What is the Tikkun for Baseless Hatred? Not Ahavas Chinom!
We are speaking about the tikkun of the problems that
led to Tisha B'Av and, as Tisha B'Av is far from pleasant, we
might expect that its tikkun is also difficult and
The gemora in Yoma (9b) is well known: The
Second Beis Hamikdosh was destroyed because of
sinas chinom -- baseless hatred. This is a terrible
sin -- at least the equal of the three awful sins for which
one must martyr himself, which were the cause of the
destruction of the First Beis Hamikdash. The
gemora concludes that it is worse than all those three
together, since the (First) Beis Hamikdash was
restored after those sins, but has not yet been restored
after it was destroyed because of the sin of baseless
It is not too early in the year -- less than a month before
Elul -- to recall the teshuvoh stages, since they are
the prototype of any tikkun for past actions.
The first stage is halting and completely abolishing any
vestige of baseless hatred itself. It is a repugnant idea and
its presence signifies that the person who exhibits it is not
ruled by the higher faculties -- the seichel -- whose
orientation and actions are always ruled by understanding and
To complete the tikkun it is necessary to act in a way
opposite to the failure. Formally, it would seem that the
diametric opposite of baseless hatred is justified love.
This is certainly a very good thing. There is so much to be
grateful for and so many good reasons to love so many people
-- and of course to love Hashem -- that this is an important
and beneficial way to compensate for sinas chinom.
Love your family, love your neighbor, love all of Klal
Yisroel, love all Hashem's creatures -- and love
This is the easy part. But there is another tikkun
that should not be overlooked: justified hatred. Dovid
Hamelech wrote (Tehillim 139:21-22): "Will I not hate
those who hate You and quarrel with those who stand against
You? I hate them with the most extreme hatred; they have
become my enemies."
A person should never hate for no reason at all. There are in
fact very few things or circumstances that should call forth
hatred on our part. But there are circumstances in which
hatred is appropriate and desirable -- and they are,
unfortunately, not as rare as we would hope them to be
Some people say that the healing response to sinas
chinom is ahavas chinom -- causeless love. This is
based on their understanding that the key wrong in the
gemora's explanation of the destruction of the Beis
Hamikdash is the hatred, not the fact that it was
The ultimate Geuloh will certainly have no use for
hatred. Once all the evil has dissipated as smoke, there will
be no occasion for hatred.
As Tisha B'Av reminds us so painfully, we are still very far
from that ultimate state -- and the path to Geuloh
does require hatred that is properly based and appropriately
directed. We must hate those who hate Hashem, and love
The love that we must have is firmly based on the fact that
all Hashem's creatures who are not against Him contribute to
reaching the tikkun ha'olom. Ahavas chinom is not part
of this formula.
May the publication of these words find hatred a thing of the
past -- but if chas vesholom the final Geuloh
has not yet arrived, may we learn to use both hatred and,
especially, love, as appropriate.
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