Let My People Know

"Hatred has become almost fashionable"

“In the past few years, a relatively new phenomenon has arisen: the legitimacy of hatred.

Mutual hatred among Jews is no longer a thing that one is ashamed to express publicly.

On the contrary, it has become almost fashionable.

It cuts through all sectors—a simple, all-inclusive, fundamental hatred, a hatred that does not even need self-justification.

It does not need to say, ‘I am better, and therefore the others are worse.’

Rather, it is a hatred based on the others being, by definition, bad.

There is no longer a need to call each other bad names.

One’s very label is enough of an insult: ‘settler,’ ‘haredi,’ ‘leftist,’—are there dirtier words than these?

So the words themselves become foul, and the people become defiled and loathsome in one another’s eyes.

It is this that I am trying to fight.

Surely not on my own, but also not with much company.”

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

From “Is Ephraim a Dear Son to Me?” in A Dear Son to Me by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. Photo of Rabbi Steinsaltz by Michel Milman.