Thursday, July 14, 2016

Hatred for Yisrael through the Generations

By HaRav Mordechai Greenberg
Rosh HaYeshiva, Kerem B'Yavneh

"From the blessings of that evil man, you can see what was in his heart. He wanted to say that they should not have synagogues and study houses – so he said, 'How good are your tents, Yaacov.'" [Sanhedrin 105b].

In the depths of his heart Bilam knew that Bnei Yisrael were worthy of being blessed, but his hatred burned in him when he looked at the high level of their morality, and in the end his blessings revealed the concealed meanings in his heart.

So here is what Moshe said: Master of the Universe, if we were uncircumcised or idol worshippers, or if we denied the mitzvot, the other nations would not hate us, if not for the Torah and the mitzvot which you gave us..." [Bamidbar Rabba 22]. It is the Torah itself that has led to hatred, because through the Torah we represent the Master of the World in His world. "Why is the mountain called Sinai? It is because that is where hatred ('sin'a') descended to the nations of the world." [Yalkut Shimoni]. On the verse, "I will give back vengeance to My enemies, and I will repay those who hate Me" [Devarim 32:41], the Ramban comments, "They did all of this out of hatred of the Holy One, Blessed be He."

This matter is mentioned many times in the Prophets and the Writings. "For we have been killed because of you all day long" [Tehillim 44:23]. "For they gathered together in a covenant against You" [83:6]. All of the frenzy of the other nations and their joint stands "are against G-d and His anointed." And what is their goal? "Let us cut their cords and cast off their ropes from us" [2:3]. What cords do we use to tie up the nations of the world? In recent times, we have been accused of this clearly and openly. Here is what the German author Hermann Rauschning claimed that Hitler told him: "Fate has given me the task of freeing all of humanity. I free mankind from the bonds of conscience and morality which has become a goal in itself... The war about control of the world takes place only between us, it is a war between the Germans and the Jews. Anything else is just an illusion."

After the Yom Kippur War, an editor of a London newspaper wrote, "Israel is slowly becoming a nuisance." Journalist Binyamin Galai retorted, "Nothing could be closer to the truth. But why do you say this is happening slowly? Many years before they started publishing the Sunday Times on Fleet Street, our government office of journalism published a document with ten points, each and every one of then a nuisance. Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal. At one time we served as a nuisance for the Babylonians, the Egyptians, and the Assyrians. In the Middle Ages we were a nuisance for the czar and for the fundamentalists... Today we are a source of irritation for Communists, fascists, and Eastern nobility. As long as our souls survive, gentlemen, we will remain a nuisance which can never be removed."

After the Holocaust, the author Azriel Karlebach wrote an article on the subject of hatred of Yisrael. He wrote: "They stormed into attics, places where very young children sat and studied Torah with a subdued voice, because if any voice can still be heard anywhere in the world Satan cannot sleep in peace. They desecrated the holy books, because what burst forth from the inanimate letters was accusation, mockery, and contempt for every fiber of their being."

"We have been killed because of You all day long."

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