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Kabbalah 401.6: The Sixth Commandment versus death in the garden

The Sixth Commandment is very short, in both English and Hebrew.


You shall not murder.

In English, this is Four Words.In Hebrew, it’s only Two Words. לֹא תִּרְצָח (“Lo Tirtzach”). Many have mistranslated these Two little Words as “You shall not kill”. This is incorrect. The meaning is actually very clear, and the verbal root RESH TZADDI CHET is not used in the Hebrew Scriptures other than to Mean deliberate, premeditated murder. This has been distinguished from another root HEH RESH GIMEL, which was used to Mean either accidental or self-defense killing. A Third verbal root, MIM VAV TAV (“put to death”), is used for executions. An excellent example of HEH RESH GIMEL was the killing of Abel by Cain, indicating that it was not intentional. This would explain his strange punishment, wouldn’t it? The Hebrew Scriptures promote Righteousness, but not Pacifism.

In Metaphysics, perhaps we can expand this rather prosaic Concept, just a little. Murder might include suicide, and hunting Game, without intention of preparing food. We may also redirect this Concept to include any senseless violence. Perhaps we can say, “Act responsibly”. We can do what must be done, but we can also take responsibility for our actions.

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