Given their brutality, one would think that the Torah would call on the Israelites to hate the Egyptians, to bear a lasting grudge. However, Deuteronomy exhorts, “Do not hate an Egyptian, for you were a stranger in his country.” Removal from Egypt was not enough, teaches Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. The Israelites also had to remove Egyptian brutality from their hearts. We don’t have to love our enemy, but by refusing to hate them, by recalling even one good quality they possess, we can ensure to not become that which we decry.
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