Do not hate fellow Jews

The Literal Commandment

You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. (Leviticus 19:17)

 

The literal commandment is that we should not hate our fellow countryman in our hearts.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

Pictures of Messiah

This commandment pictures Messiah in that He did not hate his fellow countrymen. He sent His disciples among the lost sheep of Israel (Matthew 10:6) to teach and minister to them.

Even when they were reviling Him and crucifying Him He prayed that they would be forgiven (Luke 23:34).

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

Messiah fulfilled this commandment by not hating His fellow countrymen.

 

Traditional Observance

This commandment is traditionally understood to mean that hatred which is hidden (i.e. "in your heart") and is not expressed is forbidden. When one shows the another his hatred and it is known that he detests him, he does not transgress this negative precept.1

Rather than forbidding a person have any hatred of your fellow countrymen it is understood to forbid only hidden hatred.

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment today. We should not hate others who are in covenant relationship with the G-d of Israel. Although we might become angry with them for any number of reasons, we should forgive them "seventy times seven" (Matthew 18:21-22) and be reconciled with them.

As King David proclaimed, "how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!" (Psalm 133:1)

 

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Footnotes

1. Charles Wengrove, trans., Sefer HaChinuch (Jerusalem:Feldheim Publishers, 1984), vol 3, p79 [back]

Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 15
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 1
  • Mishneh Torah Book Knowledge
  • Mishneh Torah Category 2- Personal Development
  • Reference Leviticus 19:17
  • Scripture Book Leviticus
  • Chapter 19
  • Verse 17
  • English You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him.
  • Hebrew יז לֹא-תִשְׂנָא אֶת-אָחִיךָ, בִּלְבָבֶךָ; הוֹכֵחַ תּוֹכִיחַ אֶת-עֲמִיתֶךָ, וְלֹא-תִשָּׂא עָלָיו חֵטְא.
  • Greek 17 οὐ μισήσεις τὸν ἀδελφόν σου τῇ διανοίᾳ σου, ἐλεγμῷ ἐλέγξεις τὸν πλησίον σου καὶ οὐ λήμψῃ δι᾿ αὐτὸν ἁμαρτίαν.
  • Parashah 30- Kedoshim
  • Positive/Negative Negative
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 238
  • Sef. Hach. Command The prohibition against hating one's brethren
  • Category Love
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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