At its inception, a profound and great hatred of evil must involve a hatred of evil people.
Afterwards, it is mitigated by the power of one’s intellect and it is clarified, until it attains a rarefied state of purity: until it becomes solely a hatred of evil.
And as for those people who possess evil—i.e., evil people—one is filled with compassion for them. “May sins be wiped out, not sinners” (Talmud).
But if from its inception this attitude is already in its ideal form, so that it is directed solely into a hatred of abstract evil, it will never truly become a hatred of evil. The lack of hatred for evil people will weaken that hatred against evil. And then the entire treasury of goodness is placed in great danger.
This has been the stumbling block of many great people. They fell because from the very beginning they made use of hatred of evil in its rarefied state. As a result, their lack of hatred for evil people was afterwards transformed into a love for them. And then, as a result of loving evil people, they fell into loving evil itself.
Thus, a person’s initial thought must possess the content of the trait of judgment. Only afterwards may the trait of compassion come and mitigate it by becoming its partner.
Otzrot Harayah, pp. 1240-1241