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Correct attitude towards the wicked


Rabbi Moshe Leib Halberstadt

Adar 10, 5770
Shalom, what attitude and behavior does our Creator expects from us towards Jews and Non-Jews who came to the Land of Israel in disrespect of its Holyness and now constantly are cursing, talking about indecent things, desecrating the Shabbat, mock needy, ill and desperate people instead of helping them and insult those who rebuke them in a way such barbarian and intimidating that they in their behavior thoroghly resemble the most wicked of the nations they have come from? Should we view their behavior in a tolerant way and forgive them again and again or protect the Sanctity of the Land, the Shabat and G-d’s Laws and our own right to have a place in the world where we can live without intimidation?
It is a complicated question; one should consult a Rabbi in each specific case. Generally speaking our attitude to every Jew should be reaching out with love, as the Rambam writes; it is fitting to bring them back in repentance and to attract them through peaceful ways until they return to the strength of Torah, or as the words of the Chazon Ish; we should bring them back with ropes of love, and make them stand in the beam of light as much as we can. If we cannot reach out to them for whatever reason, we should keep away from them as much as possible, and pray to Hashem that He should open their hearts and eyes and they should merit to fully repent. Regarding the non-Jews who do not conduct properly, we should keep away from them. As far as public campaigns are concerned and the decision of what situations require taking a public stand, it should be left to the decision of the great Torah Sages. Generally the way of Torah is "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace" (Proverbs 3, 17); only in outstanding situations where there is no other choice, public campaigns are held to protect important Jewish values. [רמב"ם פ"ג מהלכות ממרים ה"ג, חזו"א יו"ד סימן ב, טז].
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