The Person I Hate the Most

The Person I Hate the Most

I don’t often hate people.

This is the result of a conscious decision I made a few years ago. I came to the understanding that the primary victim of my own hatred is ME. When I hate someone I get all obsessed and upset and focused all the time on a person I hate rather than all the wonderful things and people that fill my life. I realized hatred’s just not worth it.

But this year, I have a problem. For the first time in quite a few years there is a person I hate with all my heart. I want this person to die an excruciating death. And believe me, JewishMOM, if you knew what this person has done, you would too.

This person is especially hatred-provoking because he feels zero shame or guilt for the ways in which he has hurt so many other people.

On a halachic level, this person is unquestionably a Rasha, an evil person. That means that halachically, I am allowed to hate him. In fact, on a halachic level, this person deserves the death penalty.

But then again, even though I’m allowed to hate him, the primary victim of my hatred is ME.

And this hatred I feel is so intense and so long-standing that as I approach Passover I feel this hatred is the Mitrayim I need to make my exodus from this year, IY”H.

So I wanted to share two powerful ideas I heard from Mrs. Miryam Swerdlov on the topic of overcoming hatred.*

The first thing she explained is that hurt people hurt people. Yes, I meant to write that twice. She means that people who have been hurt are the ones who hurt others.

This man I hate is an evil person. A profoundly sick person. And he is also, in his own way, probably a victim of crimes similar to the ones he himself has committed. That doesn’t mean that I or his victims need to forgive him. He has chosen to not seek treatment for his own destructive patterns, and for his repulsive desire to create other victims like himself. But this understanding does take the sting out of the hatred I feel for him.

And Mrs. Swerdlov mentioned another helpful realization about overcoming hatred that she had a few years ago at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. While they were reciting the 12-step slogan “Let Go, and Let G-d” Mrs. Swerdlov decided to alter the slogan in her own mind to: “Let Go, or get Dragged!”

If there is a difficult situation you cannot change, a difficult situation you are unable to fix, then let go of it. Because if you don’t let go of it, oy vey, it will drag you around and around and around like a person tied by his hands to a wild horse.

Yep, that’s me, tied to a situation I cannot fix, being dragged around and around and around by my own hatred.

Please bless me, JewishMOMs, that this Passover Hashem will enable me to free myself from this wild horse that has been dragging me around for so many months, and gives me no peace. This hatred I feel for this hateful person.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to forgive him. I will never forgive him. But I definitely don’t want my own hatred to enable him to turn me into yet another one of his victims.

*I heard Mrs. Swerdlov teaching on the Chazak Hotline, the short inspirational pre-Pesach classes for women.

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13 comments

  1. May you find that peace this Pesach. Nobody deserves to live in slavery–especially the slavery of hatred.

  2. Chana your so right about the dragged part, I think u also suffer a combination of hate towards the injustice of how this nightmare goes on…so its hard to let go of completely since its down the street…I would say to channel the energy or give it a road when it comes back your way..let it go to a smaller part of your consciessness and assure it that you’ll give it your full attention “at the right time” and put it off, maybe you could “make time” for the negative thoughts and energy when your alone and talk it out with Hashem, that way you can start “letting go” by taming the energy….just a thought, but I do pray that you overcome this difficult obsticle in your neighborhood and that you and all of nachlaots children see a true redemption this pesach! Hag sameach v kasher!

  3. Forgive the editor in me. She never stops editing.

    The wise person you quote spells her name Miryam Swerdlov, not Miriam Swerdlow. I am lucky that she is my daughters’ teacher.

    My heart goes out to you, Chana Jenny, that you have to deal with this. Ugh. Oy. May Hashem help to settle this fast.

    How is it, Hashem, that pedophiles go free (b’gashmius, anyway) and Sholom Mordechai ben Rivka Rubashkin spends his third Pesach in prison?

  4. miryam swerdlov

    so nice to see myself quoted. i am wondering where you heard me? was it in mill basin? or on the chazak line? just wondering.
    so happy i helped.
    makes me feel good.

    • JewishMom

      wow! so exciting to see a comment from you! you are one of my favorite speakers! I love listening to your classes on the Chazak Hotline–I love your mini-classes before pesach.

  5. Rachel Shifra

    Behatzlocha with your quest! I know you can do it! Two things I want to share about hate and that concept.
    1. There was this woman who was (lo aleinu) raped and her attacker was caught and it went to trial. During the trial the defence for his side was trying to prove that the rape didn’t affect her because she had gone on with her life and was very successful. Her answer was profound. She said. ‘He had five mins of my life, I don’t need to let him have the rest of it’.
    The second thing that came up for me is, respect that you have the hate, it will motivate you to make a change. It also in some way makes you different from the accused who seemingly have no regret or outrage at injustice. I would first give yourself a pat on the back that you ARE a moral and ethical person. Then to let go of the hate. But it is there for a reason! Time heals.
    Love you hope this helps.

  6. Chana Jenny,
    I hope you will be able to let go of the hate. I have been able to do it a few times over the course of the years and it is liberating.
    Have a Chag Kasher Vsameach.
    Thanks for your thought provoking website.

  7. Hadassah

    Dear Chana,
    You are so amazing to share such personal and intimate thoughts with so wide an audience. The hatred is only good if it motivates you to take positive action. Which from what I can see you have done by spearheading the fund raising to help the victims. What happens to the perpetrator of these crimes is totally in Hashem’s hands, even if he does get arrested, his punishment will be Hashem’s doing. So you can relax because who knows better and can take the full measure of what he deserves and inflict it upon him in whichever manner will be best. Even if you were to be so hateful as to take a gun and shoot him (not that I advise this!) you would have no control over what happens to his neshama after that. so leave it up to Hashem and have a personal yetziyas mitzrayim.
    The hatred you would carry around with you is weighing you down as much as the 100 pounds of stuff you just dumped!
    Happy and kosher Pesach.

  8. shalom jenny
    you hate, no way jenny that is so not you

    i dont hate him and you know that i really have reason to. i just will not lower myself to that low place of anger and hate.not any more.

    and something very interesting is happening with him. the more i have peace and quiet in myself the more he is bursting out and losing control. aint that great

    if you want to stop him and his evil deeds and break his power, you must be calm and let it go. you must do what you do so well and continue, but please leave him to me.he has a fatal attraction to me and cant let me go so that means that me and him need to dance the death dance to the end.

    jenny if you just keep putting out postive stories that cheer people up you are already doing your part in bringing down the evil ones – and dont block yourself because of him.

    and also know that it is all false confidence that you see from him. its an illusion here that he promotes. he is so angry that he lost all and that no one wants him around. he cannot accept this

    just be happy, and have a wonderful holiday and lets give hashem the right to destroy the evil among us in his time, though its so hard for us to wait.

    i have a new sentance hows this

    justice will shine out of jerusalem and you are in the spotlight

    in other words how are you shining or blocking the light of justice
    – so shine baby shine and anyway it suits you to shine and bubble and be chirpy

    • JewishMom

      I actually did not write this article about “S.” I also hate him, of course, but haven’t been thinking much about him recently. I wrote about a different pedophile from the neighborhood.

  9. ruth, a fatal attraction? does Israel have restraining orders? can u get one? this is frightening

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