The Jewish Eye
Rav Aharon Kotler: Murder Is Not The End Of the Road
The Yerushalmi says that a Ben Sorer U'Moreh is put to death because he will eventually become a burglar, he will end up killing people, and then forget his Torah. This an astounding Chazal. Is murder not bad enough? Is forgetting his torah the cause or the effect of being a murderer? Why is forgetting his torah the final blow that justifies killing him?
Rav Aharon Kotler, in Mishnas Rav Aharon Al HaTorah, says that killing a child for something he will eventually do is against the principles of the Torah. The fact that he will murder is not a reason to kill him now. It can only be done if we are one hundred percent certain that he will will never do tshuvah. Why else would we snuff out his chance of making a Mentch of himself. As long as a person learns torah or has the possibility of doing so, the light of torah can ignite a spark and bring him back. However without torah there is no chance.
Therefore the Yerushalmi says that he will eventually murder people. However that is not enough. The reason for killing him is because this will lead to the next step which is forgetting his torah. Without any future, without any hope, the torah has Rachmanus on him and let's him die while still innocent, before he destroys his neshama completely. While all the other mitzvos are things that we must do and they enhance our lives, torah is our lifeblood, torah is our pulse. Without it, there is no life and there is no hope for the future.
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