The Rebbe RaShaB on Ahavat Yisrael
The 2nd of Nisan is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Shalom Dov Ber (ben Shmuel) Schneerson, the Rebbe RaShaB, fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe. The kelipah of Midian, then, is baseless hatred, hatred that has no specific reason. It is not [aroused] because one has been harmed or opposed by another person in any particular way. Such a hatred would be derived from an individual attribute, and hence is not the kelipah of Midian, but rather that which fell (as a result of the “shattering of the vessels”) from the attribute of severity (Gevurah) of Tohu, which leads to anger and hatred of an opponent. The presence of opposition is the cause of quarreling and contention.
However, the strife, contention, and hatred that stems from the kelipah of Midian is not activated by any specific point, but rather by the inability of one person to tolerate another, even if he does not know him and has never had any dealings with him. Such a person finds it impossible to unite with the other, since he hates him for no reason. This is what is called baseless hatred.
At times, this hatred settles on a specific point; a person has some complaint against his fellowman which he uses to explain his hatred. In reality, however, this is only a rationalization which follows the fact. The specific complaints are not the actual cause of the hatred. He may find some pretext and false charge to justify himself before others, but they do not represent the true cause. For this hatred arises solely from his inability to tolerate another. Its cause is yeshus – egotism. He is so important in his own eyes that his yeshus and self-concern are dominant in every particular aspect [of his life]. This is why he cannot tolerate anyone else. His yeshus does not leave room for anyone else; [he views] another’s existence as a detraction from his own, and hence intolerable.
Thus, it is primarily his own yeshus which leads him to view another person as an opponent. His opposition is not to a particular factor, but to the other’s simply existing. The mere existence of another person detracts from his yeshus and prompts him [to view others as] opponents, making it impossible for him to tolerate them.
[In contrast,] the realm of holiness is characterized by bittul (self-effacement), and hence by oneness and synthesis. When one’s attitude is one of bittul, he leaves room for others; he accepts them and becomes one with them.
Thus, in the realm of evil yeshus leaves no room for others, opposing them because of their very existence. This is the reason for divisiveness and intolerance. By contrast, the bittul of holiness leaves room for others, allowing one to accept and act in harmony with them.
Chapter Four of Haichaltzu: A Chassidic Discourse on Loving Jews: with permission of Sichos in English. See Complete Discourse Here.