Shelf Your Hatred – Better Use Your Time Productively

This past Sunday was Tisha B’Av.

The Day when both Beit Hamikdash / Holy Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed.

The first was destroyed by the Babylonians. The Second by the Romans.

Hatred – the Great Time Waster

Many people hated the Jews.

the Babylonians. The Romans. The Greeks. The Ancient Egyptians. The Nazis.

Where are they Now? I don’t know. But we never see them anymore.

The Jews are Here.

Putin recently met with the chief Rabbi of Israel – Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef. He asked a chief rabbi that question – “Why did many great civilizations perish and the Jews remained?”

Putin answered himself – “I’ll tell you. You remained because of the merit of Rabbis and the Torah that you follow.”

Jews have the Torah.

Mark Twain asked the same question in his famous Harpers Row Essay on the Jews:

“What is the secret of the eternity of the Jews?”

He left it unanswered in his essay. But Putin Was right. He got the Answer.

This answers the question – but what can we learn from it?

Survival Based upon Torah

One very important point is that on a worldwide level, national level, family level, and individual level – survival is based upon Torah.

Let’s explain. “And you shall delve in it [the Torah] day and night.” (Yehoshua / Joshua 1:8). One explanation says that if it were not for Torah – G-d wouldn’t have created the world. The world exists because of the constant Torah learning of the Jews. If they were to stop – G-d forbid – one moment – the world would return to Toho Vavohu – chaos.

The Nation’s survival depends upon Torah. When the Jews transgressed the Torah – by commiting the three cardinal sins – idolatry, bloodshed and immorality – in the first temple time – that caused the destruction of the first Temple. In the second temple – it was gratuitous hatred that caused its destruction.

A family’s survival depends upon a Torah education. Assimilation among Jews that never had a Jewish education is rampant. 70% of them intermarry – breaking their chain of descendancy of Judaism from their family. They lose their Jewish legacy.

On a personal level – without Torah – a person gets involved with many vanities and many a time – loses their life in the pursuit of materialism and loses their sight from their goal and purpose in life – to do good for the world. Even if they achieve goodness – it is likely they could have ahieved more – had they learned and observed Torah. I learned most of the above thorugh experience, thought and study of history and statistics.

Lesson Two – Hatred is a Waste of Time

For one thing – a person who hates the Jews – will learn that hatred amounts to nothing more than a waste of time. It is true they will be able to vent their emotions of hate, but what will the gain in the end? Nothing. Did they become a better person for their hate? Did they improve the world? No. Hatred does in a sense serve the Jews – because it cause the Jews to be more united. But the hater will be punished.

There is a story of Nero, the Ceasar.

The Roman authorities then sent Nero Caesar against the Jews. When he came to Jerusalem, he wished to test his fate. He wanted to battle against Jerusalem. He Shot to the east – the Arrow turned and flew into Jerusalem. He Shot to the west – the Arrow turned and flew into Jerusalem. He Shot behind him – the Arrow turned and flew into Jerusalem. He shot an arrow in all four directions and they all fell towards Jerusalem – it flew into the Jerusalem. He saw that the person that would battle Jerusalem would have success. G-d for some reason wanted its downfall.

Nero then conducted another test: He said to a child: Tell me the verse that you learned today. He said to him as follows: “And I will lay My vengeance upon Edom by the hand of My people Israel” (Ezekiel 25:14). Nero said: The Holy One, Blessed be He, wishes to destroy His Temple, and He wishes to wipe his hands with that man, i.e., with me. The Romans are associated with Edom, the descendants of Esau. If I continue on this mission, I will eventually be punished for having served as God’s agent to bring about the destruction. So he fled and became a convert, and ultimately Rabbi Meir descended from him.
Talmud: Gittin 56a

A Child thrashes and moves when changing their diaper. But a simple solution is to give them a toy to play with while you change them. Many use this method. The Nazis used it occupy the Germans – give them something elso to think about so they won’t think about the economy.

Too bad for them. Look at Spain – they drove away the Jews and persecuted them- it lost economically and its status as a world power.

But that is not the main point – haters will hate – because they want to hate.

Learning to Love

Jews can learn not to hate their brothers – if they recognize that the evil inclination is also using the same tactic. The evil inclination inside every person – tells us to focus on hating our fellow. So we hate and waste our time. We waste our potential. We waste our lives hating instead of having loving, productive relations with the people we once loved but now we hate.

What causes hate – because we listen to our emotions. We silence our reasoning and give the reigns of our body, thoughts and words to our angry heart.

G-d wants us to love our fellow Jew. The foundation of the Torah is to “Love Your fellow like yourself.” Like the story of Hillel and the gentile who came to him to convert. He wanted to learn the entire Torah “standing on one
foot.” Hillel said the whole Torah is “What ever is hateful to you, do not do to others.” Rabbi Akiva said – “Love Your fellow like yourself.”

If that is the FOUNDATION of the entire Torah – apparently we should make greater efforts to promote love and peace – not discention and hatred. We shoulf speak words of kindness – not Lashon HaRah.

Let us let go of our hatred for the greater good of following Hash-m’s will.

Saying Sorry – Making Peace Whether You Are Right or Wrong

I’m Sorry

Two words. But often so difficult to say. I want to be right. If I am right why should I say sorry.

I think “I apologize” might be a bit easier to say. Why? Apparently, the word “apologize” is less comprehensible by others – so it feels as if I’m not admitting my guilt as much.

Whatever you like “I’m sorry” or “I apologize” – they are words we should practice to make peace between our fellows.

G-d wants Peace

Just like parents want peace between siblings, G-d wants peace between our brothers – our fellow Jews.

Ok. Inside I have no desire to make peace with this person that insulted me or took money from me or embarrassed me.  It is his fault not mine.

Asking Others to Explain Wrongdoing

The Torah says – if someone wronged you – so go up to them and in a private conversation – say “Dan, I was really hurt by your firing me, can you justify your actions – I want to be on good terms.” Talk it out. At times you only play the movie of the negative action in your head, but perhaps he or she did what you would have done if you were in their shoes.

Or remember that everything comes from G-d / Hash-m. If someone fired you, this person was just the messenger. G-d really decided that that person was to lose their job for a positive purpose. Now in your new position and see if it was worthwhile being fired – you found a better job, didn’t you? And even if you didn’t one day you will be able to see the good in that difficulty.

Taking Load off Your Heart

I read somewhere that a person was angry with another person because he embarrassed him when he was Bar Mitzvah’ed. His hatred spread to hating all people similar to the one who embarrassed him. He lived his life with a grudge in his heart because he generalized his hatred. He lived with hatred, instead of peace. I’m sure if he would have went up to the person who embarrassed him, that person would have apologized or at least explained his actions. Better to live with peace than hatred.

Good Blood

Hatred is not good for the soul or the health. Gratuitous hatred may cause a person stress or, G-d forbid, even illness. In French when someone has hatred – we call it “Se faire de Mauvais Sang” – literally “to make bad blood.” The English term is also used. Having Hatred causes bad blood. Make peace and have good blood.

All said and good. But I don’t feel like making peace.

The Emotions that Impede Peace

OK. I don’t feel like searching for a new Job, but I have to feed my family. G-d wants me to have peace with my fellow, so I have to be bold and overcome my reticence and do it. Just get over with it.

A person should apologize to someone they had a tiff with in any cast e. (This is providing that the person is angry because of a tiff. If a person hated because you exist – like many anti-semites – you cannot make peace with them because there is no solution to removing their hatred.)

Saying Sorry in Any Case

If you had a tiff with someone and you are right it is much easier to say I’m sorry. My sorry is because I want to make peace. There is always a reason to apologize even if you were right, because you may have said some hurting words. If I was wrong, I should say sorry because I did something wrong.

What you might think is nothing major to you, may be major to someone else. Someone I heard was upset because their friend did not send them a birthday card. I sometimes forget my birthday. But others think it is important that you think of them.

Live a healthier life. Live a peaceful life. Remove Hatred from your heart.

Dealing With the Angry Man – What’s Your Next Move?

Put on your gloves. You have an angry man that you must disengage.

Remember the board game Operation. You had to remove items from a man’s body. If your tweezers touched his body – you got a buzz and his nose lit up.

Kind of like the angry guy. You go a bit out his comfort zone and there goes the buzz of his words and his nose flares with anger.

It’s not me it’s him right?

The Relationship between anger and the nose

A side point – interesting that the word for “nose” in Hebrew as the same as “anger” in Hebrew – “af”. I saw an article once that certain aromas of chemicals one emits in a certain emotional state can transmit an emotion to another person. Meaning if a person is angry, another person who smells them with their nose can be influenced also to become angry.

The Proper Reaction against anger

The Jewish people are called the people of the book. Not only because they read books – mainly Torah – but many live by the word of the Torah. A once popular show on private detectives – one detective would determine his next move based upon actors in certain shows he had seen. An observant Jew learns his next move based upon the deeds of great Torah observant people of the generation or in the Torah.

So what does the Torah propose as a “next move” or reaction to an angry person?

Someone recently got angry at me. I learned that the way to react was not the way I did with him. But at least I figured out what’s a good move for the next outburst. Learn from my experience.

The Torah says in Pirkei Avot / Ethics of the Fathers (4:18) regarding Acting with Tact:

Rabbi Shimo’n son of Ela’zar says: Do not appease your fellow at the time of his anger. And do not console him at the time that his dead lies before him; And do not question him [ie, his intentions] at the hour of his vows & don’t make effort to see him at the time of his degradation.

Don’t appease him at the time of his anger. Meaning don’t try to calm him down. Meaning – your attempt at calming him may have the opposite effect of your intention. Meaning you trying to calm him down might get him more angry. So now what can you do? Remain silent. His or her ranting and raving should prompt you to think what’s the best reaction? and your answer should be silence.

(This applies, obviously, if the person is not violent. If the person is violent – you might want to choose flight rather than fight.)

The Fortiori Argument / Kal VaHomer

In Torah there is a logical construct called the Fortiori argument – it goes something like this:

If an average person can lift up this coffee table – surely the body-builder can pick up this coffee table.

Using that principle – don’t appease your fellow at the time of his anger – thus even more so – should you not instigate him at that point. You will just make him more angry. Your objective is to get a point across – do it in a calm, private moment together – not when the person is about to burst.

You have two kinds of angry people – a person who has a bad temper but deep down is good. And a person with a bad temper whose nature is evil. Avoid the latter. Be patient with the first. If the first person is truly good, he will apologize after his outburst – if you don’t respond in kind. If you respond with anger – you will have nullified his feeling of guilt. He’ll think – I got angry – you got angry – why apologize? But if only one gets angry – the calm person has the upper hand.

King Solomon’s Advice

Shlomo Hamelekh / King Solomon – the wisest man – “A Soft Answer turns away Wrath.” (Mishlei / Proverbs 15:1) So – apparently – a soft answer is better than an all out yelling match. Don’t you think?

Remove the Hatred from Your Heart – The Secrets of Yosef

Last week’s Parasha – VaYigash – we have the momentous meeting between the two kings. Yosef (known as Tzafenat Paneach – revealer of Secrets) was the Viceroy of Egypt. Yehuda was the king among the tribes.

In Miketz (the week before’s Parasha / Torah Reading) – Yosef planted his Silver “magical” goblet in the sack of Binyamin. Yosef (who the brothers did not recognize) said he would take Binyamin as a slave as a punishment for stealing. His purpose was to see if the other brother’s would defend Binyamin – Yosef’s maternal brother – thereby showing their regret of selling Yosef. Yehuda comes and defends Binyamin and offers himself as a slave instead. He was prepared to kill or be killed. He did a sincere teshuva (repentance) for selling his brother Yosef.

Afterwards Yosef reveals himself to the brothers. They are afraid, but he bears no grudge against them for having sold him.

How is this possible – one might ask – for him not to have a grudge or harbor hatred against his brothers for having treated him with cruelty?

Three answers are:

  1. Belief that all comes from Hash-m / G-d & Hash-m does all for the best. Anything that a person does for or against you is for your ultimate good. They are just an agent.

We saw Yosef’s tremendous trust and belief in Hash-m when Pharaoh took him out of prison to interpret his dream. Pharaoh says to Yosef “I heard You are a great dream interpreter.” Yosef answers “Without Me” – ie, it has nothing to do with me “G-d will answer Pharaoh’s dreams.” Yosef’s complete belief in Hash-m’s providence – allowed him to understand that the actions of the brothers was directed by G-d – for Yosef’s ultimate benefit. The brothers who sold Yosef were only G-d’s agents. If it was not them – someone else would have sold him. Thus that helped him remove the hatred for his brothers from his heart.

Yosef also mentions this point when, after he revealed himself to the brothers, he says do not be angry at yourselves for having sold me – it was all directed by G-d to allow me to feed you during the years of famine.

2. Look at the other’s pain

People experience sufferings. We look at people who did badly to us as wicked – but they also have pain. Perhaps they acted in a certain way because they were in pain. Perhaps that Cashier lashed out at you because her boss lashed out at him a couple minutes before.

When Yosef met his brother Binyamin – he hugged him and cried on his neck(s). Rashi explains Yosef saw with “Holy Foresight” that the two Temples that were to stand in the portion of Israel of the Tribe of Binyamin (Jerusalem & Environs) were going to be destroyed because of Gratuitous Hatred. He thus cried for the pain of Binyamin. Feeling another’s pain makes it harder to hate.

3.Look at a person from close

The Parasha starts with VaYigash. “Yehuda Approached.” He approached Yosef not just physically, but emotionally. (see the Ohr HaHaim haKadosh’s commentary there) He tried to make a connection with the person – to understand where he was coming from. At times one stands afar and hates from afar. We don’t understand their trials, their tribulations, their point of view. By doing this Yehuda and Yosef was able to overcome hatred.

Be Happy for Punishment

One of the 13 Principles of Judaism is the belief of Reward and Punishment. G-d will greatly reward those that followed his laws and punish those that did not. Obviously G-d takes into account all the factors. G-d may punish in this world or the next.

Why should you be happy about that?

Apparently we all know more or less deep down what is right and wrong. Having this concept of reward and punishment allows us to live a meaningful life.

If everything that I do is “good” or doesn’t make a difference, I live a life without purpose. If what I do can be good or bad, my actions in this world make a difference. This fact gives me purpose in life.

Teshuva – Repentance.

Remember that even if one did bad in their life – transgressing the laws of the Torah – the bad can be erased through sincere Teshuva – repentance. If one does teshuva out of fear of punishment – his or her sins are erased. If one does teshuva because they feel that they love Hash-m and fell badly to have gone against His will – their past misdeeds become counted as mitzvahs (perhaps because they prompted him or her to do teshuva).

G-d is Magnanimous

G-d will forgive any sin a person has done if the penitent person is sincere in their teshuva. (for How to do teshuva – seee Starting Over – Wiping the Slate Clean). The four stages of teshuva are :

Opportunities to Clean the Slate – Teshuva / Repentance – 4 Steps of Repentance בסד

1
2

3

 

4
Cessation
Commitment

Regret

Confession

Stopping doing the misdeed
Firm resolve never to repeat the deed. One is forgiven if he or she is in the same situation & doesn’t commit the sin.
Sincere Remorse for Wrong one did. Obviously one has to know what is right & wrong. To know – A Jew learns the 613 Mitzvot or the (Kitzur) Shulchan Aruch / Code of Jewish Law – regulating Jewish life. A Gentile learns their 7 Noahide Laws.
Verbal Admitting to G·d / Hash-m the wrong one did & asking for forgiveness. If one wronged another, ask forgiveness
Everyone Can Better Themselves. Forgive, Ask for Forgiveness & Be Happy.

(Rambam / Maimonides – Mishne Torah – Book of Knowledge – Laws of Repentance – Ch. 2 & 4 )

A very important point is not to fall to depression due to teshuva (or anything else for that matter). Some remorse to the extent that their remorse turns to depression. Once one has sincerely done teshuva – be happy. G-d – like a parent – wants His children to be happy. It says it in Tehillim / Psalms “Serve Hash-m / G-d with Happiness. Come before him with Joyful song.” Our general mood should be one of happiness. Be happy that you committed to improve. That’s something for which to be happy. The first step in solving a problem is recognizing the problem. Be happy you took the first step.

G-d can solve any problem

Don’t be sad about problems. Learn the lesson from the pain. Do teshuva. Improve. And be happy. G-d can solve any and all of your problems. No problem is too great for Him to provide respite and a solution. We just must turn to Hash-m with sincere prayer and teshuva. Make our small effort to overcome the problem and G-d will solve it

Precautions Against Failure & Positive Outlook

In Pirkei Avot(1:7) 

Nitai the Arbelite says: Distance yourself from a bad neighbor & do not become friendly with a wicked person & do not despair from retribution. (punishment)

If a person is suffering – it could be due to G-d sending them a message to improve or to compensate them for a past misdeed. So the obvious solution is to correct the misdeed. But also not to lose moral or despair from punishment. Repent, Correct, Go on and Be happy.

From Fear to Eternity

I was in the synagogue the other day. On the Bima – where the sefer Torah is placed when it is read – was a book entitled – “From Fear to Eternity – 10 steps to Achieving the Benefits of Being Jewish” by A. Lefkowitz. The title reminded me another reason for why punishment is good. We live in a temporal world. It is a temporary existence. No one gets out of here (the world) alive.But the afterlife is eternal. So if given a choice – it is better to live a challenging life here and a peaceful life in the next world – than vice versa.

Fear of Punishment in this world or the next world – allows us to prevent falling into a trap that may take away our prospect of living eternally. We are really a soul in a body. Once a person dies, the body is left behind and the soul continues to live. Thus fear of punishment allows us to inherit eternity by preventing us from transgressing the laws of the Torah.

The Reason why the Evil Prosper and the Righteous Suffer

An easy answer to the question of “What is the Reason why the Evil Prosper and the Righteous Suffer?” is because there are two worlds. This world on Earth and an after life. Punishment can be in this world or the next. Reward can be bestowed in this world or the next. A person who did great evil – like Hitler, Stalin, your average Terrorist -cannot be properly punished in this world. So G-d grants them a decent life here and punishes them in the next world. To us we see them live a decent, happy life. We do not see what goes on in the next world. So we think that the criminal got away Scott free. But they cannot escape the heavenly judgement. The punishment and reward is much greater in the next world.

On the positive side. We see righteous people suffer in this world – but we see not the great reward in heaven. So we think that he or she gained no reward from all their righteousness. But in the next world they will receive unimaginable reward. Thus we can accept why the evil prosper and the righteous suffer – by understanding this concept of reward and punishment in the next world.

How do I find out what G-d wants from Me?

G-d has a rule that is called measure for measure – Midah Keneged Midah. When a person does something bad – he is punished in the same way or in a manner related to his or her transgression. If one does good he is also rewarded similarly.

In the book “Living Emunah 3 (By Rabbi David Ashear) he relates a story of a woman who was unable to have children. She asked her rabbi – what to do. He told her to reinforce herself in Judaism. She decided to keep the Shabbat, Say Blessings on Food and I think say the morning Blessings. Shortly after she had a child. Some time later – an unusual thing happened when she was lighting the Shabbat candles. She attempted to light the two Shabbat candles- but only one would be kindled. Several weeks passed and every week the same thing happened. She confided her secret to her Rabbi. He asked – Is there something she is not careful about on Shabbat. She replied – we do Shabbat but we leave the TV on during Shabbat. He suggested to refrain from doing this. She committed to doing this and convinced her family. The next week she was able to kindle both candles.
(The story continues – see the book if you want to know the story’s end.)

Another explanation – of don’t despair from retribution – means that don’t despair that the evil will be punished. Those that do evil will be punished in this world or the next. Seeing a wicked person prosper is a test. Will we follow evil because we see the evil prosper? It is also to give people free will. If we see evil people suffering and righteous people prospering we will have no freedom of choice. Everyone will want to be righteous. G-d puts the choice of good and evil before us and it is up to us to choose good. Choose Life.

Keeping People in Line

Other reasons to be happy for punishment – because as it says in Pirke Avot (Chapter 3:2.) on the subject Civilization without Government:

Rabbi H’anania deputy of the Kohanim / Priests says: Pray for the peace of the government – for if there were not its fear, a man would swallow his fellow alive.

Many people don’t do evil because of fear of punishment. Thus we live in a better world because of it. It helps us ourselves to live a better life. Whenever bad is done by a person – that person will ultimately suffer – either through guilt, being put in prison, physical punishment. This punishment can be administered by man – the courts of law – or by heaven – by the courts above. Thus the fear of punishment is for the ultimate good of man.

Once my uncle was about to hit his young son for something he did. The son said “I already learned my lesson – there is no need to hit me.” If we learn our lesson there is no need for punishment.

Our parents punished us. We are better people for it.

Ways to Avoid Punishment – A Mitzvah is an Advocate

Obviously we would rather not incur punishment. The way to avoid it is to learn what the Torah expects from us and do it. I learned it the hard way – difficult times that came my way – prompted me to reflect on how to better my ways. But in Pirkei Avot it tells us clearly how to avoid punishment.

In Pirkei Avot (4:11 ) it says:

Rabbi Elie’zer ben Yaa’kov says: one who does one Mitzvah will acquire one advocate & one who transgresses one sin acquires one accuser. Repentance & good deeds are like a shield against punishment.

An extreme example of this is King Hordus / Herod . He killed 45 great Jewish sages. He asked Shimon ben Shetach – his brother in law – how he could avoid punishment. He said you extinguished the light of the world, to repent you must illuminate the light of the world by renovating the 2nd Holy Temple in Jerusalem. This is what he did.

Being Happy All the Time – letting go of grudges & Loving Your Fellow Jew

The Torah commands us to love our fellow Jew as ourselves. Based upon this the Chofetz Chaim in His Sefer / Book – Ahavat Yisrael mentions that bearing a grudge or hatred for a fellow Jew incurs punishment.

In Chapter 2 on Repercussions of Baseless Hatred & the Stringency of the Torah Regarding it – he writes:

And here will be explained why is this sin more grave than other sins.

1) For each sin it is unusual that a person will transgress upon it every single moment. [If a person is not unrestrained — G-d forbid]. However, this sin of baseless hatred a person transgresses every single moment when hatred is awakened in his heart. And at times, the hatred remains in him for a month or a year or more. And the transgressions of Torah Prohibitions from the Torah are multiplied without limit.

Being punished every single moment for gratuitous hatred is difficult. But apparently that is better than living a life of hatred. Knowing one will be punished for every single moment he hates a fellow Jew – motivates us to let go of our hatred. Letting go of our hatred makes us live a more peaceful and serene life.

But we can also look at the flip side of the coin. If we are punished for every single moment of hatred – it means that every single moment we have a choice to hate or to love. Our hatred of others isn’t a given. It is in our hands to let go of the hatred every single moment. It is in our hands to let go of sadness every single moment and live happy lives – every single moment.

 

What is Cool Anyway? 4 Steps for Better Anger Management

People say they are cool. Is it so? I don’t know.

What is cool anyway?

Fashionable? Trendy? In Style? All of the Above? None of the Above?

People want to be cool – but they don’t know what it means.

Cool means – in control.

Obviously – G-d is in control of all situations. But He gave you the power to control yourself.

Control yourself and do the will of G-d in any situation and you are really cool – in control.

The Source of Anger

What is one source of anger? Apparently – it is the thought that you are someone special and the world owes you respect. If you don’t get it – you get angry. Simple enough.

Yes you are someone special, but the world doesn’t owe you anything. The more you think of yourself as “Null and Void” – but important none-the-less – you can relax.

People tie their self esteem to what other people think of you. My esteem is not based upon what others think of me. It is of what I think of myself. They are not necessarily related.

People can begrudge me – that is not my problem it is theirs. If I am doing the will of Hash-m / I need no accolades from others. I can be happy with myself.

Real Appreciation – Know G-d Loves You

It says in Pirkei Avot – how do you know if you are loved and appreciated by G-d? Here are quotes:

Man is Loved by G·d
He (Rabbi Akiva) used to say – beloved is man because he was created in the Image [of G·d]; He is even more beloved because He [Hash·m] let him [man] know [of this gift] as it says: “For in the image of G·d , He made man.” (Bereshit / Genesis 9:6) Beloved is [the people of] Yisrael because they are called children of The Omnipresent [Hash·m]; They are even more beloved because He let them know [this] as it says: “You are children to the L·rd, your G·d” (Devarim / Deut. 14:1)
Beloved is [the people of] Yisrael because they were given the vessel by which the world was created; [The Torah] They are even more beloved because He let them know as it says: “For a good teaching I gave to you; my Torah do not forsake it” (Mishlei / Proverbs 4:2) (Avot Ch 3:14)

 

Hash·m Likes the Liked
He [Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa] used to say: … whoever who the spirit of creations have satisfaction from them, G·d has satisfaction from them. Yet if the creations do not gain satisfaction from them, then G·d does not gain satisfaction from them. (Avot Ch 3:9)

 

Rabbi Shimo’n says: … And do not be a wicked person in your own eyes. (Avot Ch 3:13)

What do we learn? You can know you are loved independently of others – because G-d loves you. I don’t have any requirement from Torah to impress others. I have to be nice. I have to help others. I have to be kind – but I don’t need to impress them. I do whats good in the eyes of G-d and I will feel better about me and others will love me more.

Improve Your inside

Buying a new suit – will not make me more beloved by others. But if I control my anger – say nice words – be kind and considerate I will. So I don’t have to gauge myself mainly by what others think. I do good and eventually they will think good of me. My main concern is pleasing G-d. Others will love me in as a result.

The point – First seek to please G-d. Then other’s will really respect you. Not because what you possess or show outside but because of your beautiful inside.

The Torah is about Self Control. If you are in control – doing the will of G-d you don’t need to benchmark yourself from others.

So if people respect me or not – if I’m doing the will of Hash-m as the Torah states – I don’t have to get angry. I know all G-d does for me is good. I know G-d loves me. The fact that others respect me or not doesn’t make me a better individual. It could tell me about myself – but it doesn’t affect who I am.

I have to be good. If people respect me good. If they don’t that’s also good. I don’t have to become all huffed up because someone said a mean word, acted disrespectfully, yelled at me in public – I know I am good I don’t need others approval of me.

How do I improve? Read and review Pirkei Avot and other ethical works – like Iggeret HaRamban. Try to slowly absorb the lessons into your being.

Know its for the Best

One of the basic reasons for anger is thinking “this situation I am in is not good, I will correct it with anger.” Firstly, know all that Has-m does is for the good. If someone insulted you, perhaps G-d is sparing you from a worse fate.

Once a person was to go on a business trip on a ship. A week before he stepped on a rusty nail. The Doctor told him he couldn’t take the trip. He was upset. The ship sailed away. Soon after he hear heard that the ship sunk. He was saved from a worse fate.

When anger wells up – think “This is also for the best.” or think of the best way of handling the situation in an agreeable and calm manner.

Sometimes it’s a test to see if you will handle the situation properly.

Secondly, many a time handling a situation with anger worsens the situation. Handle it calmly and you get better results.

A Billionaire – was playing poker with a person that was suing his company for millions. He was asked “How can you play with a person who is suing you?” He replied – “I try to not get emotional. When I become emotional, I become irrational. When I become Irrational I make bad business decisions.”

Don’t Get Me Angry – You Wouldn’t Like When I’m Angry

Some will ask you not to get them angry. Others Do Not get you angry. They cause a situation to occur – in which you CHOOSE to become angry. Anger is in your control – people don’t force you to be angry. You choose. It is your choice.

Change Negative to Positive

You had difficulties in your life? Use the negative for the positive. Someone did bad to you? Do the opposite to others. Someone spoke disrespectfully to you – speak with respect to others. Someone got upset at you – correct what they complained about and go on. Don’t dwell on the anger – dwell on the positive self improvement that you can gain from it. Anger motivates. Use the anger to motivate yourself to get better and leave the others in “the dust”. Let them be that grudging person – you don’t need them to be happy. You can be happy that you don’t have that same negative attitude. You are positive.

Prepare Mentally

Prepare for situations that anger you mentally and see imagine the best way to react.

People can have a bad day – and they take it out on me. Does that make me any worse of an individual? No. It means they had a bad day.

Don’t base your self-esteem on the approval of others. Be independently happy.

Be good and you’ll feel good.

 

Advice to Overcome Anger:

Advice to overcome anger – Explained here are four very useful pieces of advice to overcome anger & to fix one’s character traits. Behold we expounded to explain general advice & essentials that are very useful useful to break the force of the evil inclination & they are the four following :

 

1) To learn regularly books of Mussar (Ethics) regarding the [great] elevation & reward of one who works on oneself & the degradation & punishment of one that transgresses.

 

2) To reflect & to delve deeply in his thoughts continuously of the Oneness of Hash·m, Blessed Be He, & that all that exists & all their forces & in all their movements at every place & at every moment & even that they are a person of free will & even though the evil inclination & the evil force incites him all – as if it would be – is from Hash·m.

 

3) One should reflect over time it will be in his eyes that that the matter already passed

 

4) One should regularly constantly pray in one’s prayers before Hash-m, Blessed Be He with crying & tears about this that He should save him from the evil inclination & He should approach him to His service, Blessed Be He.

 

And refer to book for explanation & sources (Azor HaTzevi)

 

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One of the classic Jewish sources to refrain from anger to read daily is Iggeret HaRamban / The Letter of the Ramban – a letter he wrote to his sons to refrain from anger. We offer a Business-sized card of It.

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There is a certain Verse to Say if one is angry to calm them down – Brought by the Baal Shem Tov. The Verse is Tehillim / Psalm 119:9. We also have it on the Keep Calm Card.