Section: Daas Torah   Category: Pearls Of Wisdom
What is a Levi and How to Become One - Sefer HaChinuch & The Rambam

The Torah says that aside from the six Arei Miklat set aside for refuge for those who murdered by accident, any of the cities belonging to the Levi'im serve the same function for any accidental murder who seeks refuge there. Why is this?

The Sefer HaChinuch says as follows (paraphrased).

-  Because they are men of heart and are known for their exquisite Middos and honorable wisdom, it is clear to all that they will not hate the murderer who has sought refuge by them and they will not lay a finger on them, even if they murdered one of their loved ones or their relatives, since the murder was suddenly and without any malice.

On this special Shevet it says (Zos HaBracha 33:9), "HaOmer L'Aviv U'L'Imo Lo Re'esiv", who said of his father and of his mother I have not seen him, meaning they will never do anything in the world other than what is just and with exact truth. Love for another human will not steer them, not even the love of a father or mother, bothers or sons of whom human nature creates a love and forces our actions to reconcile, and crtainly not any other man.  - 

For those not born into the tribe, do not fear.  The Rambam in the last halacha of Hilchos Shmitta (13:13) says everyone has a chance to become a Levi as follows.

-  Not only the Shevet of Levi, but any one of the inhabitants of the world whose spirit generously motivates him and he understands with his wisdom to set himself aside and stand before Hashem to serve Him and minister to Him and to know Hashem, proceeding justly as Hashem made him, removing from himself the yoke of the mundane calculations which people seek, he is sanctified as Kodesh Kodashim. Hashem will be his lot and heritage forever and ever, and will merit what is sufficient for him in this world like He provides for the Kohanim and the Levi'im... -