Is there an standard way for a Jew to deal with the threat of hatred, particularly that which stems from a public forum such as a hate group? Do I:

  • Simply ignore it
  • Write to my local council/state government/police etc. and complain, or
  • picket and attend demonstrations?

Is there a law, teaching or strong tradition which suggests what to do in this situation?

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    anthony-arnold, welcome to Judaism.SE, and thanks for sharing this very tricky question! I hope someone here has some useful information or advice for you, and I look forward to seeing you around.
    – Isaac Moses
    Jan 9, 2012 at 4:14
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    @simchas. The haggadah is pretty long. Care to be more specific?
    – HodofHod
    Jan 9, 2012 at 4:23
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    @HodofHod I think he is referring to "Ela Shebechol Dor VaDor Omdim Alenu Lechalotenu VeHaKadosh Baruch Matzilneu Miyadim." Jan 9, 2012 at 4:27
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    anthony-arnold, since this is for you, alas, a practical question, I'll advise you that answerers here, while they may offer good advice, should not necessarily be relied upon: I suggest you consult your local rabbi, B'nai B'rith, and/or the police for practical advice.
    – msh210
    Jan 9, 2012 at 5:44
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    @avi Sorry to be "that guy", but do you think there is no Anti-Semitism in Israel...?
    – AviD
    Jan 9, 2012 at 9:53

3 Answers 3


Nachmanides (in his commentary on Genesis) and others posit that we have much to learn from the actions of, especially, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in Genesis. In his introduction to 32:4, he writes:

This section was written to inform us that God helped His servant and saved him from the power of someone stronger than he, sending His agent and saving him. It informs us also that he [=Jacob] did not rely on his piety: he tried to save [himself] to the extent he could. There's a further hint here for generations: that whatever happened to our father [Jacob] with his brother Esau will happen to us always with Esau's descendants, and it is appropriate for us to hold on to the righteous [Jacob]'s way. That is, we should set ourselves up for the three things he set himself up for: prayer; a gift; and being saved militarily, to flee and be saved.

So for cases of threat of direct attack (rather than nonviolent demonstrations of hatred), there are three components: prayer to God for safety, appeasing the enemy so as to prevent an attack, and practical plans in case the attack does (chas v'shalom) take place. (How Jacob did these is described in verses 8–24.) As to a case of nonviolent hatred (e.g., a peaceable demonstration), well, the following is merely my own thoughts on the matter, so take them with a heavy grain of salt, but it seems to me that such things can lead (immediately or later) to threats of violence, chas v'shalom, so the above three steps still make sense (but must, of course, be informed by context). None of this is very detailed, however: none of it says what to give an enemy (or how to do so) in order to appease him, or what military strategy. I don't know whether those issues are dealt with in Torah texts; even if they are, doubtless the particulars of a case would be important in deciding.


Rabbi Jonathan Sacks response: Antisemitism: What it is and how to deal with it. To summarize the parts that kinda address this question: Assimilation will not succeed in curbing antisemitism; do not ever define ourselves as the hated people; do be candid about the evil of antisemites; and advertise antisemitism as hatred of everyone different and thus a broad threat.

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    summary? (fill space) Jan 10, 2012 at 0:34
  • its a huge thesis very long Its not possible Jan 10, 2012 at 0:44
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    @ShmuelBrill, done.
    – msh210
    Jan 10, 2012 at 5:22
  • I have high respect for Rabbi Sacks. I should read that article. I somewhat disagree with the last statement. Anti-Semitism is a unique form hatred that is a "subset" of the broad hatred threat. But, I think Jews need to "advertise" it as a more serious form of hatred than that done to other religions.
    – DanF
    Jan 15, 2019 at 15:12

Anti Semitism is part of life until G-d has Messiah reveals himself. For Rashi says, “It is a law that Eisav hates Yaakov" and “Amongst the nations, you will not be tranquil…”

Does the Torah contain a SOLUTION for Jew-hatred?

Do not get involved in their lifestyle. Meaning, don't attend their movie theaters or sports stadium.

In Achrei Mos the posuk says, “… do not perform the practices of the land of Canaan to which I bring you and do not follow their customs.”

Rashi says, “… Matters that are etched for them in their ways as if they were laws, such as theaters and stadiums i.e., (days set aside for) attendance at theaters or stadiums…”

Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l says that one who goes to a movie theater or sports stadium does not violate, “do not follow their customs.” Yet he states the following:

“Anyone who goes to these places transgresses the prohibitions of moshav leitzim (gatherings of frivolity and unethical behavior) and bitul Torah; not only does he transgress during the time spent in those places, but he also transgresses because these activities cause him to stop learning Torah entirely… in addition, he also brings upon himself the yeitzer hara of promiscuity, as most of these things entail depraved speech and turning people towards promiscuity.” The only time one can attend a sports stadium is when Jews are renting it out for an event, like a Siyum HaShas etc.

If Albert Einstein had a theory of Jew-hatred, this is what would look like:

Separation = Holiness -> Assimilation ≠ Holiness -> No Separation = Assimilation -> Assimilation = Jew-hatred -> Jew-hatred = Annihilation of our nation - Hitler = the Holocaust.

G-d spread us across the globe with one mission specifically: To be a light unto the nations and not to learn from their ways.

The more we stick to our way of life and not theirs, the more they will respect us and the fewer problems we will have with them. In the words of Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch: “If you are an authentic Jew, you will be respected because of this, not in spite of it.”

Read A Solution for Antisemitism.

  • Are you saying that the linked article will show how to deal with anti-semitism, or that reading the article IS how to deal with it? If the former then it is a link-only answer and should probably instead be a comment.
    – Alex
    Apr 5, 2018 at 20:11
  • Your edited answer appears to be a verbatim citation from the article. As such, you need to cite the article in your answer. Even with a citation it is not advisable to copy and paste such long quotes from other articles. See judaism.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/548/… . It is best if you summarize it and provide a link.
    – Alex
    Apr 5, 2018 at 20:35
  • Sorry, I think the new edit is even more problematic. Now not only are you not noting that you are quoting verbatim from an article, you are also not noting that you are selectively leaving out parts of the source you are quoting from.
    – Alex
    Apr 5, 2018 at 20:43
  • @Alex: what would you like me to do? Apr 5, 2018 at 20:46
  • The simplest option is to post a comment to the question with the link to the article (and delete this answer). If you want to actually provide an answer you can read the article and then compose an answer summarizing the main points of the article, state that you are summarizing the article, and include a link.
    – Alex
    Apr 5, 2018 at 20:55

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