Makos 12b (2). Shiur 1/26/15

Makos 12b (2)

Thanks to Eli Chitrik

  1. The Gemara mentions that if a person who is already in the Arei Miklat kills beShogeg again!!!!! he needs to go to Galus.  But he is exiled from his neighborhood to another within his Ir Miklat, being forbidden to roam around the entire Ir Miklat he must stay in the confines of the neighborhood.

So now there are two Goel Hadams running after this fellow refugee. He is protected from the first as long as he stays in the city limits. And protected from the second as long as he stays inside his new neighborhood.

Based upon this the Aruch Laner brings up an interesting question.

What happens if this shlemazel leaves the neighborhood (the second place he went to) but stays within his Ir Miklat?

The second Goel Hadam is permitted to take revenge on him since he left the new designated neighborhood (within the Ir Miklat!).

Asks the Aruch Laner: Perhaps the first is also permitted to take revenge because although he has not left the city confines and he is still in the Ir Miklat he nevertheless has left the ‘new place of refuge’ where he must be confined to!

And as Berel (from the famous Malachowski family) pointed out this is a good ‘Heiche Timtza’ of how a Goel Hadam is permitted to kill the refugee inside the Arei Miklat!

2 The Luzzatto family was discussed.:


Firstly the holy Ramcha”l,  Reb Moshe Chaim Luzzatto who was a Mekubal and prolific writer who lived in the times of the Baal Shem Tov.  He authored  the Mesilas Yeshorim. The Tzemach tzedek mentions him at least one time.

On the other end of the spectrum is Shmuel Dovid Luzzatto, known as the Shada“l. (See here in English Hebrew)


Note: we mention these two individuals with the same family name – taking note that of them being worlds apart– to discuss the novel idea of the Shada”l in regards to the entire concept of “Arei Miklot”.




The writings of Shada”l is not something that Orthodox Jewry commonly quotes. His novel ideas are generally frowned upon. Although he was  personally frum and a staunch defender of the frum world, his ideas on translating. emending and explaining Tanach are viewed as crossing the line of our Mesorah. See here


The Rebbe references an antique manuscript that was edited by Shada”l. See here. (Thanks to David Olidort for this reference)



Background to one of Shada”l’s novel ideas:


The much quoted Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim about the nature of the Korbonos. He states that the commandments to bring sacrifices were merely a method to gradually wean people away from sacrificing to Avoda Zara.


See here and more.


The Ramban objects (to say the least) to this. And of course Kabalah and Chassidus could not agree more with the Ramban. See Basi Legani etc.


Now to our topic: Shada”l  takes the Rambam’s reasoning to explain the idea of Orei Miklot.


In days of old it was common for revenge to be extracted by the victim’s family from killer. Regardless if the death was intentional or not.


At Matan Torah, in order for to establish some form of order and justice the Torah subscribed rules on how to deal with murder. It was the intention NOT to allow revenge killings under any circumstance.


Therefore, when it was clear that the murder was intentional, the Torah mandates that accused is to be judged and protected by Beis Din from the avenging family. It is up to the courts to pass judgement and if found guilty to put to the murderer to death.


However if the killing was done inadvertently, although Torah allows the Goel Hadam to pursue the murderer, the Torah clearly prefers and attempts to prevent revenge killings through the escape of the Arei Miklat.  Time is given for tempers to calm down.


A novel idea from the Shada”l.


Makos 12 b. Shiur by Alex Heppnheimer

Makos 12b.

Shiur by Alex Heppnheimer

Special thanks to Alex Heppenheimer and Eli Chitrik.

We went over the story (mostly previously told in Sanhedrin) of how Yoav ended up holding on to the horns of the mizbeach – and the whole “cycle of violence”.


1) First, Avner kills Asahel (Yoav’s brother) who had been chasing him

with intent to kill (leading to the question: was Avner justified in doing so, or should he have attempted to disable Asahel rather than killing him? And did his well-placed blow prove that he knew exactly what he was doing?). Then – count #1 against Yoav – he kills Avner (was he justified in doing so, as the goel hadam for his brother Asahel?).

2) Next, years later comes count #2: Yoav kills Amasa (who had been sent by David to gather the army but had delayed in doing so: was Yoav justified since Amasa disobeyed the king, or was Amasa correct because he didn’t want to interrupt the chachamim’s beginning of a new masechta?)

3) Finally – count #3 – Yoav joins Adoniyahu in his abortive attempt to become king against David’s wishes (thus making Yoav a mored-b’malchus). David’s last testament to Shlomo includes that he should punish Yoav for these killings (David himself was never able to do so, because he needed Yoav too much).

So Yoav had quite a few people possibly gunning for him (for the above mentioned reasons):

  • the Sanhedrin
  • Avner’s and Amasa’s goalei hadam
  • and Shlomo

The Rambam, presumably based on our Gemara, says that only the mizbeach in the Beis Hamikdash protects a rotzeach, and then 1) only if he’s standing on its roof and 2) is a kohen performing the avodah. However, he then adds two things that aren’t so obvious: 3) that it protects only a shogeg and not a mezid; and 4) the mizbeach protects him even if he’s only next to it, and even if he’s a zar, from the king killing him according to din malchus (extra-judiciously), or the Sanhedrin killing him based on horaas sha’ah.

Which leads to a lot of discussion. For one thing, the Kesef Mishneh asks: if so, then Yoav didn’t make any mistakes – he was trying to save himself from din malchus! Also, he asks how Tosafos can say that ultimately Yoav was able to “beat the rap” on the killings and was executed only because of count #3, when the pesukim clearly state that it was because of counts #1 and #2 (Avner and Amasa)?

On that last question, Kesef Mishneh says that maybe indeed a mored bemalchus isn’t protected by the mizbeach.

That in turn leads to a question discussed by R. Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg (Seridei Eish – mentioned in the Shiur points a couple of weeks ago (see here in English Hebrew), and here : why would din malchus be more lenient than mored bemalchus? Shouldn’t it be the other way around, since the latter is a judgment call on the king’s part, and he can overlook the person’s disobedience if he wants?

he answers with an interesting chiddush: in a case of din malchus – where the Sanhedrin couldn’t convict the guy because of technicalities (such as a lack of edim vehasra’ah) but where we know he’s guilty (or in our case, where Yoav claims to be a shogeg, because he thinks he was entitled to kill Avner and Amasa) – the king becomes the goel hadam. And so, just as the mizbeach protects from the goel hadam, it protects from din malchus too. Whereas a mored bemalchus is guilty al pi Torah (all the more so according to Tosafos in a number of places in Shas, that he has to be judged by the Sanhedrin), so the mizbeach doesn’t protect him, just as it doesn’t protect any other person who is chayav misah.

Now, last week it was mentioned that the Yerushalmi says that indeed Yoav didn’t make a mistake – when it says he ran to the “corners of the mizbeach,” it means the Sanhedrin. The Mirkeves Hamishneh explains: he did actually hold on to the corners, but his purpose was to get out of the jurisdiction of din malchus (as per Rambam) and put himself under the jurisdiction of the Sanhedrin.

Then, he figured either he’d be able to escape, or that he’d be able to convince the Sanhedrin that he had good reasons for the killings. (And if worse came to worst and the Sanhedrin didn’t buy those reasons, at least his “estate planning” – as discussed previously – would have worked.)


What happened in the end, though, was that he realized that the king could send the goalei hadam against him – and then even if he climbed onto the (roof of the) mizbeach, he’s still a zar (and it’s the wrong mizbeach anyway) – so at that point he realized the only thing he can do is make sure David’s curse against him is lifted (and placed onto Shlomo and his descendants, as we learned in Sanhedrin), and then at that point he was ready to give in, leave the mizbeach, and let Benayahu get him.

This also explains why the Gemara doesn’t add another mistake of his, that (per Rambam) the mizbeach protects only a shogeg and not a mezid: he argued that indeed he was a shogeg.

*The Gemara then goes on to tell about the 3 mistakes the Sar Shel Romi will make in the future: attempting to escape to בצרה (rather than בצר), and overlooking the fact that he’s a mezid (not a shogeg) and that he’s an angel (not a human).

There is a vort that all three of these mistakes are refuted in the very pesukim where בצר and the other two arei miklat are designated. The Torah says:

אשר ירצח את רעהו בבלי דעת… את בצר… וזאת התורה אשר שם משה לפני בני ישראל.

“בבלי דעת” – not a mezid; “את בצר” – not בצרה; “לפני בני ישראל” – not malachim!

The Chasam Sofer gives a deeper explanation of this Gemara.

The three arei miklat that Moshe designated represent three reasons that Hashem is willing to forgive our aveiros. (1) בצר means “reduction” (as in בציר מהכי), and it represents the fact that we Jewish people are humble. And ראובן, ראו מה בין בני לבן חמי – look at the difference in this regard between the Jews and the goyim. (2) For those Jews who do feel proud – רמות, “heights” – that can be attributed to גד, the fact that they have good mazel. (3) We are in גולן בבשן, in galus בין שיני אריה, between the teeth of the lions.


Now, the Sar Shel Romi – who also wears lots of other hats: הוא שטן, הוא יצר הרע, הוא מלאך המות – figures to use the first of these. He’s a very humble fellow, after all – like a persistent shnorrer, he’s learned to set aside his self-respect and keep bugging us! So he tries to “run away to בצר.”

His mistakes, though, are: (1) his “humility” is the wrong kind. Ours is to increase the glory of Hashem (represented by the last hei of His name), while his is to decrease it – to “בצר” the “ה”. Thus he winds up in בצרה. (2) Sure, some of us are meizidim, but after all, it’s he who’s convincing us to do so! Which makes him the mezid and us the shogegim. (3) All malachim are humble – they all have bittul to Hashem – so what does he think makes him special? And with all of that, he’s defeated.

Makos 12a (2) Shiur 01/13/15

Makos 12a (2)

Thanks to Eli Chitrik

Points from the Shiur 1/13/15

We re-mentioned briefly the Sicha of the Rebbe of why a person cannot leave the Arei Miklat even if the entire Jewish nation needs him; this is because once he leaves he becomes a “Dead Man Walking” (gavra bar k’tala) therefore the Torah cannot command a person, so to speak, to become a dead man.

(See Shiur 12/23/14, item #2 here)

We consistently throughout our Mesechta mentioned the concept of the Goel Hadam. Loosely translated as a relative to the victim. However we never specified as who is eligible to become the Goel Hadam. Can any relative can become the Goel Hadam?


  1. The Rambam (1:2) maintains that the person next in line to inherit the dead man becomes the Goel Hadam. It follows the Din of Yerusha. If he can’t do, it passes to the next closest inheritor. We discussed the illusive source for his ruling.

Bad Heir Day_Layout 1

The Gemara raises the question about whether or not a son can become the Goel Hadam against his father. For example: if a father inadvertently kills his son, (Oy vey…), and the victim has a brother. Does this other son (the brother) become the Goel Hadam and thus have a right or obligation to pursue his father or not? The Gemara goes back and forth and concludes that there is a special provision that categorically prohibits a son to harm a parent in any way.


  1. We learned the Rabbi Akiva Eiger who asks a very simple question based on the Rambam’s order of the Goel Hadam: Why do we need this special provision? How can a son ever become a Goel Hadam against his father?


If the next person in line to inherit the dead becomes the Goel Hadam then it is obvious (in the example of the father killing his son) that the second son cannot kill his father. This is because this brother is not the next person in line to inherit the dead brother. The next person in line to inherit a son is the father! (i.e. the killer himself)?!


So why the entire the discussion and this special provision in the Gemara?


  1. R’ Akiva Eiger comes up with a scenario (not of a father who killed his own son, but) where the son can in theory indeed become the Goel Hadam towards the father.


How is that?


A man marries a woman and they have a child. They subsequently get divorced. After their divorce the father inadvertently kills his ex-wife.


In such a case the next person in line to inherit the mother is the son. Therefore it is possible that the son can become the Goel Hadam towards his father.


It is in such a case that the Gemara states due to the special provision that a son cannot harm his father. Were it not for this provision, he would become the Goel Hadam – for he inherits his mother.


7- We spoke about a Shogeg living in a tunnel that extends from the Orei Miklot to the outside world. Is this bunker a refuge for him?


Makos, 12a. Shiur 1/6/15

Makos, 12a.

1- An interesting scenario examined by the Gemara: The Shogeg fellow, holed up in the Arei Miklot needs to patiently wait until the Kohen Gadol passes away.

But what happens if the Kohen Gadol is disqualified?  How?

Kohanim are not allowed to marry divorcees. If they do then their children are categorized as chalolim – meaning blemished Kohanim and are prohibited to do any Avoda in the Beis Hamikdash and needless to say are disqualified from becoming a Kohen Gadol.

If we have an established Kohen Gadol and unfortunately it was ascertained that his mother, prior to marrying his father, had married and divorced, the Kohain is now thus forced to resign.

So we now have a situation where the Kohen Gadol (has not died, but) is removed from his post. He was obviously not fit to become a Kohen Gadol to begin with!

Does the disqualification retroactively void his entire career?  If we assume that that is indeed the case then that would mean that when the Shogeg was originally convicted there was no valid Kohen Gadol in place. And the rule in such cases (conviction with no KG in place) is that he stays in the Arei Miklot forever- the death of a KG who was elected after his conviction does nothing for him.

On the other hand one may say that a disqualification does trigger a release for the Shogeg fellow. We discussed the rationale behind this school of thought; perhaps the disqualification of the KG is in a way as painful as his death. Etc.

Minchas Chinuch_14092_page_283

2- We mentioned the Minchas Chinuch’s (410) pondering if a Kohen Gadol is removed by the king or by his fellow Kohanim….Yes that can happen as he quotes the Tosfos in Yuma 12b.

Minchas Chinuch_14092_page_282

Minchas Chinuch_14092_page_283



3- We briefly mention an overview of the first generation of Amoroyim – primarily Reb Yochanan in Israel and Rav and Shmuel in Bavel. Story of Reb Yochanan who had great respect for Rav but was unaware of Shmuel’s greatness.

4- Fascinating Tanach story with diverse explanations by the scholars of Israel versus the scholars of Bavel.

Briefly- the Tanach relates the story of Yoav being pursued by Shlomo Hamelech’s soldiers to execute him (as per Dovid Hamelech’s last wishes) for two murders (Avner ben Ner – David’s general, and Amasa, another of David’s officers and a nephew) Yoav committed years back.

Yoav runs into the Beis Hamikdash and hangs on to the corners of the Mizbeach thinking that this will save him. It does not help him and he is taken away and executed by Shlomo.

What was Yoav thinking?  Our Gemara, written in Bavel says that Yoav erred in three points. The Torah says that a Kohen who is accused of murder should be taken away even if standing next to the Mizbeach. This implies that if he is standing on the Mizbeach no one can touch him.



So what was Yoav’s mistake?


One is that the Mizbeach offers sanctuary only when one is on the Mizbeach. Holding the horns is worthless. Two, it only applies to a Kohen while he is doing Avoda. Point three is that it is effective only in the Beis Hamikdash that was only built after this story. None of these condition were met by Yoav as he was not on the Mizbeach, he was not a Kohen and this was not the Beis Hamikdash.


But I’m on base!

We read the Rabbeinu Chanan’el who quotes Reb Yochanan (who compiled the Talmud Yerushalmi) who writes to the Babylonians that they have it all wrong on all points. For even a Kohen standing on top of the Mizbeach in the Beis Hamikdash gains nothing….


And even if the three points were valid it is unlikely that Yoav who was the head of the Sanhedrin would err on these points.


So what was Yoav thinking?


Reb Yochanan says that Israeli’s take on this story is that Yoav’s running into the Beis Hamikdash was (not connected with the Mizbeach at all but rather) an attempt to be judged by the Sanhedrin as opposed to the court of the monarchy. What was Yoav to gain?

Simple. If found guilty by the Sanhedrin his estate would be inherited by his children as opposed to the estate of one judged by Shlomo Hamelech that would be confiscated!

Makos 11b (3) Shiur 12/30/2014

Makos 11b (3)

Thanks to Eli Chitrik

1- Our Gemara on 11b notes that the Shogeg exile would need to wait until the death of the Kohen Godol in order for him to leave the Orei Miklot.

Now if the poor Shogeg fellow passes away before the Kohen Gadol he is buried there until the Kohen Gadol dies and only then are his remains moved to his family plot in his city of origin.

There are stories making the rounds about the encounter of the Rebbe with Reb Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg.

Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg,

the Seridei Aish

Background: When the Rebbe arrived in Berlin in December of 1928 – Tevev 5686 he visited the Berlin Rabbinical Seminary that was under the direction of Rabbi Azriel Hildesheimer.

The dean at the time was Reb Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg who was a prolific author. Reb Yechiel survived the war and settled for the rest of his life in Montreux, Switzerland.

See here.

We previously discussed the story of the Ragatchover’s daughter and the chalitza from the apostate (see ​here Shiur 10/28/14) – this story was with this Reb Yechiel!  

The Seminary issued a letter certifying that the Rebbe has been accepted as a visiting student. If Rabbi Weinberg gave the Rebbe an actual ‘Smicha’ is an unresolved historical tidbit.

Please see here

In short, Reb Yechiel gave the Rebbe one of his pamphlets (Kuntres Pinui Atzomos Maysim) that dealt with the Halochos in regard to  moving Jewish remains to another cemetery. One of the issues discussed there is that by moving a grave to a different location is embarrassing to the remaining people that remain buried there.

The Rebbe compiled a group of notes and comments that were found in the Rebbe’s room and printed in the Reshimos series, # 127.

For example one the proofs quoted by Reb Yichiel permitting the relocation of a grave is from the fact that the remains of Yosef Hatzadik were removed from Mitzrayim at the times of the Exodus by no less that Moshe Rebeinu himself!

The Rebbe writes that the Posuk at the end of Vayechi (Chazak) states that Yosef was interned in Mitzrayim. Perhaps it means to emphasize that it was in Mitzrayim proper as opposed to the land of Goshen where the Jews resided. Thus the removal of Yosef was not from a Jewish cemetery thus not causing any embarrassment to the remaining ‘tenants’……

Additionally, Chazal tell us that Yosef’s casket was sunk in the Nile and not in a cemetery.

Now to our Gemara – Can one bring proof allowing the relocation of a grave from the fact that, as mentioned above, the Shogeg who was buried in the Orei Miklot is eventually (upon the passing of a Kohen Gadol) relocated to his ancestral plot?

The Rebbe writes that since the burial of the Shogeg is to begin with only a temporary ‘kevurah’, then one cannot bring this as proof to allow the move a grave of someone that was interred without a conditional stipulation.

2- We related 3 stories of the great Tzadik Reb Yisroel of Vilednik. His Yortzeit is this month on the 21st of Teves.


1- Kol Ha/meharer Acherei Rabo

2- Ve’ilein Mily’hu and his brocho for a boy:

V’ilein milaya,- and these  silk

y’hon lir’ki-aya – should be over it as heaven

v’saman, man sharya?  within, who will rest?

halo hahu shimsha. Why it is that boy!

3- Reb Hillel of Paritcher’s take on him.


See here.!msg/beermayimchaim/RdRqOtquriY/_2P3yU19ARQJ