Thursday, July 28, 2011

Martians and Levi'im

In an earlier post we discussed how the Levi'im represent the stars of the sky (see here). Interestingly enough, there are 48 cities that were given for the Levi'im to inheret in Eretz Yisrael as seen in this week's Parsha. There are also 48 ancient constellations that can be found in the sky.

Another interesting point is that there are 7 ancient "planets": the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The other planets are not visible to the naked eye. There are six distinct Levitic cities that are designated as cities of refuge for those who have killed accidentally. You may ask, if I am trying to connect the Levi'im with celestial objects wouldn't I want to find 7 cities and not 6? Rav Yehonasan Eibshitz points out that of the seven ancient planets one is considered to symbolize murder and blood, Mars. As such, it is often left out of certain pure and holy ceremonies that have the other planets present. The Levi'im were the protectors of those that had accidentally harmed. They were charged with providing for this individual with safety and security (see Sefer HaChinuch to this mitzvah). As such, Mars has no place being represented.

Now the connections are clearer. The 48 total cities are the 48 constellations. The 6 cities of refuge are 6 of the 7 planets, Mars was given the boot.

No comments: