Question: In 2015 there were a record number of death sentences enforced: more than 1,600. Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia are the leading nations in the number of executions; they carry out close to 90% of them. What is happening with us? Have we become less sensitive than before?
Answer: The world is advancing toward more brutal times, and soon even Europe will begin executions. The “Golden Age” has already passed, and we will see how everywhere in the world the death sentence will become a routine punishment.
The tolerance that existed for ten or twenty years has gone. The bourgeoisie that has come to power again seeks control through money and power, and is only concealed by what is called tolerance. What was no longer is.
There are no democratic elections, everywhere stands dictators who only reach agreements between themselves and decide who will replace whom. Everything is bought and sold for money, and if not, then for more money. Europe that could once declare that it was democratic and tolerant has long gone.
Question: What is your personal attitude toward the death penalty?
Answer: According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, a death sentence is permissible, but only enforced every ten years.
In the Talmud it is said that if a death sentence is decreed in a particular court more than once in seventy years, then it is considered cruel.
Let us hope that we can achieve times like these in which not only the need for capital punishment will be cancelled, but also other penalties, prisons in particular! Prison is a product of the ego. According to the Torah, prisons are unnecessary. They don’t correct a person; on the contrary, they harden him and direct him toward even greater sins. In the period of the Kabbalists in Israel, there were no prisons.
Question: Thinking about our present uncorrected situation in the world, would you introduce capital punishment into Israeli law?
Answer: In principle we are left with no choice. In ancient times, education and information preceded the behavior of people.
Today there is no education at all among the population; so talking about a need for the immediate cancellation of punishment is impossible. It could be that the laws that are in force now can rein in the population from performing violent actions and outbursts to some degree.
But in general it is up to us to think about this, so that we will reach a situation where there will not be any need for capital punishment.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 4/14/16