Ibn Ezra explains that the reason we are obligated to love our fellow Jew is because we recognize that we were both created by the same Maker. Hence the verse, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” concludes with the words, “I am G-d” (Vayikra 19:18) — our love of our fellow man is inextricably linked with our relationship with Hashem. However, what happens when one of our fellow Jews undermines his relationship with Hashem by sinning?
The Brisker Rav once claimed about a sinner who professed love for the Jewish people, “Perhaps he does love the Jewish people. But for sure he hates the Creator.” This tells us something about the sinner. It does not tell us, however, what our response to the sinner should be. Should we love someone who does not show love to Hashem, our ultimate Beloved? And if we do not love the sinner, should we go further and hate him?
Please refer to the archives below for the previously published chapters of the Laws of Outreach:
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