Sunday, May 9, 2021

Rav Avigdor Miller on Being Kind Hearted to Gentiles

 Rav Avigdor Miller on Being Kind Hearted to Gentiles


Is it permitted to hate goyim?


Now that, you have to know, is a question that never comes up among Jews.  Jews never talk about hating goyim.  And I’ll explain that.

It’s true that there’s a mitzvah of ואהבת לרעך כמוך – you have to love your fellow Jew.  It means that there’s no command to love somebody who is a non-Jew.  To love non-Jews, there’s no mitzvah at all. But certainly nobody is told to hate anybody! Because hate is a boomerang. You just cannot hate and hate and hate without become a hateful person.  Your nature changes.  If a person is always muttering imprecations on goyim for nothing, then he becomes a low character.

Decent Jews are kind hearted and polite to everybody!  אמרו עליו על רבן יוחנן בן זכאי שלא הקדימו אדם שלום מעולם – It was said about Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai that nobody ever said shalom to him in the street before he said shalom to them.  He was the first one to greet a man.  ואפילו נכרי בשוק – even gentiles in the street; when he encountered a gentile, he was the first one to greet him.  That’s politeness. That’s how a Jew behaves.

The Chofetz Chaim was like that. In Radin, there were very small sidewalks – there wasn’t enough room for two people to walk side by side and so whenever somebody was walking on the sidewalk, he walked off the sidewalk to let the person walk. He yielded the sidewalk.

Once he was walking and a Russian general was passing by and the Chofetz Chaim yielded the sidewalk.  So the Russian general said, “Old man, why are you yielding to me? You’re yielding the sidewalk to me, a young person?”

So the Chofetz Chaim said, “I do it to everybody.”

So the general said, “You’re going to live long,” he said.  “You’ll live long because of that.” That’s a blessing from a Russian general.

The truth is that Jews are always kind hearted to everybody; only that the mitzvah of loving a Jew is a specific mitzvah that’s only for fellow Jews. You don’t have that mitzvah for anybody else.

But to be kind and polite, that’s not even a question. It’s not an issur of lo sechanen. Lo sechanen means to do favors for nothing; that you don’t do. However, for your own benefit, favors for your own character you can do.  And anything you do for gentiles that improves your character, it’s a good thing to do because you’re doing it for yourself.

TAPE # 630

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