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|Mitzvos to date:||413|
|That can be performed today:||172|
|Plus those that can be performed only in Israel:||20|
413. The Answer is Still No: The prohibition against ransoming a manslaughtererby Rabbi Jack Abramowitz
You shall not accept ransom for one who ran to his city of refuge… (Numbers 35:32)
Just as we may not accept money to save a convicted criminal from execution, we may not ransom an accidental killer from a city of refuge. The reason is the same as in Mitzvah #412: we can’t have the wealthy choosing to pay fines rather than serving their time. That would lead to a breakdown in society by enabling certain people to commit crimes with impunity, except for the inconvenience of paying a fine.
This mitzvah applies to both men and women in Temple times, when capital cases are tried. In the Talmud, it is discussed in tractate Kesubos on page 37b. This mitzvah is codified in the Mishneh Torah in the first chapter of Hilchos Rotzei’ach. It is #296 of the 365 negative mitzvos in the Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvos.