Is the Torah against venting?

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    It’s lashon hara to share anything negative about anyone else. There’s also a general mitzvah to be happy and to stay positive and to not be negative, and also to be in control of all other negative emotions. So, ideally, how is a Jew supposed to express their negative feelings in a healthy way? Are we supposed to just let all anger, sadness, depression, all pent up? Or must everyone hire their own therapist? Seems abnormal to me; like there’s no room to exist in Judaism, to be human. The world has its problems but at least out there, people can freely discuss issues without the shame and taboo that exists in frum circles.


    Please remove this post. It’s an expression of frustration and negativity and completely at odds with the Toradige way of our fathers.

    If you want to vent, take it to the fryer forums.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Saying something negative about someone for the sole purpose of not keeping everything pent up may be muttar if all of the conditions of lashon hora l’toeles are present.

    Of course there’s room to exist and be human, but part of being human is controlling yourself and not “expressing yourself freely” when the purpose is to put someone else down.

    Again, though, if the purpose is really for emotional health, speak to a rav about the circumstances and conditions undir which it is permitted (and proper) to say what you need to say.

    ☕️coffee addict

    Why do you have to name names when venting?

    Shimon Nodel

    So… you’re going off?


    If you must “vent” — if you must say something negative about somebody – then say your message to a Rabbi, because presumably a Rabbi will not repeat Lashon HaRa to anyone.

    But be sure than no additional people are listening, and do not say your message to a Rabbi who knows the person you want to talk about.

    Reb Eliezer

    Sinas Chinam is interpreted by the Yad Yosef on the Ein Yaakov Yoma 9, as futile hatred which cannot be excused and thereby kept bottled up in the heart for example being jealous on someone. It says, don’t keep the hatred bottled up in your heart but admonish your friend. So if you have a good reason to hate someone for doing you something wrong, says the Rashbam to tell him about it which will generate peace.


    The question is discussed in the poskim including the CC Hilchos Shemiras Halashon 6:4. It is beyond the scope and the wrong forum to discuss this online so ask your LOR

    One thing is certain however. Not only is venting Loshon Hora online not permitted doing so has a terribly destructive personal effect on the people who do so.

    Say the question in the OP of “So, ideally, how is a Jew supposed to express their negative feelings in a healthy way?” were asked in a non-Jewish venue as “ideally, how is a someone supposed to express their negative feelings in a healthy way?” constructive people would not answer “start venting to other people all about some of the world’s problems that you have come across”


    There is an idea of directing bad middos towards constructive purposes – say, making a potential murderer a shoichet. Maybe you can find a calling that allows for some constructive venting: a shadachan, a business consultant, a psychologist, a novel writer …


    The best way to go through life keeping away from sinning and and also prevent yourself from getting into trouble is with complete silence



    This should be satire. The irony that you’re only being an example of my very point, and the first one to comment on this topic. Bravo.

    I know the question was emotionally tinged, as it was partially an emotional question. But I’m also genuinely curious for an authentic Torah perspective. It can’t get more Toiradige than that.


    @Shimon Nodel

    Haha, no, BH. Just trying to gain some perspective.



    “One thing is certain however. Not only is venting Loshon Hora online not permitted doing so has a terribly destructive personal effect on the people who do so.”

    I don’t understand the relevance of this. I never implied that I believed a possible solution was to vent lashon hara online.

    “Say the question in the OP…”

    Fair point. They may not be living according to an ideal, but at least they have the opportunity to live with a fair amount of expression without taking it to an extreme. But to me it sounds like our ideal leaves no wiggle room whatsoever in the area of negative expression.


    I realize I did not properly word the question. The main point wasn’t really about lashon hara.

    It’s only that I see the potential for someone to take the message of “there’s a commandment to be positive” to mean they’re not allowed to feel otherwise and are bad for feeling that way, leading to a superficial smile and unhealthy suppression for the sake of doing what they think is right.


    That being said, breaking middos is a lifelong job, and you must not get discouraged or feel overly guilty when you express a bad middah; it’s for this reason that most bad middos aren’t flat out assur, because we’re not always in control of them, and Hashem knows that – but we are in control of the actions that those middos lead to, such as saying lashon hora. But if not doing so makes you feel bottled up, it needs to be worked on with mussar heavily, as above, because it’s not mentally healthy to bottle things up


    איזהו גיבור, הכובד את יצרו

    You’re not supposed to bottle it up , you’re supposed to fight negativity with positivity, proactively. By drumming it into yourself that everything Hashem does is good, that nobody has the ability to harm or help you without it being so ordained from shomayim.

    That’s how the Torah can give us a mitzvah of working on middos, and can prohibit some outright, such as jealousy.

    The more you internalize Torah values, there won’t be anything to vent about.

    That’s not prohibitig one from “existing,” it’s elevating a jew above bad middos, above the pulls of the yatzer hora.

    The first step in fighting the YH is to acknowledge that when it tells you that a certain mitzvah isn’t “you” or that it would mean sacrificing who you are (i.e., when girls say that tznius “isn’t them”) – that it’s the yatzer hora, and not something internal, or an expression of your true self. Your true self is an eved Hashem, a pure and holy spark of godliness which wants to be as close to Hashem as possible.


    And yes, the Torah is constantly, through many mitzvos, asking us to be above normal humanity. We can’t eat whatever we want, even though naturally we would. We naturally wouldn’t take a day every week to acknowledge Hashem’s control over our livelihood and the world itself. We wouldn’t refrain from wearing wool and linen.

    The medrash asks why Hashem cares where a cut is made on an animal for it to be kosher, and answers that it’s “letzaref es habrios” to purify people, for our benefit, to elevate us above “normal” humanity into something special. Something malaachim are jealous of.

    Shimon Nodel

    In sefer chofetz chaim, it specifically says that it’s mutar to vent so long as your intention is not to talk negatively about another Jew (yes, even if he/she is terrible and deserves it), and that the listener knows your intention is to vent and won’t be mekabel


    Dear Far,

    It’s not a Torah thing. The real world is full of negative interventions and negative outcomes. Realizing that big parts of our existence just isn’t so great, is not at all problematic. Being paralyzed and useless while mulling over some negative happenstance, will make anybody less effective. And people do not take well to such emotions.

    You ask how to deal with pentup negative thoughts and feelings. Here are five choices:

    A) Ignore everything. If it’s out your hands, it’s none of your business.

    B) Live in a fantasy. Whatever negative happens is only because of those who don’t share your fantasy.

    C) Be positive about hating everything that is negative and speak out against It. You can have the anti negativity pulpit.

    D) Deny that negativity exists. Truly believe that everything is really great.

    E) Resolve to rid Earth of anything that may bring about a negative attitude.

    For each option there is a corresponding ‘Torah’ value:

    A) Hashem is in charge. Just daven.

    B) Real Jews are not at all ____ . (Fill in the blank with the word ‘negative’.) If your being ____ , you belong in that other jewish community.

    C) Make your most noticed weakness or most massive trait, into the entire meaning of Judaism. Hashem just wants to test us.

    D) Hashem made it all perfect. We just have to believe that it is so.

    E) We are here on Earth to to serve it’s fulfillment. Anything that get’s in the way of that is our obligation to make it serve Hashem.

    Sorry for stealing your juice, put the point of my post is to demonstrate the silliness of trying to ground a personal outlook in the larger scope of Judaism. All five of these examples are much closer to each other in their outlook, than they will ever admit.

    Sorry to leave you at this, but it’s much more negative than we even realize. Most people are in denial or are just coping with it. I can’t say that being negative is worse than being in denial. But still, getting stuck in any emotional state is counter-productive.

    The real way to always be productive, is to find what would be worthwhile no matter what outcomes you may experience.


    Shimon, the chofetz chaim wasn’t sure of that. He expressed it as a safek.

    There were some, such as rav hutner, who said that it’s one of the husband’s obligations to a wife to listen to her pour her heart out if she was offended, etc..

    Doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for her to do necessarily.


    All fire fighters vent, its away to get rid of the smoke Monsey, Spring Valley, Lawrence, Woodmere and Lakewood all have frum fire fighters who vent

    Reb Eliezer

    The Haflaah says ובחרת בחיים, pick life and be positive.

    ☕️coffee addict



    Menachem Shmei

    Not getting into the lashon harah aspect, Torah definitely believes in pouring out your feelings to someone else:
    דאגה בלב איש ישיחנה.

    However, Torah always stresses the terrible effects of כעס, so the “venting” should obviously be done in a calm and collected way, with the intent to fix the problem.


    menachem, that’s a machlokes in the gemara; if daagah should be yasichena, or yashichena, i.e. destroy it

    either way becoming emotional doesn’t equal ka’as – if someone cries bitterly and vents their suffering, thats not calm and collected, but it’s not anger either.

    even if someone’s angry, it should be stressed again that the OP is right about not bottling it up…it just builds and builds. To fight anger, and other middos, you need to bring in something positive against it; whether that’s meditation on maamarei chazal about anger, or reminding yourself constantly that everything is from Hashem, and good, so there’s no source of the anger to begin with.

    Anger is essentially the frustration that comes from not getting what you’re expecting, whether that’s material loss or lack of gain, or the way people treat you. but if you knew for certain that these things were for the best, you wouldn’t be angry – if someone steals your parking spot, but you found out later that there was glass all around it, and it punctured the other driver’s tires, you’d feel relieved, not angry. So if Hashem decided that this parking spot is bad for you, for some reason, it should be enough of a reason not to be angry.


    The Gemora in Shabbos says that a person who is a angry and smashes bottles to “vent” his anger, this is similar to worship of Avoda Zara. The explanation of the characterization as AZ is beyond the scope of the this note, but it’s clear that blowing off your anger by venting in an blast expression of negative energy is wrong from a Torah perspective .
    I think my worthy colleague Avira has articulated some options that are in consonance with the Torah way very eloquently


    I recently discussed the issue with my Rebbi, and his angle was that more important than actual venting is feeling you have who to vent to.

    But he also felt it’s still more constructive to not keep reinforcing negative attitudes, similar to what @AviraDeArah and @Menachem Shmei expressed above, thank you.

    I did point out in the discussion that practically this relationship can still only exist if you actually are allowed to vent once in a while.

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