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Written by B ROSE

You shall establish cities for yourselves, cities of refuge..[Bamidbar 35:11]
It is well known that the Parshios of Pinchas, Matos, and Masei, are always read during the Three Weeks. It is important to understand what relation these three Parshios have to the Three Weeks.
It is possible to say, based on a vort from the Baal Shem Tov, that when one wants to be rescued from the Yetzer Hara [evil inclination], he should flee to one of the three Arei Miklat [cities of refuge]. (The Arei Miklat were mentioned in groups of three). That is to say, a person should concern himself with three aspects of Torah.

First, the Torah of Machshava, thought, that a person should constantly concern himself with thoughts of holiness.
Second, the Torah of Dibbur, speech.

A person should strive to speak words of Torah, and when not speaking of Torah, a person should always speak with

pure expression, free from lies, etc.

Third, the Torah of Ma’aseh, action. A person should always concern himself with holy actions, performance of mitzvos, especially charity, kindness, and the like.

This threefold process can be seen in the three Parshios of Pinchas, Matos, and Masei.
Pinchas deals with the Yamim Tovim [Jewish calendar and its holidays], which is based on the calculations of Beis Din [the Jewish national court].

Thus we have the Torah of thought.
Matos deals with the issue of Nedarim, oaths, issues which deal with speech.
Masei deals with the Arei Miklat, the cities of refuge, to which a person guilty of an accidental manslaughter must flee, thus we have the Torah of action.

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