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N17. Despising Our Neighbor.    [Make a Comment]

We are not to despise our neighbor.

This precept is derived from His Word (blessed be He):

Key Scriptures

Proverbs 11:12
He who belittles another lacks good sense, whereas a person of discernment stays silent.

Proverbs 14:21
He who despises his fellow sins, but he who shows compassion to the humble is happy.

Romans 14:3
The one who eats anything must not look down on the one who abstains; and the abstainer must not pass judgment on the one who eats anything, because God has accepted him

1 Timothy 4:12
Don't let anyone look down on you because of your youth; on the contrary, set the believers an example in your speech, behavior, love, trust and purity.

Supportive Scriptures

Proverbs 6:30
A thief is not despised if he steals only to satisfy his appetite when hungry;

Matthew 5:22
But I tell you that anyone who nurses anger against his brother will be subject to judgment; that whoever calls his brother, 'You good-for-nothing!' will be brought before the Sanhedrin; that whoever says, 'Fool!' incurs the penalty of burning in the fire of Gei-Hinnom!


The natural un-regenerated man elevates himself and therefore despises his neighbors who are not like he is. We sometimes justify despising a person because he is our enemy or because of his sin. Scripture, on the other hand, calls us to despise a person's sin while having love and compassion for the person himself:

Jude 1:21-23:   Thus keep yourselves in God's love, as you wait for our Lord Yeshua the Messiah to give you the mercy that leads to eternal life. Rebuke some who are disputing; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and to yet others, show mercy, but with fear, hating even the clothes stained by their vices.

Classical Commentators

This Mitzvah is not addressed by any of the classical commentators.


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