Torah Innovation, Education & Publication

Rabbi Benjamin Hecht
Nishma Insight
...Sinat chinum is usually translated as causeless or baseless hatred. Literally the term means "free hatred" and so the general translation: it is hatred that is free, that just flows without cause. The Talmud, though, specifically ties, to this term, the notion of hiding one's hatred. Indeed, seforim such as Kad Hakemach1 and Ahavat Yisrael,2 connect sinat chinum to the transgression of hating a fellow Jew in one's heart,3 which is understood by many, including Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot De'ot 6:5,6, as specifically applying when one maintains hatred hidden, solely in one's heart. It would seem to be the hiding of one's hatred, not the lack of reason for the hatred, that is the basis of sinat chinum...

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