#30. Not to Cherish Hatred in One's Heart.
recorded Jan14 2017
"Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart."
We are taught that we ought not to judge before we have the facts, and this is true. But what if we have the facts? May we then judge? And HOW may we judge?
It is a fact that if a sinner or criminal believes he or she is being watched by discerning eyes, the sinning or criminal behavior is likely to be avoided. Sinners and criminals work best in the dark, that is, without being found out. Sinners and criminals ALSO work well if they are found out but no consequence comes to pass!
We already know that mitzvah 613.26 commands us to rebuke our neighbor's sin, and that Jesus Christ likewise teaches this commandment (Matthew 18:15-17), as well as providing a strategy to fulfill it. You are not permitted to be silent. If you are silent, this makes you an accessory to the sin, and also defines you as someone who hates his neighbor, breaking another commandment (613.26). Sin must not go unreported or un-confronted.
If you speak in judgment to your brother who is a sinner, you are CORRECT to do so. Those who say it is wrong to confront a sin are themselves accessories to the sin, or are themselves sinners. Those who defend sin are sinners. It's THAT simple.
There is of course a chance, if you confront or report a sin, that you will be called a "snitch." This is one reason why 619.26, and Jesus Christ, suggests the proper way to approach a sinner is first by yourself, then with witnesses, then with the entire congregation. In this way, you are blameless. First, since you are commanded to confront the sinner, you are blameless in your intent. Second, if you confront without force of the civil law (though it is not forbidden to turn in a criminal), you are blameless in your approach. Attempting to turn a person from wrong to right is a virtue, not a vice.
Naturally, if you confront or report a sin, it's possible you may face retribution from the sinner. The commandment seems to suggest that you place yourself in danger. In a non-Torah society, the individuals of a community are afraid to report or confront, and therefore sinners feel emboldened to commit retribution against those who report or confront. However, in a Torah society, confrontation against sin is meritorious, and therefore brings protection. In a Torah society, the community stands behind you!
Much more in our lesson today! Click and listen.
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