Luke 6:27

New Testament

25 Woe to you who are well satisfied with food now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. 26 Woe to you when all people speak well of you, for their ancestors did the same things to the false prophets. 27But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 To the person who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other as well, and from the person who takes away your coat, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your possessions back from the person who takes them away.

Berakhot 10a

Babylonian Talmud

With regard to the statement of Rabbi Yehuda, son of Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi, that David did not say Halleluya until he saw the downfall of the wicked, the Gemara relates: There were these hooligans in Rabbi Meir’s neighborhood who caused him a great deal of anguish. Rabbi Meir prayed for God to have mercy on them, that they should die. Rabbi Meir’s wife, Berurya, said to him: What is your thinking? On what basis do you pray for the death of these hooligans? Do you base yourself on the verse, as it is written: “Let sins cease from the land” (Psalms 104:35), which you interpret to mean that the world would be better if the wicked were destroyed? But is it written, let sinners cease?” Let sins cease, is written. One should pray for an end to their transgressions, not for the demise of the transgressors themselves. Moreover, go to the end of the verse, where it says: “And the wicked will be no more.” If, as you suggest, transgressions shall cease refers to the demise of the evildoers, how is it possible that the wicked will be no more, i.e., that they will no longer be evil? Rather, pray for God to have mercy on them, that they should repent, as if they repent, then the wicked will be no more, as they will have repented.

 Notes and References

"... The point is well-taken that the Rabbis and early Christians both have a counterbalancing principle that one may love and help the enemy. The Torah commands, “When you encounter your enemy's ox or donkey lost, return it to them. When you see the donkey of your enemy lying [collapsed] under its/his burden, if you would [wish to] stop and refrain from helping it/him, you must nevertheless help [raise it] with him.” (Exodus 23:4-5). As in the parable of the Good Samaritan the test of enmity occurs on the road when there is no one else to help. In the Torah the enemy is an ethnic brother but one's personal foe. The Rabbis suggest pragmatically that by conquering your impulse to take vengeance the enemy may even be transformed into your ally by your unexpected act of kindness ("Who is a hero? One who turns an enemy into a friend"- Avot D'Rabbi Natan 23). One holds out hope for the enemy to change which is a sign of concern for the other, but one also overcomes one's negative trait of vengeance and grudge-bearing. Associated with the commandment not to hate one's brother and to love one's fellow is the prohibition on bearing grudges and taking vengeance (Leviticus 19:17-18). If the enemy is not only a personal foe but a morally-delinquent fellow Jew, then one may show love by seeking their repentance (b. Berakhot 10a) ... Even national enemies are not to be abhorred forever, rather one recalls better days: You shall abhor an Egyptian for you were a stranger in their land (Deuteronomy 23:8). But Jesus does not merely forbid hate and commend one-sided offers of aid. He insists on a paradoxical reversal of feelings: “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28) ..."

Zion, Noam For the Love of God: Comparative Religious Motivations for Giving (p. 90) Zion Holiday Publications, 2013

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