Parshas Kidoshim – “Love your neighbor as yourself”

We live in a world filled with intense hatred. There are Serbs and Croatians killing each other in Yugoslavia, Sikhs slaughtering Hindus, Africans murdering Africans, Lebanese killing one another. Yet there is no hatred as intense as the hatred toward a Jew.

The very mountain upon which Hashem gave us His Holy Torah – Har Sinai – is called “The Mountain of Hate,” as the Medrash explains – from there hatred came down to the world. How paradoxical that the very Torah, which is built on the concept of Chesed – kindness and compassion towards all mankind, should bring in its wake such bitter and fiery hatred of man toward fellow-man.

There are hatreds built on envy and jealousy. There are hatreds built on ambition and lust for power. Some are based on reason, while others are totally blind hatred, built upon no reason whatsoever.

As the Bnai Yisroel were making their way through the desert minding their very own business and not bothering a soul, they were suddenly attacked by our arch-enemy Amolek. Amolek’s hatred towards the Jews is totally beyond reason. It is deeply engraved and imbedded in their very personality. It is a blind intense hatred that is so powerful, that Hashem declares that His own Heavenly Throne and Name cannot be complete until Amolek’s memory is totally erased from the face of the earth.

For thousands of years a Jew has found himself surrounded by hatred from all sides, yet he has been able to survive. A Jew has been able to protect himself against all hatreds except for one – his own. For it was a Jew’s hatred toward another Jew that supplied the fuel used to ignite our holy Bais HaMikdosh.

Nearly two thousand years have passed, yet we still have not learned this lesson. The fiery fires of hatred continue to smolder amongst us. They have not yet disappeared. The heavy smoke still bellows in our midst.

When will the waters of Torah quench these cinders of fire still burning in our hearts? When will we learn to erase the hatred between brothers and replace it with true brotherly love? When will we break the barriers of burning hatred and replace it with love beyond reason?

We must do everything in our power to stop this terrible unnecessary hatred among us. We must erase it from our midst. We must never allow a bad word to be said about another Jew.

Only true blind love between one Jew and another, be he Chossid or Misnaged, Sefardi or Ashkenazi, will supply the mortar with which to rebuild the third and eternal Bais HaMikdosh.

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