In Parshas VaEschanan, we read about the Arei Miklat, the Cities of Refuge for those who unintentionally murder. This parshah almost always falls out immediately following Tish’ah B’Av, and, consequently, shortly before Elul. At face value, these two themes do not seem to share a thematic connection. The Ir Miklat is a City of Refuge, a safe haven, for one who unwittingly murders. Tish’ah B’Av is a day of sadness and destruction, as klal Yisrael mourns the loss of the Beis HaMikdash (First and Second) and the tragedies that have occurred throughout Jewish History. And Elul is the month of t’shuvah (repentance). What links these three topics together? In order to understand their deep underlying connection, we must first delve into each of these three seemingly unrelated ideas.