A basic Torah Hashkafa unknown to some.

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    catch yourself

    In Parshas Mishpatim (23:4), the Torah introduces the Mitzvah of Hashavas Aveida by characterizing the owner of the lost animal as “אויבך”, your enemy. Similarly, in the next Pasuk, the Mitzvah of P’rika (unloading), the owner is referred to as “שונאך”, someone you hate.

    The Gemara famously explains that the “hated / enemy” must be a sinner whom we are permitted to hate.

    It should be obvious that this must be a deliberate sinner, not a Tinok Shenishbah, or a Shogeg, or even a Chotei L’teiavon. We may only hate someone who is חוטא להכעיס. Nobody else can be described as משנאיך השם.

    In Parshas Ki Seitzei (22:1-4), in the repetition of these Mitzvos, the owners are both referred to as “אחיך”, your brother.

    The Meshech Chochma asks, how did my “hated / enemy” become my “brother”?

    He says that permission to hate others on account of their sins is granted only to someone whose own record is without blemish. Parshas Mishpatim addresses Klal Yisrael prior to the Chet HaEigel, and so refers to the “hated / enemy”. Parshas Ki Seitzei addresses us after the Chet HaEigel, and so we may recognize only our “brother”.

    So according to the Meshech Chochma, only an unblemished Tzadik may fulfill משנאיך השם אשנא. To the rest of us, ALL Jews are “brothers”.

    After all, by what right do I consider myself superior to him? Do I in fact know that my own failings are of any less gravity than his? I don’t know what he’s done, or what mitigating factors may be considered on his behalf. But I am familiar enough with my own record…


    The answer to this, and half the world’s problems, is in one piece of advice: You don’t have to respect someone, but you have to treat them with respect.

    This means you also don’t have to like or agree with them. You don’t have to be their friend. You don’t even need to get into lunchtime talks with them. But you need to be respectful. Greet them, help them if they need assistance, don’t show hatred. If they talk about seeing their boyfriend or attending a pride rally, try to excuse yourself. Explain that you don’t discuss your out-of work activities or beliefs on company time, and you’d rather they do the same.

    In your heart, feel free to dislike them, but not outwardly judge them. Most of this world’s problems, especially lately, are due to intolerance.


    The worst, in terms of Torah, people I work and interact with are Jews who are openly kofer b’Shem. Some were even raised in frum, nurturing environments. I cannot hate them because I am not Hakadosh Baruch Hu and cannot judge them. So I love them and treat them with respect hoping to perhaps make a Kiddush Hashem. And the same, but different, goes for the goyim I work alongside irregardless of their personal aveiros.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    Ben Levi – you misunderstood. I didn’t justify giving power to anyone, i was telling joseph he was wrong that those individuals don’t exist.


    Dear Ben,
    To summarize your point. ‘We have to politically oppose those that have radically different ideas and cultures than us, because it will affect how we raise our families, the curriculum, and the morality of our surroundings.’
    And to quote, “This political opposition is trying to force (REALLY?!?) us to acknowledge as equal and just things that are anti-Torah.”
    I consider this faux piety. If political entities in this country can affect our steadfast hold to our own religious values, we need to reexamine our commitment or our value system. For if such trivial things are weakening our grasp of the Truth, then we are not really holding on.


    Dear Yserbius,
    I am not sure what your associates are doing. But I have met kofrim that are otherwise very observant Yidden.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    Is that supposed to be a haskama?


    Dear Syag,
    Referring to?

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