When it says “When you see the donkey of one you hate struggling under its burden” etc… (Shemos 23:5), this “hated person” isn’t from the non-Jews, for they aren’t within the mitzvah of loading and unloading [animals] except because [of the prohibition against causing “pain to living things” — only a Jew is.
How is it possible for a Jew to be hated by another Jew, since the verse says “Do not hate your brother in your heart[, you shall surely rebuke your compatriot, and not carry a sin for him]” (Vayiqra 19:17)? The sages said, for example, if he personally and alone saw the person commit [a heinous] sin, and he warned him of it and he did not repent, it is a mitzvah to hate him until he does teshuvah and returns from his evil.
Even though he didn’t yet do teshuvah, if you find in in pain because of his burden [on an animal] it is a mitzvah to unload and load [the animal] with him and not leave him thus. For maybe he will wait for the sake of his money and come to danger, and the Torah is careful about the lives of Jews, whether evil whether righteous, since they are consecrated to Hashem and believe in the essence of the faith, as it says “Tell them: As I ‘Live’, says the L-rd Hashem, if I had any desire for the death of the wicked, rather, that the wicked return from his way and live; [return, return from your evil ways; for why must you die, house of Israel?” (Yechezqeil 33:17)
The piece about hating another Jew has some interesting facets:
- The assumption is that since the Torah doesn’t allow a Jew to hate another (under normal circumstances), there is no way the verses pertaining to loading and unloading animals could possibly refuse to someone who hates another despite the prohibition. This is interesting as hatered is an emotion, and thus many people will inadvertantly violate the prohibition of “you shall not hate”.
- The need for the person to be a solitary witness is so that:
- he knows that the person is a sinner without relying on lashon hara or rumor and
- he has no recourse to testify in beis din as that requires two witnesses.
- Even while the person still embraces evil, we must love him as Hashem does, as we see our brother’s still untapped potential to return to the nation’s calling. “That the wicked turn from his way and live.”