Drash Cards for Matot-Masei (5760)
by Marc Mangel
• A three part drash on the Cites of Refuge
• Part I: What does a scholarly approach tell us about the Cities of Refuge?
• 1. Only the guilty party is involved — there is no vegenence on the family. 2. Guilt is determined by intention. The involuntary homicide does not imply death.
• 3. No ransom is acceptable for the one who is to die. 4. Whether it is deliberate or involuntary homicide is determined by the state, not by the bereaved kinsman.
• 5. The trial is by a national tribunal, not the kinsman of either party. 6. The deliberate homicide is executed and the involuntary banished to a City of Refuge until the death of the High Priest
• Part II: What is the message for us normal people?
• There is a fundamental difference between people who are dangerous to society and those who really are not but whom we are mad at.
• Part III: The Message of the Torah is Eternal and Always Applicable. What do the Cities of Refuge mean for us today?
• Our prisons are filled with people we’re really mad at rather than those who are dangerous, and sometimes we put them there for life.
• A UC student costs $20K to educate, a prisoner $30K to keep. The former President of the CSU Board said “We’re no safer but we are dumber”