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You Shall Not Hate Any of Your Kindred
“You shall not hate any of your kindred in your heart. Reprove your neighbor openly so that you do not incur sin because of that person. Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your own people. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:17-18). This ancient law of God. This Law is mentioned in two of the Books of the Torah; Leviticus and in Deuteronomy in the great Shema statement that is the centerpiece of the Jewish faith. It is also referred to by Jesus when asked by a scholar of the law testing him, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” (Mt. 22:36) Jesus refers the hypocritical Pharisee back to the Torah when he responds, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Mt. 22:37-40). This is the very definition of a universal truth, that is, something that is true in all times, in all places. It is something that stands up against every rationalization, every denial, and every lie that is raised up against it. The truth about hatred is that it is useless in solving any problem, rather it is universally destructive. While the hater destroys the object of its attention, he or she destroys something much more precious and priceless than that which he or she causes to his or her victim, for in acting upon his or her hate, he or she destroys his or her own eternal soul. Hatred breeds nothing but pain and destruction. Only love can create reconciliation, healing, and new life. We will…