Hebron: When so much love makes one hate…

3 Dec

MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS HEBRONIt has been bothering me all day….how is it that one can love so much that he hates?

This Shabbat we will read about Yaakov’s passionate love for Rachel.  After working for seven years to gain her hand in marriage, he is duped into marrying her sister, Leah instead – apparently an issue of family custom and respect, according to her father, Lavan – who, nonetheless, fulfills his promise to Yaakov as soon as sheva berachot for he and Leah have come to a close(a week later). Of course, he does need to pay with a commitment to another seven years of work, but, the truth is, he is not really in a hurry to get back to Canaan at his point, still fearful of his revenge-seeking brother, Eisav.

Here is what I am thinking….too much love can make you so blind that you do not even realize the messages of hatred that you are broadcasting to another…. In fact, the Netziv here points out that ostensibly Yaakov was going through the motions of being a loving spouse with Leah – so much so, that at first, she did not realize how much he hated her – only God saw it (By the birth of their second son, Shimon, she too realizes the situation.) However, the more he wanted to show Rachel his devotion and love for her, the more he indirectly gave off hate-vibes…. to the point where God took notice and stepped in to steer Yaakov away from the path he had inadvertently chosen.

In Hebron, as I write these words, there is a lot of love for Eretz Yisrael going around among the idealistic youth and families gathered there.  They love Eretz Yisrael, and Hebron in particular so much…it is truly inspiring to see the personal sacrifices they have been willing to make to hold onto the House of Peace – Beit Shalom.  And yet, as they throw stones at the soldiers who have come to fulfill their duty, and threaten an all out civil-war – I just can’t help but feel that perhaps they are allowing their unabated love for Eretz Yisrael to blind them to the hatred they are spewing at these soldiers and and their fellow Jews.

It is a delicate balance, and only God knows where this will lead….but here in the holy land we must strive to ensure that at all times we  keep things in perspective…love for country, without hatred for countrymen…




One Response to “Hebron: When so much love makes one hate…”

  1. Ittay Monday, December 22, 2008 at 12:21 pm #

    A very well written blog. It reminds us that too much of anything can be a bad thing. I have thought that the line between ahavat chinam and sinat chinam is much closer then we think. This is why Rambam’s mddle path is such an important teaching.
    chag urim sameach

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