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 The rabbis of the Talmud have taught us that there are two opposite emotions that distort our thinking and cause human beings – even otherwise capable and talented human beings – to behave in an irrational manner. These two emotions on the surface appear to be polar opposites. They are love and hate. But psychologists have long taught us that not only are these emotions not necessarily opposite or contradictory, one to another, but they are two different expressions of feeling and emotion that overwhelm our sense of rationality and propriety.

We are all witness to the fact that people who express love towards some in an expansive manner, at the very same time, express hatred towards others, often in a violent fashion. Since these character traits, love and hate, are constantly on display in our personal and national lives, we are so accustomed to their presence in our society that we take little notice of the true effects that they bring to our lives.
As Maimonides points out to us, no emotion or character trait, except for humility and the avoidance of anger, should be taken to an extreme. Hatred breeds zealotry and zealotry invites and justifies violence and discord. Unfortunately human beings are influenced and trained to hate and demonize others who are different than they are or who even have different views and opinions on matters both large and small. Many times, this hatred of others is really a manifestation of narcissism and love of one’s self, which is not balanced and can lead to great emotional and practical difficulties.
We are witness to the effects of hatred in the political societies of many countries in the world, including our own wonderful little country of Israel. Hatred of the others becomes the rallying point for justifying the policies and opinions of ideological and political parties, groups and opponents.
The completely irrational behavior of much of the American media regarding a duly elected president of the country borders on the pathologically insane. It is interesting in my opinion that no president since Abraham Lincoln has been so subjected to rejection and hatred, no matter whatever policies or appointments are created.
Though here in Israel things have not reached the same fever pitch as they have in the United States, the hatred and demonization shown towards certain groups and political leaders in our society is very troubling and is undoubtedly counterproductive towards the efforts to build a just and peaceful society. Why all of the expressions of hatred? Of what value are they and what positive end they achieve? These are hard questions that we should ask ourselves in an attempt to remove them from our book of tactics and behavior.
It was this lesson that our great rabbis of the Talmud attempted to teach us when they defined the cause of the distraction of the Second Temple as being baseless, unwarranted and corrosive hatred. This is a basic lesson of Judaism that unfortunately has not been learned and followed. Hatred still haunts many sections of our society and creates problems that easily could be avoided.
Children are born without any preconceived or inborn hatred of others. The nurseries in the hospitals of our country do not witness infants who hate others because of skin color, religious opinions and social beliefs. These types of hatred are taught to children and that is how they become part of the matrix of their personality and political and religious beliefs.
Those people who are responsible for teaching children – parents, educators, religious leaders and even social activists – bear an enormous responsibility and burden. They can easily make children haters, as was the case in Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union, and in other totalitarian regimes. It is easier to teach a child to hate than it is to teach a child to love and respect others who are different. 
it should be the goal of every family and educational institution to grab hold of this emotion of hate and quench it to the best of their abilities. There are many matters in our society that we will disagree about and have different ideas, beliefs and policies that we wish to implement. But hatred of others should not be the instrument by which we attempt to achieve our goals. The Talmud tells us of the great differences between the students of Hillel and Shamai. Yet it emphasizes the complete lack of hatred that characterized their discussions and disagreements. This is meant to be a moral landmark for later generations of the Jewish people.
Shabbat shalom
Berel Wein

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