This portion tells us that just before entering the Promised Land, God commands Moses to instruct the people to allocate six cities of refuge for accidental murderers, a place where they can escape and find refuge from the blood avengers.
When reading the words of the story I was moved by the very idea of cities of refuge. Cities that absorb the people who have sinned inadvertently, who have “missed the mark” and according to the custom of the time, were doomed to death by the blood avengers (relatives of the slain).
The first thought that came to my mind was – what a wonderful solution is shown here — not only to save the soul that kills by mistake but also to save the soul of the avenger himself who is full of rage, revenge and lust for murder. As soon as he kills another soul, his own soul will also be harmed.
Over the years, until the death of the High Priest (until then the murderer inadvertently has patronage and protection), the wrath of the avenger may subside and the murder that is about to take place will be avoided.
There is a divine recognition here of our human weakness, of these hard feelings on the part of the avenger on the one hand, and on the other hand a recognition that bad things happens people — don’t have an intention to kill someone, and yet that could happen.
Feelings of guilt are usually the outcome of such deeds. The fact that the role of the entire community is to inadvertently save the executioner from the blood avenger immediately, as well as the inclusion given to him by the Levites during his stay in the city of refuge, constitutes healing for him.
So yes, the Torah does not deceive us for a moment that the Promised Land is Paradise, where everything will be perfect. It will have ugliness, and murder, and a desire for revenge, but it will also have cities of refuge.
So how does this connect to me and my journey, on the journey to myself?
In my archetypal reading the Promised Land is likened to my whole self, in a state of complete awareness.
The killers that roam my country are all those thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that kill my sweet and cute little “inner girl”, including every good part of my life (relationships, with myself, with others) — when they listen to “old records”, led by the energies of old stories that have been sealed into memory, and inadvertently think that this is still the only truth ..
The blood avengers are my stern judgmental voices, who mistakenly identify the killers, and are so angry and furious that they want to “kill” them and kill the inner child as well.
And the Levites who are willing to contain and give cities of refuge are the understanding that there is room for both those and those in the Promised Land.
For example: I made a decision that I will dedicate the month of July to studying an online course I have purchased.
I find myself delaying … Tomorrow…
I go out to the beach because my inner ” little girl” wanted to have fun and hence I am filled with guilt.
And anger also comes and joins the stern judge: What is this procrastination? This is wrong! How do you allow yourself to enjoy when you did nothing today to advance your commitment?
Then I hear the Levites sing to my soul:
” For everything in me that makes me procrastinate..
For all the actions I refrained from doing ..
For anything that might block me from doing things on time …
I’m sorry, please forgive me. I love you, thank you. “