Let My People Know

"God does not love or hate anyone"


We do speak of the anger of God or of the fact that He is made joyful by something that happens in the world of men. 

Or as Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai said about some unlucky person: "He acts thus and is hated by God, and I do not like him." 

This is the sort of statement that hints at more than it states. 

That which is not known definitely, but guessed at as a result of circumstances, is that a certain person is "hated" by God— and this is meant in the same way, the same anthro¬pomorphic image, as saying, for instance, that nature hates a vacuum. 

It is an image, and the meaning of it is simply that I don't like someone.

It does not intend to convey a Divine sentiment. 

Nature, or God, does not love or hate anyone. 

When I say that God likes or dislikes a person, I am really describing the way this person relates to things of the world.

The anthropomorphic image, however, has its own necessity, its own emotional logic. 

When God is described as being furious with someone and binding the heavens with His wrath, the same forceful expressiveness cannot be achieved by an abstract statement to the effect that a Jew who falls into idolatry is opposing the inner, spiritual system of the universe and inviting disaster. 

Therefore, because of the limitations of the human soul and the human imagination, the writings of Scripture have to use anthropomorphic imagery. 

The distortion arises when modern man fails to respond even to this emotionally direct expression.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
 From The Sustaining Utterance, p. 89, by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz