Comment: You said that punishment is the impression from understanding that such an action should not be done, which means that the very action performed by a person should leave such an impression in him.
My Response: Simply put, a person should punish himself.
We must bring a person to a state where he evaluates his past action as a punishment from above, feeling that he was allowed to transgress some right action and do the wrong thing instead. He judges himself. This internal lynching causes in him such a state of bitterness, resentment, regret, and self-condemnation that this becomes an actual punishment for him.
He understands that he himself made a mistake. At the same time, it is necessary to help him come to the point that next time, despite future disturbances and impulses, he could no longer perform such an action. But this is possible only with the help of a special spiritual template, the upper light.
We have no other weapon in our hands. If we really want to correct a person, then it’s done only with the help of the upper light, this special force of nature that created him.
And if we invent some restrictions ourselves, then they only harden a person toward nature, society, and even himself. He comes out of prison a big beast.
Therefore according to the Torah, in Israel in ancient times there was no punishment like prison. Instead, there were sanctuary cities. If a person inadvertently harmed someone and was being persecuted for it, he could run away to one of six such cities and stay there until all the circumstances were clarified or until the so-called jubilee year (shmita yuvel).
This is a certain year when a general amnesty is announced, all debts are forgiven, all leased lands are returned to the owners; that is, absolutely everything starts anew, from scratch.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Presumption of innocence” 4/27/10