144. Judaism does not teach hatred

Medhat Credi's hate letter (April 26) [143] spreads false stories about a group of people, clearly with the intention of making them seem evil. It should not have been published, because we have just recently seen again that words of hate will encourage some people to slaughter the innocent.

Judaism does not teach hatred. Rather, on each Sabbath we pray for the time to come when all peoples shall live in peace. The Talmud is a collection of documents, many of them ancient, often with other writings that disagree n whole or part. Some of them go back to the time of the destruction of the first temple in Jerusalem, when Jewish worship included animal sacrifice. Finding those writings in the Talmud does not mean that animal sacrifice is still practiced; it ended 20 centuries ago.

Mr. Credi has become well-known for his letters defending the Palestinian cause. Now the Palestinian and Israeli leader, and the leaders of many Muslim nations, have decided to seek peace, Mr. Credi appears to have aligned himself with those, on both sides, who want to keep up the killing. I would like to give him the same message I've given Israelis who spoke Anti-Arab sentiments in my hearing. In 1945, I was a soldier on Okinawa, doing my best to kill Japanese who were trying equally hard to kill me. Of course, we hated each other. Within 10 years, I came to know two Japanese my age as individuals, and we became friends and remain friends to this day. It is possible to learn to respect your ex-enemies, and perhaps even to love some, if you can set aside the stereotypes of hate.

Marvin Margoshes, Tarrytown

May 3, 1995

For a rebuttal see [145]