Why is there Hatred Between Jews?
By Doug Winkler
Many generations have passed since we were exiled from our land.
Many trials and tribulations have tested us and scorched our national
soul. All of this, we are told, is/was because of internal hatred
amongst the Jewish people. Many have been the unpleasant repercussions
of hatred. The animosity and ill will borne between various factions
amongst us. And for what purpose does it serve? To divide one
Jew from another? Is that a purpose?
In this article we shall try to discover what is the inner motivation
of those who prefer to stir up discontent and animosities, and
what is the benefit that they reap from it.
Hatred can be categorized into two broad categories: the first
is simple hatred, and the second is covert hatred. The first type
of hatred is called "simple" since it is based on a
simple cause and effect occurrence. Example: Your neighbor constantly
dances on the ceiling each night and refuses to acquiesce to your
requests that he stop and let you have quiet after 10:00 at night.
This type of hatred is simple, the cause of it is clear, your
neighbor does not honor your requests that he behave in an acceptable
manner and in consequence causes you pain. Your hatred of your
neighbor, while not desired, is understandable.
However, if your neighbor will stop his outrageous behavior, behave
properly and treat your requests with the dignity that is required,
then the hatred will dissipate. That is simple hatred, there is
an identified cause which causes the hatred. Remove the cause
and the hatred subsides.
The second form of hatred is not so simple. It is called covert
or covered hatred. This is a hatred which is based on something
other than the doings of the other party. It is based on the concealed
needs of the person himself. Example: A company has an engineer
who handles technical problems. He is well regarded by the rest
of the non-technical employees and the management of the company.
However the company feels that it needs another technical support
man and therefore hires another engineer. The first engineer now
finds fault with this new engineer. He complains that the second
engineer's abilities are weak, his education is insufficient,
his manners lacking, etc. all causing the first engineer to waste
time teaching him things that any decent engineer should have
already known. It could be that it is true, it could be fabricated.
What we have here is a hatred that is not simple. The first engineer
fears that he may lose some prestige from his fellow employees.
Perhaps the management will not consider his opinion so highly.
Perhaps, even, the second engineer will be raised above him or
even take his job. Many are the deep concealed motivations of
the first engineer. But what they all have in common is that the
second engineer has not really done anything to the first engineer,
rather his presence itself is threatening to the first engineer.
Now what complicates the affair is that the first man will not
come out and say that the second man intimidates him and due to
his own insecurities he is resentful. What happens here is that
the first man will conceal this personality defect and instead
of addressing his own inner conflict, he will cast doubts or criticism
in order to discredit his perceived opponent.
From the surface the two types of hatred are similar. In both
cases the "victim" complains that the other person is
not acting in accordance with the proper conventions of behavior.
He has a rational reason for his hatred. From our view point we
can not tell the difference. However there are several differences.
In the case of simple hatred the cause precedes the hatred. In
the case of convert hatred, the hatred gives birth to the fabrication
of a justification (cause). Secondly, in the first case, remove
the cause and the hatred will subside. In the second case, if
the case is removed, the hatred will continue and seek another
form of justification.
It should be understood that differences exist in each person.
No person is identical to his friend, neither in looks, in thought,
nor in desires. In addition, no person has the same needs as the
other and therefore, what may be great for me, may not be worthy
for you. However, realization of this point enables one to foster
respect for the other's unique life style. Different people have
different needs and in relationship to their distinct personalities,
so will their view points on any two different ideas differ.
Realization of the various needs of the individual foster mutual
respect. However, when a person has self serving needs, as in
the case of politics or other organized groups who are seeking
to realize specific goals, their supposed justifications and rationalizations
of the other groups lacking should be investigated with due concern
for self serving motives.
Many groups in Judaism spout love of fellow Jews. However, their
love is contingent on belonging to or espousing the values of
their group. Are we so insecure that we need friendships that
mimic our own personal values? Can we not realize that the continuation
of hatred between Jews is a serious act which only benefits the
enemies of Jews everywhere? Is it not our obligation as intelligent
and idealistic Jews to open our mouth and identify the hypocrisy
that is the most detrimental factor amongst us? Or as a famous
gentile once said. "Let us all hang together, or we shall
all hang separately."
Truly, this is our task in this generation, to eliminate the need
for groups that promote hatred and diversion. This can only be
done through our actively identifying the divisive forces amongst
from theJanuary1999Edition of the Jewish Magazine