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Why do people have to hate?

by Rabbi Simcha Bart

  

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Question:

Hi. Why is there such thing as hate? Why do people hate? I am not talking about anti-Semitism but 'just' hate in general. Thanks, 'Peacemaker'

Answer:

Chassidic philosophy teaches us that the problem with our desires and emotions are not the emotions themselves - rather the direction they take.

An example is given from days bygone when it was quite common that a horse drawn wagon was pulled into a ditch. There was nothing wrong with the horse - rather the direction it was facing. So they would hitch the horse to the other side of the wagon, and the very horse that previously pulled the wagon into the ditch, now pulled it back out.

A human example would be of a person with an appetite, who allows himself to have unhealthy eating habits. There is nothing wrong with an appetite, rather how it is (mis)used. He simply has to redirect his appetite to a more healthful menu.

Hate is the same. Hate per se is merely an absolute rejection of, and disgust in, a particular thing. If that thing is bad hate can be a very powerful force for good. If one hates evil, one will fight against it for good. But if a person is incapable of hate - they often will not have the courage and fortitude to fight for good.

The problem with hate is when it is misdirected. And that is what we need to guard against - not hate itself - but hating those who should be loved.

A wise man once said: Hate was created to teach us how to love. If only we would love what we love with as much passion as those who hate what they hate.

[Ed. note: Also read about 'What is the Jewish view on hate?']


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Chassidic
(Pl.: Chassidim; Adj.: Chassidic) A follower of the teachings of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), the founder of "Chassidut." Chassidut emphasizes serving G-d with sincerity and joy, and the importance of connecting to a Rebbe (saintly mentor).