Makkot 12 - Life in the City of Refuge

If a tree stands inside a city of refuge, but its branches lean outside, and the killer is clinging to the trunk, the redeemer of the blood may still kill him, because we consider only the branches. Rav Ashi says, "Also the branches" - which changes the ruling to say just the opposite: the killer is protected if the tree is inside and he is under the leaves outside.

If an exiled killer inadvertently killed someone else in that city of refuge where he resides, he is exiled from his neighborhood to a different neighborhood. If a Levite inadvertently killed someone in his home city, he is exiled from his city to another city.

If a killer was exiled to a city of refuge and the townspeople wanted to honor him, he must tell them, "I am a killer." If they wanted to do it anyway, they are allowed. In the six designated cities of refuge the killer does not have to pay rent. The other forty-two cities of the Levites also serve as cities of refuge, but the killer who resides there has to pay rent.

After the killer returns home, Rabbi Meir says that he returns to the position of authority he had occupied previously, but Rabbi Yehudah says that he does not.

Art: Berthe Morisot - Orange Tree Branches