Overcoming Hatred: Society Response on Ask the Rabbi
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Overcoming Hatred

I've been thinking a lot about all the strife in this world - between individuals, between countries, between races. I understand that hatred occurs when there is hostility between two people, and neither have a desire to see the positive in each other and build a friendship.

Surely, given the vast range of different personalities around, people will come across others with whom they simply do not get along, and if they try to associate with them, the hatred will just build. Isn't it better to just agree to differ and avoid contact with them?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

The Torah says: "If you see the donkey of someone you hate lying under its load, you must help him unload it" (Exodus 23:5).

While the verse addresses alleviating the pain of an animal, it also presents another issue: Helping someone you "hate" unload his donkey.

We see from here that the way to overcome hatred is to help the other person, care for them, and give to them. When I give to someone, I invest a piece of myself, and therefore we become bonded.

Of course, if your hatred is greater than your ability to be patient and giving, and the interaction will end in a fight, then it's better left alone. But if you are capable of overcoming the challenge, then it's good to put yourself in a situation where you are forced to help the object of your dislike.

Otherwise, hatred left alone will just fester, waiting to explode. And is that really the type of world we want to live in?

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