Are there verses in the Torah (preferably 5 books of Moses) that predict the phenomena of anti-semitism, ie the irrational hatred of Jews throughout history?

  • Esther 3 [15char]
    – Double AA
    May 28, 2015 at 18:48
  • @DoubleAA thnx but looking more for the torah - ie chumash
    – ray
    May 28, 2015 at 18:51
  • 1
    This question would be stronger if you would edit in why you suspect that such verses may exist.
    – Isaac Moses
    May 28, 2015 at 19:33
  • Plenty of them in the tochecha- people unwilling to even buy you as slaves, using your name as a curse among the nations, etc. Many of the neviim discuss how we will be forsaken by the nations that we cleave to - they will turn and oppress us. Basically, it's all over, depending on how you're interpreting the term "anti-semitism." May 28, 2015 at 21:56
  • הן עם לבדד ישכן
    – wfb
    Jul 6, 2015 at 20:25

3 Answers 3


Anti-semitism is not irrational in the eyes of an observant Jew. In modern terms, principals in the Tora relate "Antisemitism" to a "secular" approach by Yisrael. The Tora determines that Mitzvos are mandatory and that in case they are not observed, a punishment in the form of harassments and even war by neighboring nations may be upheld against the Jews, or exile and subsequent pogroms while at exile.

Perhaps the strongest of the terrifying examples in the Tora is the out front warning in Parashas Bechukotai (Vayikra ch. 26) "And if you will not listen to me and avoid those Mitzvos ... (וְאִם לֹא תִשְׁמְעוּ לִי וְלֹא תַעֲשׂוּ אֵת כָּל הַמִּצְו‍ֹת הָאֵלֶּה)... And you will fall before you enemies (וְנִגַּפְתֶּם לִפְנֵי אֹיְבֵיכֶם) ... And I will bring an avenging sword upon you (וְהֵבֵאתִי עֲלֵיכֶם חֶרֶב נֹקֶמֶת) ... and you will be handed to your enemies (וְנִתַּתֶּם בְּיַד אוֹיֵב) ... etc

A source from Chazal also exists in the form of the famous saying by Rashbi that defines that hatred to Yisrael is a nature of Eisav: "It is known that Eisav hates Yaacov" (אמר רבי שמעון בן יוחאי הלכה היא, בידוע שעשו שונא ליעקב)

  • A source from Chazal also exists in the form of the famous saying by Rashbi that defines that hatred to Yisrael is a nature of Eisav But there is no evidence whatsoever that that statement had anything to do with anybody other than Esav and Ya'akov.
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 24, 2016 at 23:05

If what you mean by שנאת חנם is persecution, then I have some sources for you.

According to the following sources, the wound that the angel inflicted upon Yaakov was symbolic of the persecutions that his children would have to endure. Some of those who made this point also connect the symbolism at the end of the struggle to the coming of Moshiach.

Bereishis Rabba 77:3: ויגע בכף ירכו נגע בצדיקים ובצדיקות בנביאים ובנביאות שהן עתידין לעמוד ממנו ואיזה זה זה דורו של שמד.

Ramban in Vayishlach 32:26 quotes this medrash and builds off it: ואמרו בבראשית רבה (עז ג) נג בכל הצדיקים שעתידין להיות ממנו זה דורו של שמד והענין כי המאורע כלו רמז לדורותיו שיהיה דור בזרעו של יעקב יתגבר עשו עליהם עד שיהיה קרוב לקעקע ביצתן והיה זה דור אחד בימי חכמי המשנה כדור של רבי יהודה בן בבא וחביריו כמו שאמרו (שיר השירים ב ז) אמר רבי חייא בר אבא אם יאמר לי אדם תן נפשך על קדושת שמו של הקב"ה אני נותן ובלבד שיהרגוני מיד אבל בדורו של שמד איני יכול לסבול ומה היו עושים בדורו של שמד היו מביאין כדוריות של ברזל ומלבנין אותן באור ונותנין אותן תחת שיחיהן ומשיאין נפשותיהן מהן ויש דורות אחרים שעשו עמנו כזה ויותר רע מזה והכל סבלנו ועבר עלינו כמו שרמז ויבא יעקב שלם.

Zohar 1:170b: וְהוּא צוֹלֵעַ עַל יְרֵכוֹ. כְּדֵין אִיהוּ רֶמֶז דְּהָא בְּעוֹד דְּיִשְׂרָאֵל בְּגָלוּתָא וְסָבְלִין כְּאֵבִין וְצַעֲרִין וְכַמָּה בִּישִׁין, כַּד אִתְנְהִיר לוֹן יְמָמָא וְיֵיתֵי לוֹן נַיְיחָא, כְּדֵין יִסְתַּכְּלוּן וְיִכְאֲבוּן בְּגַרְמַיְיהוּ מִכַּמָּה בִּישִׁין וְצַעֲרִין דְּסָבְלוּ וְיִתְמְהוּ עֲלַיְיהוּ. בְּגִין כָּךְ וַיִּזְרַח לוֹ הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ. דְּהַהוּא זִמְנָא דְנַיְיחָא, וּכְדֵין וְהוּא צוֹלֵעַ עַל יְרֵכוֹ אִתְכָּאַב וְצָעֵיר גַּרְמֵיהּ עַל מַה דְּעֲבַר.

Chinuch #3: משרשי מצוה זו, כדי שתהיה רמז לישראל, שאף על פי שיסבלו צרות רבות בגלות מיד העמים ומיד בני עשו, יהיו בטוחים שלא יאבדו, אלא לעולם יעמד זרעם ושמם, ויבא להם גואל ויגאלם מיד צר.


There's a joke that it is always worth predicting what's going to happen anyway!

The Torah does not "predict" antisemitism, the Torah (e.g. Deut. 28:64-66) says that G-d Himself promises to use it as a tool for reprimanding the Jewish nation that goes off-way for any reason.

According to those versions, A.S. does not arise on its own, but G-d makes gentiles to hate and hurt us.

Any better than that?

  • A source for G-d employing anti-semitism? Why should G-d be the source of anti-semitism? A better and far superior answer, IMHO, would be that people (non-Jews) cause antisemitism, not G-d. Reward and punishment mentioned in the Bible was an incentive for the stupid masses, respectfully. G-d is all-good. Evil is the result of man’s doing, not G-d.
    – Turk Hill
    Nov 8, 2019 at 20:59
  • As the Torah says, Antisemitism is G-d's tool of shaping and controlling the behavior of His beloved people. G-d wrote that in the Torah BEFORE people sinned meaning that He prepared A.S, not that they caused it.
    – Al Berko
    Nov 10, 2019 at 19:32
  • True, the Torah says that if we go astray G-d will hide His face. It is, of course, metaphorically. G-d does not implement antisemitism, rather, it is due to people. People cause evil, not G-d. For it is inconceivable that G-d would create dark forces or harm His people. The Rambam said that G-d only does good.
    – Turk Hill
    Nov 11, 2019 at 5:47
  • To say otherwise would be to fault G-d of the holocaust, or to make an outlandish claim that they deserved it. G-d forbid!. If G-d did not cause the holocaust the next question is where was G-d during the holocaust? Passive piety in face of evil is not just. This question can be answered in the same way of the last, which is to say, that G-d created the world and removed Himself from earthly affairs. Moshe wrote the Torah by studying natural law which is divine. This sound radical but it is what the Rambam believed.
    – Turk Hill
    Nov 11, 2019 at 5:53

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