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Hate is a very powerful emotion. It generates skewed vision, violent behavior, and in historical terms, national and personal disasters. There are many causes for hatred. Jealousy, indoctrination, feelings of revenge and suspicions (many times completely unfounded)are just a few. But the most lethal forms of hatred that usually unleash killing and mayhem are those that are religiously or ideologically motivated.

These types of hatred carry with them a degree of complete self-justification. It has the imprimatur of Heaven or of superior knowledge that sanctifies it. Thus hatred is transformed from a negative trait into a positive and desirable one. And then there are no behavioral limits imposed on the haters. Everything is fair in hate and war.
The world today is wracked in conflicts of hatred. And hatred usually generates an opposing hatred that destroys all sense of justification and proportion. Hatred dominates all other emotions and creates irrational violent behavior. We are witness as to how it impacts the lives of millions of people worldwide and the fear it generates that dominates the behavior and actions of all people.
The past century could be characterized as a century of hate. And this current century is not off to a more promising start in this respect. There certainly is no easy answer as to how to, at the very least, tone down the hatred. By making war against the enemy, hatred will only be increased and will certainly create an additional cycle of hatred on all sides. This is a pretty bleak picture of our current world society.   
The main haters and hated in today’s world are the Islamists who are engaged in brutal terror against their fellow Moslems and the Western and Jewish world. Their awful behavior has naturally produced an enormous backlash against Moslems generally.
Here in Israel, the Arab waves of terror against innocent Jews have produced shameful retaliation against innocent Moslems by Jewish extremists. They have not only taken the law into their own hands but they also claim Divine justification for their murderous behavior. This is only one of the many instances in our society, in my opinion, of how the name of God, so to speak, is regularly invoked in vain.
The violence perpetrated by the extremists in the Charedi community against other Jews, the demonization of Israel by the extreme Israeli Left, the palpable hatred of the Orthodox by the non-Orthodox groupings and the resultant repayment in kind by the Orthodox, all are examples of this smug piety that justifies violent speech and actions.
All of them have convinced themselves that they are doing God’s work here on earth. Arrogance leads to hatred of others and that hatred sooner or later leads to violent consequences. One would think that rational good people would attempt to eradicate this plague through education at the earliest levels of study. Instead we find that at all levels of study, many of our educational institutions, and of other’s, indoctrinate hate of the “other” as being a tenet of knowledge and a necessary worldview. That is where the tragedies begin to unfold.
The home also plays an important part in formulating and institutionalizing hatreds. We believe what our parents teach us at an early age. And even if we mature and grow out of our blind acceptance stage of life, what we heard and learned at home remains with us our entire life. Thus haters breed further generations of haters.
This partially explains why the Nazis destruction of Jewish Europe in World War II proceeded so smoothly and efficiently. The homes and schools, the societies and those who spoke in the name of God had created more than enough haters to commit and justify genocide. And when haters can form a critical mass in any society or faith, terror and violence become inevitable by-products of that hatred.
Unfortunately, history informs us that there will always be haters amongst us.  But no society can afford to allow them to become the heroes and martyrs honored by that society. It is not only the violence that the Palestinians perpetrate against innocents that is so disturbing. It is also that those murderers are treated as noble people, that streets are named after them, and that their families are rewarded for the killings of innocents that jars our sensitivities and dashes our hopes for an end to terror. We may never be able to remove all the haters, theirs and ours, from the world’s societies. But we should not allow the inmates to run the asylum.
Shabbat shalom
Berel Wein    

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