The Talmud says that the Second Temple was destroyed because "senseless hatred" [sin'at chinam] prevailed. Yoma 9b

אבל מקדש שני שהיו עוסקין בתורה ובמצות וגמילות חסדים מפני מה חרב מפני שהיתה בו שנאת חנם ללמדך ששקולה שנאת חנם כנגד שלש עבירות ע"ז גלוי עריות ושפיכות דמים

The use of the word "senseless" implies that there is hatred that makes sense. What is it?

The following help, but do not fully answer the question. Any other sources?

Rashi says “senseless hatred” is hatred of people who have not committed any action justifying the hatred. [Rashi on Shabbat 32b] And what are those actions? Talmud: You may bear ill will towards someone if you witnessed him engaging in an act forbidden by the Torah. [Pesachim 113b]. However, you must assist him quickly, before assisting those you love [so that the ill will does not turn to hatred.] [Bava Metzia 32b]. Now, how do you know that you have reached the point of hatred? When you do not speak to your fellow for three days because of enmity. [Sanhedrin 27b]

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    I'm a bit confused about what you're asking. You quote directly a Rashi and Gemara that say that a 'sensible' hatred is 'ill will towards someone if you witnessed him engaging in an act forbidden by the Torah'. Why doesn't that answer your question sufficiently? Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 20:27
  • Because I can think of plenty of hatreds that "make sense": Nazis, antisemites who murdered relatives and friends, the man your girlfriend ran away with, people who abuse children, and so forth. I am not saying the hatred is healthy, but it makes sense Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 21:00
  • It seems like all those examples you quoted (perhaps with the exception of 'the man your girlfriend ran away with', depending on the details of the case) would fit under the rubric of the Gemara that you're allowed to hate for 'engaging in an act forbidden by the Torah'. Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 21:28
  • Your coworker who got the promotion instead of you, and did not deserve it. Many other indicators that life is not fair. As the Ramban pointed out, people can behave in a lot of disgusting ways and still be in full compliance with the letter of the Torah. Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 21:48
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    Sin'at chinam doesn't mean hatred that is not understandable. It means hatred that does not meet the Torah's standard of being deserved. Your coworker unfairly getting the promotion does not make him deserving of hatred in the Torah's view. It is emotionally speaking an understandable hatred, but halachically speaking it is not a deserved hatred.
    – Jay
    Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 23:10

3 Answers 3


Tehillim 97.10

"אֹהֲבֵי ה' שִׂנְאוּ רָע שֹׁמֵר נַפְשׁוֹת חֲסִידָיו מִיַּד רְשָׁעִים יַצִּילֵם."

"O you who love the LORD, hate evil! He guards the lives of His loyal ones, saving them from the hand of the wicked. "


From the teachings of R' Moshe Luria Z"l

  1. There are two types of Mitzvos, as we know -
    between man and G-d and between fellow men.

  2. Accordingly, there are two types of hatred -
    one that mirrors between man and G-d, when a person hates the bad, the wrong, when he sympathizes Hashem, as in:

    פִּינְחָס בֶּן אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן הֵשִׁיב אֶת חֲמָתִי מֵעַל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
    בְּקַנְאוֹ אֶת קִנְאָתִי בְּתוֹכָם1

    and one that mirrors the later - when a person hates the other because the other seems to be bad toward him, not toward G-d.

  3. Any personal hatred that is not evaluated in terms of the Halachah can be considered Sinas Hinam.

For example (really nothing personal):

  • "I hate the Eznikes because they do Hilul Hashem by blocking roads and hurting bypassers. Because I think it is hateful in G-d's eyes" - this is a good and useful hatred.

  • "I hate the Eznikes because they are crazy and stinky" - this is Sinas Hinam as I don't evaluate their behavior in terms of the Halacha.

1)I know it's about jealousy, but the idea is the same

  • I think it's Tehillim 90 (around that area) - it's sadi as part of Kabbalat Shabbat - "Those that love God hate evil." Your answer is exactly in line with this concept.
    – DanF
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 17:24

Tehillim 139:21-22

הֲלוֹא־מְשַׂנְאֶ֖יךָ יְהֹוָ֥ה | אֶשְׂנָ֑א וּ֜בִתְקֽוֹמְמֶ֗יךָ אֶתְקוֹטָֽט:

Behold, I hate Your enemies, O Lord; With those who rise up against You, I quarrel.

תַּכְלִ֣ית שִׂנְאָ֣ה שְׂנֵאתִ֑ים לְ֜אֹֽיְבִ֗ים הָ֣יוּ לִֽי:

I hate them with utmost hatred; they have become my enemies.

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