When Jews get it wrong we can really get it wrong…self hating Jews come in every shape and size. In recent years there has been a flood of outrage directed at one of the most popular variety, small groups of Hasidim who take it upon themselves to make very public, and very humiliating displays of hate and anger against all Jews who do not share their ways. It is easy to understand why the greater Jewish community has responded with so much outrage and contempt, especially as they claim to be pious, religious Jews. It is imperative that reactions like these stop as they only serve to provide them with the framework they so desperately need to validate themselves as the few of us who hold onto truth. They see the revulsion in our eyes as they desecrate what we hold dear as proof that they are special, unique, the chosen among the chosen.
These Hasidim unknowingly lead half lives, their traditions turning into rot by a willingness to discard entire swaths of the Torah to preserve their twisted philosophy, as well as their self inflicted גלות (exile) brought on by a deep seated fear of redemption knowing that their way of life has become terminal. They live in a perpetually closed off society, and redemption can not happen in isolation. Pity them for they are only an outpost, a tiny insignificant remnant of our great nation in exile, actively refusing God’s kindness by shunning our birthright, the very land that now produces more Torah learning then at any other time in Jewish history save for the years in the desert following מתן תורה (giving of the Torah). Pray for them and reach out to them, because even though they mold their own fears and insecurities into the hatred and contempt they direct towards us, they remain our brethren, and for that only, they deserve our love.
This, our greatest exile began because of שנאת חינם (baseless hatred), and while we have no direct cause to love them, and quite a few reasons to do the opposite, it is only through אהבת חינם (unbridled love) that we can hope to complete the redemption which has so recently began. (1948)
As for those few true רשעים (wicked people), the self proclaimed “zealous Jews” who actively seek audience and comradeship with enemies of the Jewish people, they deserved the ultimate response to hate, indifference. “הרחק משכן רע, ואל תתחבר לרשע” (Distance yourself from an evil neighbor and do not associate with the wicked) – מסכת אבות. As these people lack even the meagerest means to destroy us, the worst possible punishment that can be given to such human beings overflowing with hatred is to be utterly indifferent to them. Let them continue to throw their embarrassing public tantrums, and be comforted in the knowledge that their life’s work is for naught and that G-d will shield his people from our true enemies, internal (ערב רב) and external.
In the words of the wise Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in his State of The Jewish World Address: “Now is the time to say clearly and categorically, even if we don’t share a faith we certainly share a fate, we are one family! Argumentative definitely, dysfunctional occasionally, but one family. Let there be between us a bond of indivisible non judgmental and unconditional love!”
יהושע יעקב שור