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A Reason for Anti-Semitism?

Rav Reuven Ungar

"Eisav fell on the neck of Yaakov, kissed him, and they both cried" (Sefer Bereshit 33:4). Rashi quotes Rabi Shimon bar Yochai who comments that while this kiss was sincere, the halacha is that Eisav despises Yaakov.

How does this fact constitute a halacha?

Rav Reuven Spolter conveys the commentary of Rav Menachem Ziemba, may Hashem avenge his blood (we thank Rav Gilad Field for posting the words of this great sage who died al pi Kiddush Hashem in the Shoah).

Rabi Shimon strived to understand the underlying reasons of the laws of the Torah (darish tayma dekra). Why do the nations of the world hate us? The reasons advanced don't add up. At times we are told becuase we observe the Torah; yet conversely we are told that the hatred stems from G-d forbid abandonment of the Mitzvot. Jewish wealth and material success are blamed for Anti-Semitism; yet we are also blamed for being impoverished and lacking in drive towards financial stability. And so on....

Rabi Shimon bar Yochai clarifies that there is no rational, scientific reason for Anti- Semitism. Rather it is a Halachic reality mandated from Hashem- in order to prevent assimilation.

Clearly we do not possess a large number of friends in the United Nations. While we strive to Sanctify The Name Of Hashem, we should not hold our breath for immediate approval from the nations of the world. Yes, Yaakov remained by himself...that is the case until all people recognize the Majesty of the G-d of Israel.

May that day arrive soon.


Categorized under: 1: Parshat Shavua > Vayishlach