July 24, 2022 1:48 am at 1:48 am #2108297abukspanParticipant
Classics and Beyond Masei – We Need Hope to Cope
כי בעיר מקלטו ישב עד מות הכהן הגדל ואחרי מות הכהן הגדל ישוב הרצח אל ארץ אחזתוֹ
For he shall remain in his city of refuge until the Kohen Gadol dies, and only after the Kohen Gadol has died, may the murderer return to the land which is his possession (Bamidbar 35:28).
If a person is guilty of unintentional manslaughter, he is exiled to one of the arei miklat, cities of refuge. There he must stay until the death of the Kohen Gadol.
There were three arei miklat in Eretz Yisrael proper, as well as three in the occupied territories on the other side of the Yardein. Rashi (35:13) writes that although the three cities on the other side were established by Moshe before the Jews entered Eretz Yisrael, they did not become operational until after their three sister cities were established in Eretz Yisrael, fourteen years later.
In other words, for some fourteen years, a person could have been guilty of manslaughter, yet he was under no obligation to exile himself to one of the sanctuary cities. What is the reason for this apparent loophole?
The Meshech Chochmah (Masei on the above pasuk) explains this in a way that highlights the need to have hope, and how untenable is a life without it. Under normal circumstances, the person being exiled for unintentional (yet reckless) homicide may actually be able to leave his galus any day. His time on the inside is based on the lifespan of the Kohen Gadol, upon whose death he goes free. Even if the current Kohen Gadol is a young man, one never knows when his death will occur. People do die young.
The person in exile has something to look forward to. Maybe today will be the day! He may be lucky and draw a “get out of jail” card at any time. This potential for freedom, this chance to leave his galus any day, is the hope that he needs. Any day he may be up for “early parole.”
But during the years of conquest and division of the land, this opportunity did not present itself. The Torah (Bamidbar 34:17) assigned Aharon
s son Elazar (who had assumed the position of Kohen Gadol upon his fathers death) with the task of dividing the land along with Yehoshua.
In essence, Elazar was guaranteed to live at least through the fourteen years of conquest and division. Since it was a given that Elazar would not die during this period of time, a person in an ir miklat on the other side of the Yardein would be left without any hope. He would live every day knowing that he has no chance of leaving. Not today, and not even this year. To live this way – without daily hope – is not living! If one experiences no hope of respite from his misfortune, he can fall into despair. Being able to have hope is not only a blessing; it is a necessity!
It is true that the inadvertent murderer bears a degree of culpability in the unintentional death that he caused. Nonetheless, to exile him without the chance of early release would be too harsh. That is why the Torah gives him a pass, and until Elazar and Yehoshua completed their task of settling the land, with all six cities in place, no one was sent to an ir miklat. Only then could justice be done: justice in terms of what he deserved – being sent to exile – as well as justice in terms of not depriving a person of the powerful and comforting balm that hope brings.
The value of having hope is also seen from the berachah of Ve’La’Malshinim in Shemoneh Esrei. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (cited in Lashon Limudim, p. 452) remarks that if we had been tasked with constructing this part of the berachah, whose purpose is to weaken the strength of informers, we would have used many choice curses against them. The Chachamim, however, limited the negative words used when formulating the words against the slanderers. They just said, “Ve’la’malshinim al tehi sikvah – And for slanderers let there be no hope.” (The rest of the paragraph is about other evildoers, but not informants.) Thus, these few words encapsulate the greatest curse there is. Rav Shlomo Zalman explains that the spirit that is strengthened from the power of hope can help us through every type of sorrow and sickness. In essence, these three words, while concise, form the greatest curse there is.July 24, 2022 10:16 am at 10:16 am #2108338
We say in ani mamin for Meshiach, אף על פי שיתמהמה, even though it is being late, עם כל זה אחכה לו בכל יום שיבא, I still hope everyday he will come. There are certain days that he does not come, so how can you hope everyday he will come? It does not say that he will come that day but come. We see the importance of this hope as even though we don’t know when he will come, we still live from this hope in galus.July 24, 2022 10:17 am at 10:17 am #2108340
We say קוה אל ה’ חזק ויאמץ לבנו, when we have hope to Hashem, that generates the strengthening of our heart. So this creates a cycle of another ‘קוה אל ה and so on ad infinitum.July 24, 2022 10:17 am at 10:17 am #2108341
We say לישועתך קויתי כל היום, I hope for your help. The Pelei Yoetz explains that this refers to the help of Hashem Himself as the shechina is also in galus, עמו אנכי בצרה, Hashem is with us in galus. The Arvei Nachal says המתפלל בעד אחרים, whoever prays for the wellbeing of others, including Hashem, הוא נענה תחלה, will be answered first, as in galus we also need help.July 24, 2022 10:57 am at 10:57 am #2108356
The same idea might be implied in ‘קויתי ה, hope to Hashem brings to קותה נפשי, another hope from my soul to Hashem.July 26, 2022 9:10 am at 9:10 am #2108958yungermanSParticipant
That is absolutely the truth and that is the major problem we are facing now in todays generation sadly.
in yiddishkeit, if a person wants something (be it a livlihood, shidduch or child etc…) a person needs to do more then just daven & say tehillim, the person needs to also YEARN for it.-sadly- in today’s society we are living in, we are not YEARNING for the Bais Hamikdosh, we have everything from planes to cars & computers etc… even the gift of Shabbos for Gashmius to sleep & relax etc… HASHEM SAYS to klal yisroel, come back to me when your ready & ask me for something from your HEART & i will give you whatever you want (i’m sure if your child came to you for something you would get it, why wouldn’t you? the love between a parent & child is unlimited…. & that’s the way Hashem loves EACH & EVERY ONE OF US)
All of us have heard, read & seen tons of true stories of people who had their first child at 42 or had a sick child in critical condition, & then the doctor says i’m very sorry but your daughter has only 3 hours to live & then he comes back 2 hours later & says its really a miracle but your child is beginning to recover etc…. Why is it that they finally had a child & the child recovered? There could be tons of answers, but the most common answer Is a Pasuk we say 3 times a day in Davening. Hashem is close to all who call to him, to all who call out truthfully. (Tehillim 145)Because they cried out from their heart, they really meant what they were saying when they davened to H-shem to have a baby or for his daughter to recover etc…. there’s a reason we call Hashem, Avinu She’bashamayim (our father in heaven) Hashem loves us from a father to a son & is waiting to put his Shchina (presence) & his bais hamikdosh back in this world. If we really cried out for the Bais Hamikdosh from our heart with truth & show that we are missing it, then we wouldn’t still be in Golus today.
Now as we are in the midst of mourning during the 3 weeks may we all wake ourselves up and realize the truth of what we are missing out on as we live in galus exile cause we are lacking TRUE WHOLEHEARTEDLY YEARNING FOR MASHIACH.
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