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Haters Anonymous

Do you feel enmity, animosity, hostility, antipathy, acrimony, contempt, ill-will, detestation or just plain old hatred for another individual? If you do then you are very likely transgressing the TORAH PROHIBITION [like eating pork or stealing] of "Don't hate your brother in your heart" ["lo tisna es achicha bilvavecha"]. This applies even if your brother is female.

But don't feel excessively guilty! Your are only human and sometimes humans feel this way towards others. But you must realize that hating someone else inflicts a lot more damage upon the hater than upon the hated. It is like punching yourself in the face because you can't stand someone else. So we must run away from such feelings.

Easier said than done! How can we accomplish this? Rav Aviner [Rosh Yeshivas Ateret Kohanim] suggests a three point plan:

1] Admit that you hate. Just as a alcoholic must get up at the Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and say "I am Joe and I am an alcoholic," so too a person must recognize that he is afflicted with the spiritual malady called "hatred".

2] Admit that hatred is poisonous! There are ideologies that glorify hatred but not us - the grandchildren of Avraham Avinu.

3] You can overcome these feelings of hatred. It is a strong yetzer hara but it can be vanquished. You have a pure, powerful, holy G-dly soul!!!!!!!!!!

May I add that you should take a pro-active approach, perform for him acts of love and kindness. Or as King Solomon said "If your foe is hungry feed him bread and if he is thirsty give him water to drink." [Mishlei 25/21]

From hatred to love - in four [not so] easy steps!

Love and blessings to all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elchanan ben Henna Miriam

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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