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Confronting the Growing Plague of Baseless Hatred - ASKDrBrown

Video from ASKDrBrown

"Dr. Brown looks at the growing divide in the nation and what we can do to combat it." from video introduction.

My Challenge in Overcoming Baseless Hatred

We just finished the fast of Tisha B’Av, the mourning for the destruction of both the First and Second Temples and the distance from the Almighty that followed. We focused on the lack of clarity in our lives today that is the enduring result of these losses. The way forward is to learn from these traumas and correct our mistakes.

We are taught that the First Temple was destroyed because of murder, sexual immorality and idol worship. We can basically understand these causes – lack of respect for other human beings, desires run amok (also demonstrating lack of respect for other human beings) and the last one lack of respect for the Almighty Himself (even though we no longer worship idols of wood and stone, we can all find habits that either distort our priorities or areas where we give inappropriate power).

We may not have overcome all these desires and drives but we understand why they’re a problem. We want to eliminate them or at least tone them down. We can get with the program.

The reasoning suggested for the destruction of the Second Temple is a little more challenging. We are taught that the Second Temple was destroyed due to sinat chinam, translated as baseless hatred. What exactly is baseless hatred?

Some sources suggest that baseless hatred (the term baseless remains confusing) refers to all personal hatreds, all situations of dislike and tension between one individual Jew and another. We may not name it hatred, we may not consider it baseless, but it’s definitely something we've all experienced and something the Almighty abhors. (Righteous indignation, anger, even hatred on behalf of the Jewish people is a whole different story.)

When do we exhibit baseless hatred? When we are hurt, humiliated, angry, resentful, jealous. Our negative character traits lead us to feel animosity towards others. We are overly sensitive, we misunderstood, we didn’t judge favorably, we were angry, frustrated, impatient…And whatever their behavior, it is on us to overcome our destructive negative thoughts. And then to let it go, or perhaps have a conversation about it, but not to let it fester and indulge in these feelings..." from the article: My Challenge in Overcoming Baseless Hatred

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