Friday, January 12, 2018

Baseless Hatred

by Rabbi David Hanania Pinto 

We have learned of the paramount importance of loving one's fellow and how much we have to gain from it both spiritually and materially. Now, let us examine another facet: Let us see what we may lose if the love is replaced by hatred, and if unity is replaced with dispute.

In fact, just as we are commanded in the holy Torah to love our fellow by the mitzvah of "Love your fellow as yourself," we are likewise commanded [Vayikra 19:17], "You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your fellow, but you shall not bear a sin on his account." This implies that hating one's fellow does not only result in losing out on the mitzvah of loving one's fellow, but rather it is an outright prohibition of the Torah in itself.

When we hear of a certain person that got sick with a dangerous illness, G-d forbid, we shake our heads sympathetically: "Oh, how awful! How much bad news there is!" But oddly enough, regarding the dreaded illness of our hearts, we do not grieve over it and do not sense at all. We do not even notice it, and moreover, we do not realize how dangerous it is.

We are actually referring to the dreaded illness of baseless hatred. Yes! It is truly an illness, maybe even a widespread plague! But unlike most illnesses, this disease is an all-embracing disease that affects all 248 organs and 365 sinews of our body.

When one commits a sin, an impure spirit is drawn to that organ involved in the sin, as Chazal say [Ketubot 5b] "A man shall not let his ears hear idle things, because they are burnt first of [all] the organs." This implies that by hearing forbidden speech, a spirit of impurity is drawn upon the ear, and thus ultimately it is burnt first of all the organs. So too, every organ that is used to commit a sin, an impure spirit is drawn upon it, but this is not the place to expound on the topic.

While certain sins cast impurity upon organs that the neshamah is not dependent on, it is nonetheless a great impediment. How much more so is the danger when the spirit of impurity is cast upon an organ that the neshamah is dependent on, such as the heart, which the life of a person hinges. If the person, G-d forbid, lacks a heart, then he is considered dead! Thus, the severe sin of baseless hatred, which lies in the heart of a person, draws the impure spirit upon one's heart. Since it is the central organ of a person, consequently the spirit of impurity gets circulated throughout one's entire body! 

When a disease affects one organ, it can be really dangerous, but still there is a chance to save the patient. However, what happens when a tumor has spread to all the vital organs in the body, such as the heart, brain, and the like? Then the situation is so much worse, and the chance for surviving is almost non-existent.

The Chofetz Chaim elucidates that the same applies to illnesses of the soul. Every transgression affects a certain organ, with which the man sinned. When it comes to a less central organ, then even though the patient's condition is dangerous, there is still a chance to save him. The danger to his life is not immediate. However, when a person sins with an organ that his soul is dependent upon, like when a person harbors baseless hatred, then his condition is far more dangerous, and there is almost no chance of saving him.


AishKodesh said...

Shalom Aleichem Devorah! You really do have some nice posts! Yashar Koach and every manner of Beracha V'Hatzlacha to you and your family.


Anonymous said...

But everyone, well virtually everyone, gets ill with a disease, or condition, serious deterioration of one or more of their senses etc as they grow into old age. By saying a person who suffers with the organ or part of the body that committed the sin, one might be allowed to deduce affected person was guilty of a particular evil. Is that not being very judgmental?

Devorah said...

No it's not judgmental, it's reality. Everything physical is a reflection of the spiritual. Whilst we cannot always know the reason for illness etc we do know that if we were perfect beings, we would not need the lessons/suffering that illness brings.

Yes everyone gets something, but we all get different illnesses affecting different parts of the body. These are not random events, everything is midda kneged midda - even if we don't know exactly how or why.
Listen to Rabbi Anava The Source of Sickness and Disease

Also see Anatomy of the Soul by Rabbi Chaim Kramer from the writings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

and although this author is not coming from an actual Torah perspective, you may be interested to read Your Body Speaks Your Mind

Rather than speculating on the reasons for other peoples' illnesses, we should use this information on ourselves and try to work out why we have been given this particular sickness. It's not about judging others, or shunning them because we feel they've brought it one themselves. We must never do that, as we don't know everything. There are some great souls who take on an illness as a tikkun for a community. We can never really know why but we can learn from our own illnesses and try to understand and fix ourselves.

Anonymous said...

What about children who are sick?

Devorah said...

With babies and children, it is for the family's tikkun, or a tikkun for something in a past life, or as a form of suffering for the parents. We can never really know why a child is very sick, or why a child has died, but sometimes it is just a matter of an almost perfect soul coming back to the world for a very short time, to achieve a total tikkun [rectification].

Rivka said...

Devorah, please only post this comment if you think it's appropriate, but I just wanted to mention my book, 'Talk to God and Fix Your Health: The Real Reasons Why We Get Sick and How to Stay Healthy' in connection with this topic, as it sets out how health 'works' across all three levels of body, mind and soul and it may help readers to figure out the deeper reasons for their own health issues.

From my research, a very high percentage of illnesses come to help us make specific teshuva, at some level of body (i.e. eat better, exercise more, sleep enough) mind / emotions (i.e. work on fear, grudges, anger, other bad middot that cause us a lot of 'stress' on our psyche and bodies) and soul (i.e. having a strong connection with Hashem).

But then there ARE a small percentage of illnesses that are called 'sufferings of love', i.e. they are coming as a tikkun for something else or other people.

True tzaddikim generally suffer from illnesses that are in this category.

Devorah said...

Rivka, of course it's appropriate :) Do you think there are normal ordinary people who also become sick as a tikkun for a community? I have always wondered this. I guess no-one can ever know for sure.

Devorah said...

Here's a direct link to Rivka's book:
Talk to God and Fix Your Health: The Real Reasons Why We Get Sick, and How to Stay Healthy

Rivka said...

I don't know. Because we don't really know what's going on behind closed doors, (especially these days), I think it's mostly impossible to know if a 'normal' person is suffering on their own account, or suffering because they are a hidden Tzaddik.

But what I can say is that we're all down here because we have work to do, in some way, and that the number of 'hidden Tzaddikim' in the world is actually pretty small.

It's as you said in an earlier comment: if it's us that's suffering, we should take it a cue to do some serious introspection and teshuva. If it's other people, we should mind our own business and assume they are hidden tzaddikim.

Much easier said than done!

thank you for posting the link. Rav Arush also has a book in English called 'The Garden of Healing' which covers a lot of the same ground, and is also very useful.

Mikki Freedman said...

There is an update on R menachem BH from Jan 11
Follow the link on the side bar
He is welcoming visitors BH
We continue to daven for him
Menachem ben rivkah

Devorah said...

Thanks Mikki: the update says:

January 11, 2018
Menachem is improving daily. He has been moved to a hospital in Jerusalem called
Misgav LaDoch. If you are in Jerusalem he would enjoy a visit from his followers. He is stable but the stroke has effected both sides of his body. He is expected to be in rehab for many months. Please continue prayers for Menachem ben Rifka.
Thank you

Anonymous said...

Just got to reading this post. First, let me say that practically all the illnesses that are so prevalent today should have been eradicated already. As everyone should realize by now, there are more of these illnesses, which should no longer be, today than ever before. On a natural level, we know the evil doers have created many of these sicknesses. When were there so many adult sicknesses that are now 'childrens' sicknesses? The pharmaceuticals need to 'earn' their billions and it is also a good way for depopulating, r'l. H' uses the evil doers to punish us (c'v). On a spiritual level, no one should say of another why this and this person is ill but only look into themselves if and when they get sick. Also, as we know, H' is the One Who really controls everything and we cannot know for sure the reasons for whatever, but, we do know that we are a world society in decay. The world today is no different than it was in ancient Mitzrayim, a degenerate society. Unless we all return to putting our total emunah only in Him, all the evils that now plague society would no longer affect us. Instead of putting our faith in the medical world which has gone corrupted in many ways, we need to put our TOTAL EMUNAH in our Creator!
Tefilah, Teshuvah and Tzedaka will eradicate all the evils from within us and protect us from the evils from without and bring Moshiach Tzdkeinu in a blink of an eye.

Anonymous said...

Generally, life expectancy has increased greatly to what it was in the early 19/20 centuries, and before. There may be many more diseases today than have yet to be eradicated, but diseases increase with old age, plus many diseases were not diagnosed and/or given a name. Modern life with poisonous emissions, drugs, etc has created new diseases, but on the positive side quite a lot of fatal diseases have been eradicated or alleviated with new medicines, medical breakthroughs etc. It's not all bad news.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 9:31 PM - True that life expectancy has increased but due to the medical profession with all its drugs and equipment. That is not the normal way of living. By now, most diseases (with the tech that's out there) should have been eradicated. The reasons logically are that everything has been corrupted; the food, air and water. Unless one literally lives on organics foods, most of the produce has already been corrupted by GMO's, which they are now finding out is even changing our DNA's, Many diseases have been created in the lab (for human experimentation, c'v).
But we do know that H' uses the wicked to wake us up, but most people always seem to have a 'logical' answer in their minds because the G-D factor is too abstract for them. So, we should assume that many cures are out there but kept away from the public thus allowing the pharmaceutical industry to make more money than ever before. We really do need Moshiach more than ever NOW!