Haven on Earth
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'THESE ARE THE JOURNEYS OF THE CHILDREN OF YISRAEL, WHO WENT OUT OF THE LAND OF MITZRAYIM WITH THEIR ORGANIZED GROUPS UNDER THE HAND OF MOSHE AND AHARON.' BAMIDBAR 33
'AND THE L~RD SPOKE TO MOSHE SAYING, COMMAND THE CHILDREN OF YISRAEL, AND SAY TO THEM, WHEN YOU COME INTO THE LAND OF KENAAN; (THIS IS THE LAND THAT SHALL FALL TO YOU FOR AN INHERITANCE, THE LAND OF KENAAN WITH ITS BORDERS:) . . . AND THE L~RD SPOKE TO MOSHE, SAYING, THESE ARE THE NAMES OF THE MEN THAT SHALL SHARE OUT THE LAND TO YOU: ELAZER THE PRIEST, AND YEHOSHUA THE SON OF NUN. AND YOU SHALL TAKE ONE PRINCE OF EVERY TRIBE, TO DIVIDE THE LAND BY INHERITANCE. AND THE NAMES OF THE MEN ARE THESE: OF THE TRIBE OF YEHUDA, KALEV THE SON OF YEFUNEH . . . THESE ARE THEY WHOM THE L~RD COMMANDED TO DIVIDE THE INHERITANCE TO THE CHILDREN OF YISRAEL IN THE LAND OF KENAAN.' BAMIDBAR 34
We need good leaders to lead us. How will we elect, follow and/or be good leaders? Ask Yehoshua and Kalev how difficult that is, to be members of an EYDAH - a congregation. What happened and what do we learn from the Torah which teaches that the spying out of the land brought dispute among the leadership of the holy people? Ask Elazer about brotherhood and leadership. What happened and what do we learn from the Torah which teaches that two of the sons of Aharon died. How did Elazer react? Ask the Levites about office, intratribal and intertribal war and treason; Korach's rebellion, the killing of idol worshippers, and if so even everyone his own brother, and the killing of a tribal leader who married a princess from an idol worshipping nation, terrorists to the nation commissioned by G~d. What could be done to bring order among us? If you came to be well informed, with wisdom and understanding, how to be just and how love, quite specifically, would you then actuate the cause? I think not, that is to say, until you experience the teaching in your life. To act, to live its truth - let us see Torah in our every day life.
'COMMAND THE CHILDREN OF YISRAEL, THAT THEY GIVE TO THE LEVITES OF THE INHERITANCE OF THEIR POSSESSION CITIES TO DWELL IN; AND YOU SHALL GIVE ALSO TO THE LEVITES AN OPEN SPACE FOR THE CITIES ROUND ABOUT THEM, AND THE CITIES SHALL THEY HAVE TO DWELL IN; AND THEIR OPEN SPACES SHALL BE FOR THEIR CATTLE, AND FOR THEIR GOODS AND FOR ALL THEIR BEASTS. AND THE OPEN SPACES OF THE CITIES, THAT YOU SHALL GIVE TO THE LEVITES, SHALL REACH FROM THE WALL OF THE CITY OUTWARDS A THOUSAND CUBITS ROUND ABOUT. AND YOU SHALL MEASURE FROM OUTSIDE THE CITY ON THE EAST SIDE TWO THOUSAND CUBITS, AND ON THE SOUTH SIDE TWO THOUSAND CUBITS, AND ON THE WEST SIDE TWO THOUSAND CUBITS, AND ON THE NORTH SIDE TWO THOUSAND CUBITS, AND THE CITY SHALL BE IN THE MIDST [ B'TOVECH ]: THIS SHALL BE TO THEM THE OPEN SPACES OF THE CITIES. AND AMONG THE CITIES THAT YOU SHALL GIVE TO THE LEVITES SHALL BE SIX CITIES OF REFUGE, WHICH YOU SHALL APPOINT FOR THE MANSLAYER, THAT HE MAY FLEE THERE: AND TO THEM YOU SHALL ADD FORTY TWO CITIES. SO ALL THE CITIES THAT YOU SHALL GIVE TO THE LEVITES SHALL BE FORTY EIGHT CITIES: BOTH THEM AND THEIR OPEN SPACES. AND THE CITIES THAT YOU SHALL GIVE SHALL BE OF THE POSSESSION OF THE CHILDREN OF YISRAEL: FROM THEM THAT HAVE MANY SHALL YOU GIVE MANY: AND FROM THEM THAT HAVE FEW YOU SHALL GIVE FEW: EVERY ONE SHALL GIVE OF THE CITIES TO THE LEVITES ACCORDING TO HIS INHERITANCE WHICH HE INHERITS. AND THE L~RD SPOKE TO MOSHE, SAYING, SPEAK TO THE CHILDREN OF YISRAEL, AND SAY TO THEM, WHEN YOU COME OVER THE YARDEN INTO THE LAND OF KENAAN; THEN SHALL YOU APPOINT YOU CITIES TO BE CITIES OF REFUGE FOR YOU; THAT THE SLAYER THAT KILLS ANY PERSON UNAWARES MAY FLEE THITHER. AND THEY SHALL BE CITIES OF REFUGE FROM THE AVENGER; THAT THE MANSLAYER DIE NOT, UNTIL HE STAND BEFORE THE CONGREGATION [THE EYDAH] IN JUDGEMENT . . . AND THE EYDAH SHALL DELIVER THE SLAYER OUT OF THE AVENGER OF BLOOD, AND THE EYDAH SHALL RESTORE HIM TO THE CITY OF HIS REFUGE, WITHER HE WAS FLED; AND HE SHALL ABIDE IN IT UNTIL THE DEATH OF THE HIGH PRIEST, WHO WAS ANOINTED WITH THE HOLY OIL . . . SO THESE THINGS SHALL BE FOR A STATUTE OF JUDGEMENT TO YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR GENERATION IN ALL YOUR DWELLINGS. WHOEVER KILLS ANY PERSON, THE MURDERER SHALL BE PUT TO DEATH BY THE MOUTH OF WITNESSES: BUT ONE WITNESS SHALL NOT TESTIFY AGAINST ANY PERSON TO CAUSE HIM TO DIE. MOREOVER YOU SHALL TAKE NO RANSOM FOR THE LIFE OF A MURDERER, WHO IS GUILTY OF DEATH: BUT HE SHALL BE SURELY PUT TO DEATH. AND YOU SHALL TAKE NO RANSOM FOR HIM THAT IS FLED TO THE CITY OF HIS REFUGE, THAT HE SHALL COME BACK TO DWELL IN THE LAND, UNTIL THE DEATH OF THE PRIEST. SO YOU SHALL NOT POLLUTE THE LAND IN WHICH YOU ARE: FOR BLOOD POLLUTES THE LAND: AND THE LAND CAN NOT BE CLEANSED OF THE BLOOD THAT IS SHED THEREIN, BUT BY THE BLOOD OF HE THAT SHED IT. AND THOU SHALT NOT DEFILE THE LAND WHICH YOU SHALL INHABIT, IN WHICH I DWELL: FOR I THE L~RD DWELL AMONG [ B'TOCH ] THE CHILDREN OF YISRAEL.' BAMIDBAR 35. ENDING TO DWELL ON A NEW BEGINNING.