Rav Avigdor Miller on Loving Your Troublesome Neighbor

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Q:
If I was harmed by a fellow Jew in some way, do I still have an obligation to love him?

A:
If someone was harmed by his fellow Jew, the love that he must feel for that fellow Jew should continue undiminished. And that’s because our yardstick for who to love and when to love is not our emotions and instincts – our yardstick is the words of הקדוש ברוך הוא.

Now, you have the right to call your fellow Jew to a דין תורה, and under certain circumstances עביד איניש דינא לנפשיה – sometimes the Torah allows you to take the law into your own hands. And you have the right to tell him what wrong he did to you, because the Torah says לא תשנא את אחיך הלב בלבביך – “You must not hate your fellow Jew in your heart” (Vayikra 19:17). And the Rambam explains that it shouldn’t be festering in your heart. Tell him, work things out and go on.

Therefore, the fact that somebody wronged you does not make him פסול, unfit, or unworthy of the mitzvah of loving our fellow Jews. Only when he is no longer רעך במצוות, when he is no longer your fellow Jew in performance of mitzvos, only then would the mitzvah to love him not apply. But if it’s a person who keeps the mitzvos, he keeps the Torah in general, then it makes no difference what he did to you. You are still מחויב, obligated, to love him. Now I realize that this is not an easy thing to do, but that is the חוק התורה. That’s what the Torah requires and that’s what is expected of us על פי דין תורה.
TAPE # 928