Does the World Hate Us? A דרשה By Ze’ev Ben Yechiel
Israeli Jews often find themselves feeling as if “the world hates us;” as if everyone is “out to get us.” It might be true that the anti-Semitism of things that Zhabotinsky talked about in his works; the concept that the Nations detest us not necessarily for who we are–but for our national history and for the things that represent us–is alive and well, but does the entire world really hate us? I strongly doubt it.
We’re taught that once we take the “burden of Heaven” upon ourselves; once we devote ourselves to a life of good deeds and kindness, we become a “vessel” for G-d’s goodness; an “antenna” of sorts for hearing His message. We begin mirroring the things that others do to us, the way they approach us. This is especially true with our life partners. We can literally “see ourselves” in them like we would in a mirror. We know if we’ve done something wrong just by the way they react to us.
By employing the “mirror” principle (this principle has been well-documented in secular literature as well), we see that we–not the non-Jews–are responsible for their hatred and ridicule. We have the responsibility to be a “Light unto the Nations;” a “Holy People;” a “Nation of Priests.” Perhaps if we stick to our religious guidelines, we will merit their love.
There are those who will argue that we can do without “them;” that we can survive here so long as we stay loyal to the beliefs of 0ur forefathers. Perhaps we can, but we must quit complaining about their hatred for us once and for all. Instead, we must create an “abode” for Hashem in this world with our behavior. Maybe then, they’ll stop hating us.