Below is a collection of Parashat Mas’ei resources created by The Lookstein Center staff or contributed to the site by Jewish educators.
This is a growing collection. Check back soon or write to us at email@example.com if you didn’t find what you’re looking for.
DISCUSSION AND REFLECTION QUESTIONS
Question #1: In this parasha, we read about the cities of refuge. If a person killed someone by accident, he had to leave his home and live in one of these cities. Six refuge cities were spread out in the country -in the north, central, and south. The city of refuge was where he would be safe from revenge but also was a message to the person that since he killed another human being (even by accident), his life would not be the same anymore. Do you think a person should be punished if he does something by accident? Why or why not?
Question #2: Parashat Mas’ei describes the division of the land. The nation is commanded to set aside 48 cities throughout the country for the Levites to live in since they didn’t have their own inheritance. In addition, they are commanded to leave space around their cities. Nowadays we call this type of space, “green space”. Do you think you have enough “green space” in your city? Why is this important?
Look inside the text (Bemidbar 35:2):
צַו אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְנָתְנוּ לַלְוִיִּם מִנַּחֲלַת אֲחֻזָּתָם עָרִים לָשָׁבֶת וּמִגְרָשׁ לֶעָרִים סְבִיבֹתֵיהֶם תִּתְּנוּ לַלְוִיִּם – Instruct the Israelite people to assign, out of the holdings apportioned to them, towns for the Levites to dwell in; you shall also assign to the Levites pasture land around their towns.
Question #3: The Israelites are instructed to chase the Canaanites out of the land lest they become problematic later. This means that even though the Canaanites may not pose an immediate threat, to prevent a threat from emerging they must be banished from the land immediately. The concept of preventive measures is familiar to us in many different kinds of situations (buying insurance, preventive medical care, pre-emptive military campaigns, etc.). How do we make sure that we are not going too far?