He who fatally strikes a man shall surely be put to death. If he did not do it by design, but it came about by an act of God, I will assign you a place to which he can flee. (The Torah, “Exodus,” 21:12-21:13)
Question: There is a great debate on the corporeal level with regard to killing a man and as to whether to sentence the one convicted of killing to death or not. Every state has its own laws. There are states that have a death penalty and there are states that don’t. The Torah says plainly, “One who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.”
Answer: On the corporeal level you must first prove that a crime was committed intentionally, whether it was a premeditated murder and whether there is evidence that a person actually died of a certain blow, etc. Perhaps there was room for such cases in ancient times since it is an indication of the moral level of a society and that, in principle, shouldn’t happen and cannot be.
There were no such cases in which a person was forced to kill someone and as a result both the murderer and the victim had to be sentenced to death. In this case, there has to be such a big egoistic desire of the two sides so that the Creator should arrange this for them, and as a result they would both be put to death. If there was a death sentence once every seventy years, it was considered a horrible thing.
In spiritual terms, in our inner replica, it means that one desire nullifies another desire since they cannot coexist in their current form and complement one another in a spiritual act. Therefore they should both die.
One desire kills the other desire, nullifies it, and also disappears, and there seems to be a destruction of the two. Nothing disappears just like that. The mutual nullification of the two desires is making room, since they cannot coexist being so opposite from one another. On the next level they are born in the form of one unified desire and they grow together. This is a correction. We should understand that every action is an act of correction. It is not bad in any way as we perceive it egoistically. If on the corporeal level one person kills another by chance (as we perceive it egoistically), a certain action takes place and he is punished accordingly.
On the spiritual level, however, it refers to two opposite desires between which there cannot be a middle line and so they have to mutually nullify themselves. But this nullification is the beginning of the next level, of the middle line, and it grows from there.
These two desires are inside me so that I cannot destroy one without destroying the other. I want to kill the egoistic desire inside me and I do that with the help of the altruistic desire, which also disappears in this desire since it cannot exist if it isn’t compatible with the egoistic desire; the plus doesn’t exist without the minus.
There is an altruistic desire in contrast to every egoistic desire and the movement towards the middle line that is between them is always in such pairs. But it is impossible to connect in the middle line itself in this state, and so they destroy one another and turn into a vacuum that the next level stems from. This vacuum is physical; it is a physical state, a size, an object.
Question: Are you for or against a death penalty in the corporeal world?
Answer: I believe that we can correct the world: everyone! By the way, this is the law the Torah speaks about. If you can correct a certain desire then under no circumstances should you kill it. Death, murder, including our death is one of the actions of correction.
From KabTV’s “Secrets of the Eternal Book” 3/11/13