Israel Forever

For the week ending 26 November 2011 / 28 Heshvan 5772

Brotherly Love... or Hate

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

While the whole world was discussing the threat of a nuclear Iran and the possibility of a preemptive strike, a former head of the Israeli Mossad shocked the nation by publicly declaring that Israel faced a greater threat than that of Iran – the trend towards "religious extremism."

In this week's Torah portion we read about the birth of the Patriarch Yaakov and his brother Esav. In his commentary in Parshat Vayishlach on the words describing the kiss of Esav, Rashi quotes Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai as stressing that this was a momentary demonstration of affection because "it is well known that Esav hates Yaakov".

While history has vindicated this view of the hatred of Esav and his descendants towards Yaakov and his descendants, the latter have survived because of the brotherly love which has united them. It is therefore tragic to hear an Israeli Jew who served his country so well speak with such brotherly hatred about the religious community.

Brotherly love must reject such an attitude and unite the people of Israel forever.

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