Jerusalem – In an address given this past Tuesday, Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Ponovitch, spoke about recent attacks on the Chareidi community by the secular media and said it is incumbent upon us not to hate who disparage us but to understand that Hakadosh Baruch Hu only allows problems to come upon Klal Yisroel only as a result of our own shortcomings.
Rabbi Edelstein compared the actions of the secular media, who seem to delight in inciting the public against the Chareidi community, to those of Bar Kamtza, who deliberately slandered the Jews to the Roman emperor when he felt slighted by the Rabbonim who did not save him from embarrassment. Rabbi Edelstein cautioned his listeners to remember that Hakadosh Baruch Hu allowed the Beis Hamikdash to be destroyed, not because of Bar Kamtza’s words, but because of the sinas chinam that existed in that generation.
Speaking just days before Asara B’Teves, Rabbi Edelstein said that while the Bais Hamikdash was destroyed because of the sin of sinas chinam – baseless hatred – the fact that the Bais Hamikdosh has still not been rebuilt is because we are still guilty of that same aveira.
“When we see incitement against our community,” said Rabbi Edelstein, “the natural thing to do is to hate those who are making the inflammatory statements. But by doing that we are guilty of sinas chinam. When Hakadosh Baruch Hu allows things like this to happen, we need to remember that we are the guilty party and we need to atone for the sins that we have done that have allowed these problems to occur. It is our sins that are the source of these problems, not those who slander us and it is appropriate for us to overcome our emotions and not hate those who deliberately malign us, despite their actions.”
To read the full speech here PDF