King David’s Psalms are known as the “heart” of prayer, as they were written with Ruach haKodesh (the Holy Spirit), which arises in the heart. Psalms teach and demonstrate to us what constitutes a kosher emotional life of a Jew. They teach us when and how to express joy, sadness, courage, fear, love, and hate.
Psalm 31:7 states, “I hate those who defend empty vanities (Sin’eiti ha’shomrim hevlei shav.)” In this verse, King David is teaching us when hatred is a kosher emotion.
Before I get into what Rashi has to say on this verse and how it relates to current events, my comments must be prefaced that any hatred for a Jew must be for their external behavior and not their internal essence. Like the attribute of strict judgment (the middat ha’din), any “hatred” must be rooted in sweetness and love.
It also cannot be overstated that every Jew has the potential to repent at any moment, and that our primary responsibility and response to transgressors is to pray and hope that they do repent.
Rashi On This Verse
Rashi explains that those who “defend empty vanities (ha’shomrim hevlei shav) are “those who anticipate/expect salvation from the nations of the world (mtz’apim l’tshuat umot ha’olam)”
King David is saying, “I hate those who anticipate/expect salvation from the nations of the world.”
Of course, this Rashi begs the question – does King David hate them because of their political opinion? Or does he hate them because they are not sufficiently spiritual as to believe that HaShem will divinely intervene and save the Jewish people?
King David was holiest of the holies. For sure he would not hate a person because of politics. And for sure he would not hate a person because they are afraid and did not have emunah in the face of overwhelming odds.
In my opinion, King David hated these people because rather than admitting they were afraid and confused, those who anticipate/expect salvation from the gentiles are acting recklessly in a way that greatly endangers Jewish lives. King David hates them because he forsees their conduct, ultimately, will result in Jewish suffering.
Application to Current Events
Today, Bibi announces that Peace with the Arabs will be difficult but possible. His opening positions sound “strong” enough: a future Palestinian state would have to be demilitarized, recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and respect Israel’s vital security interests.
But Bibi is not a religious man, and can’t help but be afraid in the face of the overwhelming odds he perceives the State of Israel is up against. Reports already suggest that he is willing to agree to an American “bridging proposal” which would allow a NATO force consiting of American troops to patrol the Jordan Valley and West Bank mountain peaks.
In essence, allowing armed NATO forces is relying on the nations for salvation from our enemies. And it is reckless.
First, these NATO forces will be given the green light to expel Jews from Judea and Samaria. Unlike Gaza, Jews wont be facing Jewish expulsion forces who might temper their conduct, but rather merciless gentiles, a percentage of whom will harbor strong anti-Jewish sentiments.
Jews opposing expulsion will likely be characterized as Jewish “terrorists”, the modern coinage that debases their right to exist. It is not hard to imagine catastrophe when and if American blood is shed by Jewish souls desperately trying to protect themselves and their families from expulsion.
And, ultimately and most importantly, these NATO forces will possess the military capability to cripple “within the green-line” E”Y in minutes. Once the serrated thorn implants itself, it will be near impossible to pull it out (how many troops are still in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.).
Yaakov relying on Esav to protect it from Yishmael = Reckless disregard for Jews living in E”Y.
Reckless disregard worthy of hatred as a kosher emotional response.
And, most importantly, those who engage in this “kosher hatred” can only be assured their hatred is kosher if it is directed at the transgression, not the transgressor, and that they love their wayward brothers and pray for their repentance, speedily, in our days.
Otherwise, this hatred is treif, not kosher.
HaShem should help all of the Jews do thsuvah, and those who rely on the nations for salvation should come to believe that only HaShem is our Savior!