Parshas Ki Setzei
“And you shall cut off her hand; your eye should have no pity!” (Devarim 25:12)
It is a positive commandment to save the pursued person from the hand of one who is pursuing him in order to kill him, even by (if necessary) taking the life of the pursuer. This means that we are actually commanded and instructed to kill the pursuer if we are unable to save the pursued man in another way, and about this it says “And you shall cut off her hand; your eye should have no pity!”.
Amongst the roots of this commandment are that Hashem created the world and wanted its settlement and the settlement of the world is fulfilled by saving the weak from the hand of the strong. Furthermore, the pursued is always looking upwards with his eyes and heart towards Hashem to save him from his pursuer, like it says “And Hashem will seek the pursued!”, which means to say that the pursued person seeks Hashem and makes supplications to Him, and because of this Hashem commanded us to help him.
This commandment applies in all places and at all times both to men and to women. One who could have saved a fugitive from his pursuer by damaging one of the limbs of the pursuer and did not or even if he could have saved him only by killing the pursuer and did not, has transgressed this commandment as well as transgressing two negative commandments of “Your eye may not have pity!” and “You may not stand over the blood of your brother!”, and his punishment is very great as if he himself had destroyed a soul of Klal Yisrael.