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Mishnayos Makkos Perek 2 Mishnah 5

מכות פרק ב׳ משנה ה׳


The mishna continues: And roads were aligned for them from this city, i.e., all cities, to that city, i.e., they would pave and straighten the access roads to the cities of refuge, as it is stated: “Prepare for you the road, and divide the borders of your land, which the Lord your God causes you to inherit, into three parts, that every murderer may flee there” (Deuteronomy 19:3). And the court would provide the unintentional murderers fleeing to a city of refuge with two Torah scholars, due to the concern that perhaps the blood redeemer, i.e., a relative of the murder victim seeking to avenge his death, will seek to kill him in transit, and in that case they, the scholars, will talk to the blood redeemer and dissuade him from killing the unintentional murderer. Rabbi Meir says: The unintentional murderer also speaks [medabber] on his own behalf to dissuade the blood redeemer, as it is stated: “And this is the matter [devar] of the murderer, who shall flee there and live” (Deuteronomy 19:4), indicating that the murderer himself speaks.

וּמְכֻוָּנוֹת לָהֶן דְּרָכִים מִזּוֹ לָזוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יט) תָּכִין לְךָ הַדֶּרֶךְ וְשִׁלַּשְׁתָּ וְגוֹ'. וּמוֹסְרִין לָהֶן שְׁנֵי תַלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים, שֶׁמָּא יַהַרְגֶנּוּ בַדֶּרֶךְ, וִידַבְּרוּ אֵלָיו. רַבִּי מֵאִיר אוֹמֵר, אַף הוּא מְדַבֵּר עַל יְדֵי עַצְמוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שם) וְזֶה דְּבַר הָרֹצֵחַ:


ומכוונות היו להם הדרכים – they would make the roads so that they would be in a line to the Cities of Refuge so that the murderer would not err on the way (see Talmud Makkot 9b – in which the cities in the Land of Israel and on the opposite side of the Jordan wer in straight parallel lines like two rows in a vineyard). And [the words] "מקלט מקלט" /”Asylum/Refuge”, “Asylum/Refuge” were written at the crossroads, in order that the murder would recognize it and turn to there.

וידברו אליו – they speak to the blood avenger: “do not follow the practice of those who shed blood; this matter came to his hand inadvertently.”

הוא מדבר על ידי עצמו – no Sages are required to speak to the blood avenger on his behalf, but he (i.e., the murderer) makes claims to himself. But the Halakha is not according to Rabbi Meir.

ומכוונות היו להן הדרכים. שהיו עושים הדרכים שיהו מכוונות לערי מקלט שלא יהא הרוצח תועה בדרך. ומקלט מקלט היה כתוב על פרשת דרכים, כדי שיכיר הרוצח ויפנה לשם:

וידברו אליו. מדברים לגואל הדם אל תנהוג מנהג של שופכי דמים, בשגגה בא מעשה זה לידו:

הוא מדבר על ידי עצמו. אין תלמידי חכמים נזקקין לדבר לגואל הדם בעבורו, אלא הוא טוען טענות לעצמו. ואין הלכה כר׳ מאיר: