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Sukkat Shalom B'nei Noach




The Torah enumerates and defines many forms of punishment for sinners and offenders, from simple fines to lashes and even capital punishment. However, it nowhere suggests imprisonment as a form of punishment.This is because the purpose of existence is to establish a dwelling place for G-d in this world, which is achieved by using our individual G-d-given strengths and talents for the sake of His service. In all other forms of punishment (except capital punishment) , which, in cases prescribed by the Torah, is the only form of atonement the offender can have), the individual suffers a penalty, is cleansed of his sin, and is returned to freedom where he is expected to resume a productive life making this world a dwelling place for G-d. As a prisoner, however, one is denied the freedom to fulfill the Divine mission, that is, one is denied the reason for one’s own existence. Allowing a person to live and, to in turn, to take his life, is inhuman.

By Rabbi Tuvia Serber


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