Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness.
So said Martin Luther King, Jnr. Rabbi Sacks agrees and says: “To be free you have to let go of hate.” Then you can: “Be clear. Be focused. Be visionary.”
Moses had learned this lesson and could teach God’s command: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev.19:18). Abrahamic monotheism was the first moral system to be based not just on justice and reciprocity – do for others what you would like them to do for you – but on love. What is really unexpected is what he says about hate:
“Do not hate an Egyptian, because you were a stranger in his land” (Deut. 23:7).
The former slaves would remain enslaved if they harbored hate in their hearts The way to true freedom was to let go of hate, the root of which is self-pity and pride.
Letting Go of Hate – 14.31 minutes
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Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence