Shmot: Necessary Anti-Semitism

 There is no medicine to cure hatred. -Publilius Syrus

Anti-Semitism has plagued the Jews from the moment we became a people, perhaps even beforehand. The first organized expression of anti-Semitism occurred during the formation of the people of Israel, from a large family to a nation, during their centuries in Egypt. The Egyptians, slowly but surely, enslaved most of the Jewish population.

The Sfat Emet in 5634 (1874) quotes the Kabbalistic tome, the Zohar, which states that the slave labor the Egyptians forced over the Jewish people was actually a good thing, as it kept the young Israelite nation from mixing with the other nationalities. He continues that it was God himself who planted hatred of the Jewish nation in Egyptian hearts – that the Egyptians really wanted to like the Jews, but that it was a divine decree in order to distance the two peoples from each other.

The Sfat Emet then states that hatred of the Jews did create a widening gap between the two nations and that the further the Israelites moved from the Egyptians, the stronger Israel actually became.

May we be strong enough as a people and no longer “need” anti-Semitism in the world.

Shabbat Shalom,

Ben-Tzion

Dedication

To Masa Israel that does so much for strengthening Jewish identity.

About the Author
Ben-Tzion Spitz is the former Chief Rabbi of Uruguay and a candidate for the Knesset for the Zehut party. He is the author of three books of Biblical Fiction and hundreds of articles and stories dealing with biblical themes. Ben-Tzion is a graduate of Yeshiva University and received his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University.
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