“The Mitzvah to love G-d is really a conduit to loving your fellow Jew (for God is within your fellow Jew.)” -The Rebbe
“What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah while the rest is commentary; go and learn it.”- Hillel
“Love every single Jew, without exception, with the full depth of your heart and with the fire of your soul, no matter who he is or how he behaves.”- Rabbi Eliazer
I can still remember the words of my mother in the car as she tried to keep the peace on our way to school.
“There is never an excuse for hitting your brother.”
But he said this, and he did that, and he won’t stop this.
Doesn’t matter. There is never an excuse for hitting your brother.
We learned early on that the solution was never hate. It was never violence. For my family to work, we had to get along.
The Jewish people necessitates a similar attitude. We are a family. Do we really need someone to tell us that there is never an excuse for hitting our brothers?
Lately, the Women of the Wall have been making headlines as they push for reform in Israel. The Haredi community has also been making headlines for hateful acts toward the activists.
Whether you are for the Women of the Wall or against the Women of the Wall, there is never an excuse for hitting another Jew. As they fight for freedom of worship, they should not have to deal with objects being thrown at them. We were all slaves in Egypt, we were all in the Holocaust, and now we are all throwing chairs and water bottles at each other? How does that make someone a “good jew”?Something doesn’t quite fit.
Rabbi Hillel said that the meaning of the Torah was “love your fellow Jew, and the rest is commentary.” If this is the case, then shouldn’t respect toward another Yehudi override any ideas of tradition? The laws of Judaism exist to teach the value of loving your fellow. Regardless of what they are doing, whether it be wearing tallit, donning kippahs, or being annoying on the way to school, there is never an excuse for hitting your brother.