15 Kislev 5781 / Tuesday, December 01, 2020 | Torah Reading: Vayishlach
 
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HomeFoundations of JudaismJewish OutlookThe High Price of Hatred
 
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The High Price of Hatred    

The High Price of Hatred



The merit of our great spiritual leaders has the power of invoking Divine compassion, but it can do nothing against the severe judgments aroused by intramural hatred.

 



Rebbe Natan of Breslev writes (Likutei Halachot, Hilchot Gittin 3:9) that there is no more effective way of mitigating stern judgments – dinim – than Ahavat Yisroel, the unconditional altruistic love that Jews should have for each other, where each Jew loves his fellow like his own soul.

 
Unfortunately, the opposite holds true as well: nothing arouses stern judgments like sin’at chinam – Jewish intramural hatred. The Talmud says some alarming things about the high price of intramural hatred. “Because of sin’at chinam, women miscarry, marital peace is destroyed, and one’s sons and daughters die at a young age (Tractate Calla, first chapter). The Gemara (tractate Yoma 9b) cites sin’at chinam as the root cause of the destruction of our Second Holy Temple despite the fact that the people of that generation were both observant and Torah scholars.
 
Since the recent missile barages from Gaza to the South of Israel, I've been walking around with a kasha (serious question) in my head: The Great Baba Sali, Rabbi Yisrael Abu Chatzeira of saintly and blessed memory, is buried in Netivot in the south of Israel. As one of the previous generation’s leading tzaddikim, couldn’t he have overturned the harsh decree of Grad missiles falling all over the south of Israel, including Netivot? 
 
Then, I remembered that I had the same question in my mind during the Second Lebanon War: The greatest tzaddikim of all time are buried in the Galilee - The Ariza"l in Safed, Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron, Rebbe Meir Baal HaNess in Tiberias, among many others, whose saintly and blessed memories are so sacred to the Jewish people. Why didn't these great tzaddikim have the power to overturn the harsh decree of the 3,900-plus Hizbolla missiles that fell in the Galilee, causing exile and destruction?
 
A few weeks after the Lebanon War was over, in October of 2006, I received an answer. A close friend of mine from Queens in New York City, a person with two feet on the ground that gives loads of charity and remains far from the spotlights of center stage, told me that the Baba Sali came to him in a dream.
 
The Baba Sali loved every Jew with all his heart, and greatly suffered from the senseless intramural hatred and contentions among Jews. In the dream, Baba Sali told my friend, who we’ll refer to as “Mr. P.”, that not even the greatest tzaddikim in the upper portals of heaven have the power to rescind the harsh decress in the Heavenly Court that result from the sin of sin’at chinam, or senseless hatred. He also told Mr. P. that, "Not even my gravesite in Netivot has the power of preventing Hamas missiles from reaching there, just as the Hizbulla missiles reached Safed, Tiberias, and Haifa. "When they do in coming years, G-d forbid," warned the Baba Sali, "you'll see how upset Hashem is about the hatred and lack of unity among the Jewish people." Baba Sali then disappeared, and Mr. P. woke up.
 
This particularly time, the curtailment of joy during the 49 days of Omer, came about because of the death of Rabbi Akiva's 24,000 pupils. The Gemara tells that they didn't properly respect one another. By our enhancing our love and respect for our fellow man, we correct this blemish. With the imminent threat of the Nakba march this coming Sunday and a third Entifada, nows the time to put major emphasis on Ahavat Yisrael, loving our fellow human.   
 
Just as sin’at chinam caused the destruction of our Holy Temple, sin’at chinam led to the recent devastation of the Galilee in the Second Lebanon War; not even the greatest tzadikkim could overturn the decree of the Hizbulla missiles caused by sin’at chinam.
 
The same principle seems to missile attacks in the south. Spiritually, we can attribute the missile attacks on Beersheva, Ashkelon, and Ashdod to sin’at chinam.
 
We had all best take this message to heart. Hating another Jew is worse than eating pork; not even tshuva and Yom Kippur can atone for the sin of hating another Jew, unless the guilty person makes peace with his fellow Jew and uproots the hatred from his heart.
 
While strengthening our emuna, we'd all be smart to strengthen our love for our fellow Jew. The security of Israel depends on it.
 
Here's a firm spiritual rule: No terrorist or enemy can harm a Jew until one Jew harms another Jew. The result - those who so irresponsibly think, write, speak, or outright harm other Jews expose our borders to terrorist missiles. Can you imagine after your 120 years are up on this earth, that you face an accusation that you're responsible for the destruction of one of Israel’s cities? You protest, and say that's crazy! The Heavenly court then shows a video of you talking against other Jews...
 
Is it worth it? Heck no. Let's stop the senseless hate. The Chofetz Chaim said that even zealous hate is a bad thing, for those who become accustomed to hating others for a good reason soon begin hating others for no reason at all.
 
Rebbe Nachman of Breslev says that the best way to go is to judge others fairly in all circumstances. If you can't find a reason to think favorably about your fellow Jew, invent a reason! Our lives may depend on it.
 




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  2 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks  
  1.
  forgot this part
Louey7/28/2014 4:29:22 AM
     
 
  2.
  Photo of each one of us as a baby
Louey Simon7/12/2014 2:58:03 AM
     
 

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