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    Linkage Between Sinas
    Chinom and Absence of
    Simcha [Between
    Needless Hatred and
    Absence of Joy]
    At the end of the
    Tochacha [verses of
    rebuke in our Parsha],
    the pasuk [verse] says that these ninety-eight
    terrible curses come “as the result of your not
    having served the L-rd, your G-d, with joy
    and with good spirit (b’simcha u’vtuv leivav)
    when you had and abundance of
    everything” [Devarim 28:47]. This is an
    unbelievable statement. It seems harsh that
    such terrible curses should befall the Jewish
    people, just because people are lacking what
    seems to be a “hidur mitzvah” [glorification
    of a mitzvah, which is not absolutely
    necessary] of observing commandments in a
    state of joy.
    Moreover, there is another difficulty: Our
    Sages tell us that the Tochacha that we find at
    the end of Sefer Vayikra [Leviticus]
    corresponded historically to the events of the
    First Temple period; this Tochacha —
    in Parshas Ki Savo — is referring to the
    period leading up to the destruction of the
    Second Temple. We all know that the Sages
    tell us that the reason the Second Beis
    HaMikdash was destroyed was because of
    baseless hatred (sin’as chinam). So these two
    teachings of Chaza”l, our Sages, seem
    contradictory. What was the reason for the
    destruction of the second Temple — Was it
    ‘baseless hatred’ or was it ‘failure to
    serve G-d with joy’?
    Perhaps there is no contradiction. The Torah
    is referring to the underlying cause of the
    churban Bayis Sheni [destruction of the
    Second Temple]. The underlying cause of the
    churban Bayis Sheni was lack of Simcha
    [joy]. Failure to serve G-d with joy, in turn,
    leads to Sinas Chinam.
    What does this mean? Chaza”l say that
    Talmidei Chachomim [scholars] increase
    peace in the world. How is this done? I once
    saw, written in the name of Rav Chatzkel
    Abramsky, z”tl, that a person who is a Talmid
    Chachom, in the real sense of the word, is a
    person who is at peace with himself. He is
    happy and satisfied with what he is
    accomplishing in life. As a result, he exudes
    his inner happiness and inner peace and that
    has an effect on other people.
    When a person is happy with himself, the
    feeling is contagious. He is willing to share
    that peace and that happiness. Those feelings
    affect other people. When a person is not
    happy with himself, he is miserable and he
    dislikes other people’s happiness or success.
    Just as happiness rubs off, so too unhappiness

    rubs off and such a person cannot be satisfied
    with anyone else’s success.
    Chaza”l are telling us that because you were
    not happy with your lot and you were not
    b’simcha, therefore the consequence is
    baseless hatred. When a person is not happy
    with himself, he cannot tolerate others having

    any kind of happiness either.
    There is thus no contradiction. The Second
    Temple was destroyed because of Sinas
    Chinom, but Sinas Chinom results from
    people who are not happy with themselves,
    are not b’simcha, and are not
    doing mitzvos b’simcha.