Jewish Responses to Hate | Not in Our Town

Jewish Responses to Hate


Jewish Study GuideA Jewish study guide for "Not In Our Town Northern California: When Hate Happens Here." This curriculum examines the events portrayed in the film from a Jewish perspective. Each lesson has Jewish values, case studies, and activities that help students explore the incidents and develop a Jewish response.


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The above teaching aid is wonderful. I am proud to say that one of the brave Rabbis who fought hate when his Temple was fire bombed in Northern California, is now working and living on the Island where I live (Rabbi Brad Bloom, now of Hilton Head Island).

I am writing this on the Tawain Grand Hyatt Hotel's Club level computer without spell check or without access to the net or my texts, but Judaism in no way condones hatred based on gender, sex, religion, etc.

Nor does Judaism condone one disliking another, as the Talmud teaches that when we say we dislike someone, we are projecting our own defects on to that person, making it easier to dislike he or she, rather than work on ourselves.

While some groups in Judaism, and we have this in all religions, interpret 'love your neighbor,' as meaning 'love one's fellow Jew'', Talmudic Rabbinic Judaism is clear that this is a universal call.

In one of my texts, I have an entire chapter devoted to the true Talmudic rabbinic view of homosexuality, and another on women's rights. (A Spiritual and Ethical Compendium to the Torah and Talmud, at )

In point of fact Judaism condones no hatred as Leviticus tells us not to hate, and not to hold grudges, but to love. Our night time prayer, called the bed time Shema, has us forgive anyone and everyone who offended us that day, and reminds us to be loving to all. This is even before we acknowledge, as we do in the day time Shema, that God is our Lord and that God is one.

Our relationships with others, in Judaism, is more important than our relationships with G!D Himself. This is stated over and over in the Talmud and other texts in many different ways. Not only are we not to hate, but we cannot use hateful speach as this is akin to murder. We cannot even embarrass someone as this is also equal to murder.

But, the trouble begins, as Rabbi Judah ha Levi wrote in the 1000s, in his work the ''Khazari.'' The king of the Khazars is trying to pick a religion for his nation via  a series of interviews with rabbis, priests, imams, etc. When he interviews the rabbi, he asks "Your religion teaches all about love of your neighbor, and love of one's enemies, and of peace, but you are a landless people. Will you be able to follow your teachings if you ever get your land back and become a nation again?''

This is the delimea (sic?) that modern Jews have. We can stand up against bigotry in the USA, but we cannot even seem to be tolerant of Jews in different sects, nor of Israel's Arab neighbors.

I pray that the Maker of Peace in the Heavens helps us mere mortals work toward peace towards one another.


Rabbi Dr Arthur Segal

Hilton Head Island, SC




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