http://revach.net/article.php?id=4145

Section: Stories   Category: Mashal
Rav Yehonoson Eibshitz - Violating A D'Rabbanan Means Death
The penalty for violating any Mitzva D'Rabbanan is death.  Yet by Mitzvos Min HaTorah few and far between carry the death penalty.  How could it be that a decree made by mere flesh and blood be punished more severely than then going against the will of the Melech Malchei HaMilachim?  This is the question that a ruler in Vienna asked Rav Yehonoson Eibushitz.

He answered with a Mashal.  He said to the ruler as follows.  You are an important minister and very close to the king.  If you were to tell me now to get out of here and I didn't listen, you would have the right to beat me and even imprison me.  But if you were to take a spear and kill me on the spot, you would need to answer to a very angry King because my infraction is not so severe that I warrant death.  On the other hand if I walk outside and one of the soldiers on guard were to scream for me to get away thinking I was a threat, if I would not listen he would kill me with a single bullet and be correct in doing so.  He would even be honored for his deed.

The reason for this is that because he is so low, he needs the authority and backing to be able to do his job.  If every drunkard were to disobey him and laugh in his face, his job would be worthless. However an important minister needs no such backing and any punishment he gives out must be in line with the severity of the crime.

The Medrash says that hashem asked Chochma what to do with a sinner and it said Reshaim must be treated badly.  The Nevi'im said kill him.  The Torah said let him bring a Korban, and Hashem said let him do tshuva.  

The Chachomim make rules to safeguard the Torah.  If they are violated, even though they are man made and don't go against the Torah itself, the violator must be killed.  Only Hashem can pardon because it does not detract from His Kavod or His power, the slightest bit.