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Why they hate us

Antisemitism, one of the oldest and most pervasive forms of hatred in the world, has manifested in myriad ways throughout history. Jews have often been targeted for their distinct religious beliefs and practices. From ancient times through the medieval period and into the modern era, Jews have faced persecution, expulsion, and genocide. While social and political factors have contributed to antisemitism, there is also a deeper, spiritual explanation for why Jews are always the target of every so-called “liberating” movement in history.

The Jewish people have a unique covenant with G-d, characterized by their commitment to the Torah and mitzvahs. This covenant not only sets Jews apart in their religious observance but also in their role as a “light unto the nations,” tasked with upholding and disseminating divine values and ethics in the world. This special relationship with G-d often places Jews in the crosshairs of those who reject or resent divine authority.

It is no secret that the world contains forces that oppose holiness and G-dliness. These forces seek to undermine and destroy any manifestation of divine will, which the Jewish people embody through their spiritual mission. Hence, antisemitism can be seen as the embodiment of a more profound spiritual struggle between the forces of holiness and those of impurity and opposition to G-d.

The deep-seated animosity towards Jews is not merely a matter of ethnic or cultural prejudice but is intrinsically linked to a rejection of G-d and His moral demands. Jews represent G-d’s presence and moral authority in the world, even those Jews who aren’t fully religious and don’t necessarily portray themselves openly as being observant. Those who harbor resentment or hostility towards the divine will project this hatred onto all Jews, who symbolize and actualize G-d’s will on earth. This animosity is then justified by hiding behind a veil of “only” hating the Jews on economic, social, or political grounds. After all, in a black-and-white world, it’s always easy to despise the supposed oppressor.

By recognizing that the hatred of Jews is, at its core, a hatred of G-d, we can better comprehend the irrational and enduring nature of this prejudice. Understanding antisemitism in this light has significant implications for addressing and combating it. Efforts to counter antisemitism must go beyond legal, educational, and social interventions. There is a need for a spiritual response that involves strengthening and promoting the values of holiness, G-dliness, and moral integrity. We must deepen our commitment to Torah and mitzvahs, thereby reinforcing our connection to G-d and our role as bearers of divine light in the world.

Additionally, we must call on all people, regardless of their faith, to recognize and respect the divine image in every individual and to uphold the moral and ethical teachings that promote peace, justice, and harmony. By fostering a greater appreciation for the divine and its manifestation in the world, we can begin to address the root causes of antisemitism and work towards a more just and compassionate society. When we address the deeper roots of antisemitism, we can hope to create a world where divine values of love, respect, and holiness are upheld and celebrated.

Ultimately, though, because antisemitism is a result of the rejection of G-dliness, it can only truly be eradicated by G-d Himself. And what’s what we pray for daily as Jews — the final redemption with the coming of Moshiach. Only then will the entire world, Jew and non-Jew alike, lovers and former haters in unison, recognize the true greatness of G-d and His people.

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