Levi'im (since the land was fully owned by them).

רבי (יהודה)[מאיר] אומר לא היו מעלות שכר ללוים.


(R. Meir): They would not pay rent to the Levi'im (since they were given the cities merely to dwell in.)

(רבא)[ר' אבא] בשם רב יודה רבי זעירא בשם מר עוקבא אין מקדרין אלא בחבל של חמשים אמה


(R. Abba citing R. Zeira in the name of Mar Ukva): (Mekadrin is a leniency given by Chazal that when measuring distances that include mountains (or valleys), we 'bore a hole' through the mountain, meaning that we measure it while ignoring its altitude. This is done by the person higher up holding the end of the rope at the level of his feet and the person lower down holding it at chest level. This is repeated as many times as are needed to measure the entire mountain and it 'reduces' the height of the mountain by half the height of a person each time it is measured. Although the prominent view is that the rope used for this is 4 amos long, Mar Ukva is of the opinion that even) the rope to Mekader is also 50 amos long (just like the regular rope used for measuring flat distances).

ר' זירא בשם רב חסדא אומר אין מקדרין לא בערי הלוים ולא במקום עגלה ערופה


(R. Zeira citing Rav Chisda): They are not Mekader when measuring the 2000 amos for fields and vineyards of a Levite city, nor when measuring for Eglah Arufah (if a murdered person was found between two cities, they measure the distance of each city from the corpse and the closest city must bring a Heifer and kill it. See Devarim 21.)

ותייא מכאן דאמר אלף אמה מגרש ואלפים (תחום שבת)[שדות וכרמים]


Question: This follows the opinion of R. Eliezer (in Maseches Sotah) that only the 2000 amos for fields and vineyards around a city of the Leviim are from the Torah (Bamidbar 35:5) so there is no leniency in the measurement, but Techum Shabbos (of 2000 amos around a city which is the limit of the distance that one may leave the city) is only Rabbinic so they were lenient to be Mekader.

ברם כמאן דמר אלף מגרש ואלפיים (שדות וכרמים)[תחום שבת] כלום למדו לתחום שבת לא מתחום ערי לוים לעיקר אין מקדרין לטפילה מקדרין.


But according to R. Akiva, who learns the 2000 techum Shabbos from the cities of the Leviim, so that Techum Shabbos is also from the Torah, how could it be said that they may be more lenient to be Mekader for Techum Shabbos? The Gemara does not answer this question.

ומניין שלא יהו קוברין בערי הלויים


Question: From where do we know that they do not bury the dead within the 2000 amah techum of the Levite cities?

ר' אבהו בשם ר' יוסי בר חנינה ומגרשיהם יהו לבהמתם ולרכושם ולכל חייתם לחיים ניתנו ולא לקבורה ניתנו:


Answer (R. Abahu citing R. Yosi bar Chaninah): From the pasuk (Bamidbar 35:3), "and their open spaces shall be for their cattle, their property, and for all their needs [chayasam]" - this extra word teaches that they were given for chayim (life) but not for death.