Founder and president of Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute
Every person has the inclination to kill because we each contain an entire set of desires, from the best to the worst.
If we kill others, whether it is in war or in any other states, we actually kill a part of ourselves because we exist in a collective desire, a common system.
Everything that exists in nature on all of its levels—still, vegetative, animate and human—is inside of us. As such, if we kill someone or something, we kill its part within us.
We thus find ourselves having to justify our use of anything from this world for ourselves, starting from a gulp of air, and extending through to trees we cut down, animals we kill for food, and ending with other people’s lives. Such a principle extends to anything we take for our own sake. It all requires some form of correction.
Anything we receive for our own benefit, we kill that part of the cosmos and must somehow assume responsibility for it. That is why there are various blessings that people say for many such actions.
Some people subconsciously feel a responsibility toward anything they take from nature. There are people who before drinking something, pour a little out of the cup, or they cut off a piece of bread before they eat and put it aside. These and other such actions play out in the customs of various nations. It indicates their understanding that they take from nature in a way where they will never return what they take. By doing so, we kill the universe, and we then wish to somewhat give back what we take.
If we conduct this act of taking from nature as a necessity for our existence, to support our lives, then it is another matter. But we need to understand that we are receivers from nature, and it is why we have this subconscious feeling of assuming some extent of responsibility for what we receive.
Also, it does not matter that we are not at fault for being created this way, as we had no choice in the matter. Our lives were created in such a way precisely because we need to understand that we live in a world where if we take something for self-benefit, we then need to pay for it, to give back. We nevertheless need to recognize this responsibility and feel the need to give back according to what we take.
On this principle of assuming responsibility for what we take, Rabbi Akiva said that the book is open, and the hand writes, and the person borrows, but later he will have to return it all. Accordingly, we see that the more we evolve, the more we disproportionately take for ourselves, which brings about a negative boomerang effect on a global scale; we get struck back with suffering of all kinds for our excess reception.
It is a complex matter because nature is a closed integral system. In order to live optimally in such a system, we have to be very careful with what we take from it, that we use everything for the sake of giving back to the system.
How can we then reach balance and harmony with nature?
It is by obtaining the feeling of unity with nature, acquiring a new nature that grants us the ability to give as much as we take. We can then regulate how much we take and how much we give.
We are undergoing development from unawareness of our reciprocal connection with nature—where we can take from nature without a second thought, and which leads us to all sorts of extreme forms of suffering such as theft and murder—to a state of complete awareness of our reciprocity with nature, where we will feel that we simply cannot take from nature without the need to give back proportionally to our reception. Such a state will sustain us in a state where we will not take more than our life’s essentials, and even more so, it will save us from much suffering, including theft and murder.