The Jewish Choice

Dr. Michael LaitmanFrom My Facebook Page Michael Laitman 12/29/19

Without exception, disunity, hatred and sometimes extreme violence among Jews, always precede catastrophes in the history of the Jewish people. Midrash Rabbah (Shemot 1:8) states that Pharaoh, who initially loved the Jews and gave them the best land in Egypt, began to hate them only after they began to part from one another. The Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar conquered the land of Israel and ruined the First Temple only after Israel sank into internal bloodshed and other inappropriate conduct toward each other. In the final days of the Temple, they hated each other so much that the Talmud (Yoma 9b) writes that they were “stabbing each other with the swords in their tongues.”

Still, nothing compares to the ruin of the Second Temple and the exile of the people of Israel from the land for two millennia. It is a story so filled with internal hatred, torture, murder, and even cannibalism, that the sages simply conclude that the reason for the fall of the Second Temple was unfounded (baseless) hatred. In fact, for every Jew that the Romans killed attempting to conquer Jerusalem, the Jews killed ten of their own people within the city. Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus captured the essence of the events in one sentence in The Wars of the Jews: “The sedition destroyed the city, and the Romans destroyed the sedition.”

If you look at the entirety of Jewish history, you will find that this is the one element that always predates the biggest Jewish cataclysms. This is why especially today, with our growing division and partisanship, it is so important that we rise above our differences and unite, if only to avert the next calamity.

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