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    From a Torah point of view, why do bullies bully? Is it as simple as a bad middah?

    Or is there more psychological stuff to it? For example, the bully is insecure, feels vulernable, has been traumatized in childhood by abuse?

    How does a bully correct himself, once they recognize their problem and does teshuva? In other words, what practical steps would one recommend to the bully?


    A “bully” would need to learn how to deal with his/her issues in a verbal and non-combative way. They would need to learn how to “ask” and not demand. They would need to learn how to listen as well as speak, and listen to understand in order to be able to communicate with other people.

    I think that therapy will help such a person leave their baggage behind and not drag it around with them for the rest of their lives.


    anger frustration


    There were many bullies in the Torah, starting with Cain. It’s a classic case of someone who feels inadequate in some way, trying to have power of someone he perceives to be weaker, in order to make himself feel better.



    Bullies bully for a few reasons:

    * They are angry that they were abused at an earlier stage and by putting on a show of bravado people will avoid abusing him again.

    * They have psychological problems which they get a thrill from watching the victim suffer.

    * They are connected and know that the society they are part of will give them a free pass.

    How do they correct themselves?

    Type 1: They mature and come to a realization that there is a difference between assertiveness and abusiveness. This causes them to tone down their behaviors naturally.

    Type 2: They will be abusive and violent until they receive special intervention.

    Type 3: They will NEVER correct themselves because they know that the community leaders adore them and won’t dare say a peep about their behaviors. They will eventually cross the line and end up in the court system.

    Practical steps:

    Type 1: Hook him/her up with positive role models (it doesn’t have to be a relative) who can show how to act assertive and get things done just as effectively with a smile on the face.

    Type 2: Get PSYCH Consultation.

    Type 3: Put pressure on the local rabbonim and community members to stand up to the bully and stop adoring a bully like this, or his/her future actions will be squarely on their hands.


    If the bully’s actions caused a LOSS of any kind, or a LIFE ALTERING EVENT to occur teshuva can be a lifelong endeavor.

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