September 7, 2010 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm #592313sm29Participant
Went to a lecture recently and the speaker made a good point about letting go of anger. Like someone didn’t invite you, or they annoyed you in some way etc. The speaker said that when you look at the big picture, is it really that important? We might say it’s the principle, people shouldn’t cut in line…. but still overall, it’s better to just let it go and move on. He also mentioned about anger and feuds having a negative spiritual impact on the Jewish community and causing tragedy. However, when we let go of our anger and mentally forgive the person who got on our nerves, we bring blessing around us.September 7, 2010 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm #696073kapustaParticipant
I have no idea who I heard this from, so I can’t give credit where due, but the idea is to ask yourself if it’ll be important in five years. That can help put things in perspective.September 8, 2010 2:10 am at 2:10 am #696074
It is also important to understand that holding on to anger makes you a prisoner of your own pain. It takes a lot of energy out of you to keep being angry and remembering the insult. When you forgive or let it go it is a very liberating experience. It is like being let out of jail and breathing fresh air again.September 8, 2010 2:10 am at 2:10 am #696075WIYMember
It is famous. Many Jewish as well as non Jewish self help authors quote it. 5 years is too long I prefer 5 weeks or 5 months. if something will be important for a year or 2 its a pretty big deal no? Its a lot to ask from someone not to get angry about something that will have such a lasting effect.September 12, 2010 7:40 am at 7:40 am #696076sm29Participant
People definately need perspective.September 12, 2010 7:45 am at 7:45 am #696077
and now let me ask the big question: what if it’s something that WILL be important in five years. and in 15. and in 50. ????????
yes, you have to let go. that wasnt’ the question. the question is – HOW???? on earth!September 12, 2010 7:46 am at 7:46 am #696078
my first idea when i read my own question is – realize how whatever it was shaped you as a person. realize what strengths it gave you and how you can use those strengths to fight your weaknesses and overcome them.
just a thought.September 12, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am #696079
The question is where does the anger come from in the first place? Well, we have a chazal that equates anger to avoda zara. What the two have in common is that we all walk around with the belief that ‘I SHOULD get good service,’ people around me MUST do what I want, I deserve xyz….We think we are god and deserve to have what we want, when we want it. Well, if we are serving ourselves, then we can’t also serve Hashem at the same time. Arrogance fits right in here as well..the feeling of entitlement. Who said everything should work the way you want it? Why do you deserve that things should run on time…people should listen to you, etc….If we can try to replace this gaava with a feeling of humility that Hashem is in control and owes us nothing plus Hakoras Hatov when things DO go well, we get minimize the anger that we do have. Practice makes perfect and that’s the only way to lessen the anger is to repeat these messages over and over until they begin to take root in one’s psyche and the same goes for every midda.September 12, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm #696080
what you’re saying is really true, ramateshkolian. what i refer to in my post is a situation where for example a child is raised in a dysfunctional home and was beaten. let’s say. and then that child gets out of the situation, is mitchazek and wants to get married, but finds that she has different emotional/psychological problems stemming from her upbringing that may prevent that. she must be very angry, right? but at the same time, she has to forgive and forget, get over the anger etc. how?September 12, 2010 1:20 pm at 1:20 pm #696081
Thank you for making this valuable comment!
I know this might unplug a hornet’s nest, BUT…..
There is NO SUCH THING in Judaism called, ‘forgive and forget’, or ‘get over the anger”? The only people who use such terminology are the ABUSERS who seek to deny what the ‘weaker’ person should be feeling.
The onus for allowing the abused person to heal is on society at large to make sure that:
1] Once the abuse becomes known, the ABUSED is protected by the community.
2] The appropriate shilos should be asked by responsible community members to help guide the situation further.
3] If the psak is that the abused should sever all contact with the abuser, the ABUSED person’s needs and comforts trump those of the abuser.
4] The community should remove the ABUSER from ALL positions of power (both paid and unpaid leadership positions).
Anger is an emotion. The baalei mussar were not telling a person NOT to think in an emotional level. RAGE is the action taken by a person who’s emotion of anger takes control over the situation. This is what is what is referred to by ‘whoever gets angry is as if they worshipped idols’, NOT the emotion called anger.September 12, 2010 3:11 pm at 3:11 pm #696082
Artchill, Oh if only, so many victims could begin healing! So many OTD’s would not be OTD’s! So many suicides could have been prevented! So many drug users would never have even started! So many victims would have never begun using and abusing their substances that they chose to numb their pain; so many victims would not have lost their faith and bitachon; so many victims would not have felt like they were alone among their own Jewish bretheren. Oh if only the Jewish community and its leaders understood their obligation to protect the victims and NOT the abusers THEY could have stopped so much of the abuse that is still prevalent in our society today.September 12, 2010 3:15 pm at 3:15 pm #696083
thank you artchill. that was a very good answer.
just a question – do you have a source for your last paragraph? becuase i hesitate to hear what chazal ‘meant’ without a source and then believe it. i’d love to of course, but – do you have a source?September 13, 2010 12:51 am at 12:51 am #696084
Rav Solomon repeated this when he explained the intoduction line to the quote. The introduction line was, “IF ONE BREAKS A DISH OR GLASS IN ANGER. IT’S AS IF HE WORSHIPPED IDOLS. This shows that the anger spoken about was, the ACTION of anger NOT the emotion”.
I simply caled the action by it’s clinical name, RAGE.September 13, 2010 1:37 am at 1:37 am #696085mw13Participant
artchill: How do you explain the famous pasuk in Koheles “hasser kaas mi’libecha”, “banish anger from your hart”?September 13, 2010 2:19 am at 2:19 am #696086
There are 2 different things:
Ideally, a person should be chilled out and be mevater and remove the emotion of anger from his heart.
At the minimum a person should keep the rage (action response) aspect of anger in check, or it’s like idol worship.September 13, 2010 2:28 am at 2:28 am #696087
You might laugh at the difference between anger vs. rage. But, as a business owner who has to manage supervisors with varied temperaments, who in turn must supervise other employees with varied temperaments, you learn pretty quickly to seperate anger from rage.
Anger: Yelling, screaming, pounding a fist on a desk, is one thing.
Rage: Pushing people, slamming things down, throwing things, or balling a fist, are a completely different thing.
Stress can cause a person’s emotions to well up, but putting the emotion into action is inexcusable.September 13, 2010 6:30 am at 6:30 am #696088
About people who grew up in abusive homes, a main component in overcoming this is having a family that can be an example of a healthy functional family. The person has no idea how a healthy home should run and so they need to immerse themselves in a healthy family situation and learn. Living by them for a few years is best. I have seen many families in a clinical setting that have no idea what to do eventhough they vowed they would never be like their parents. End result is that they usually go to the opposite extreme or do the same thing, both of which are bad for the family.September 14, 2010 2:58 am at 2:58 am #696089
a person is not mechuyav to forgive someone for beating him with a stick, if the person is still holding that stick over his head.I know of only one person in the world who sincerely apologized to the person he hurt.(so earnestly that the abused person was actually moichel)but 99% of the time the abuser has little or no remorse…especially in the cases of abusive spouses.there is nothing to forgive because nobody’s the least bit sorry.September 14, 2010 8:40 am at 8:40 am #696090
ramateshkolian: make your post into a billboard. publicize it. don’t care how. this idea is ESSENTIAL to children of abusive or dysfuntional families.
eclipse: (i like ur username btw) i don’t know. i don’t know if it matters if the person isn’t the least bit sorry, i think one is still able to be moichel s.o who’s not sorry.
there’s a story in the gemara about a butcher who insulted a tanna (forgot which one). he never asked for forgiveness, so before yom kippur, the tanna decided he’d go to the butcher shop and give the guy a chance to ask forgiveness. on the way, he met another tanna, who told him it’s not such a good idea to go, it’s a sakana, rather forgive him in the first place without him asking.
so there you are.
(end of the story btw is that the first tanna went anyway to the butcher shop and presented himself to the butcher, who told him contemptuously that he had nothing to say to the tanna. he was in the middle of cutting a piece of meat with the bone in, when a piece of the bone flew up as a result of impact and lodged itself in the butcher’s throat, killing him. that wasa the sakana mentioned.)September 15, 2010 5:05 am at 5:05 am #696091
it’s definitely a midas chasidus(extra lofty level) to be moichel people who have no remorse…but not required by halacha.and motzi shaym rah is kinda hard to fix even when the slanderer is sorry.especially in this day and age…rumors travel worldwide very swiftly.September 15, 2010 6:58 am at 6:58 am #696092
miriam adahan’s website and books (especially from Victim to Victor) have a lot of great material on abuse and overcoming it.September 15, 2010 1:06 pm at 1:06 pm #696093
ramateshkolian: Just clarifying:Overcoming marital abuse is not a midas chasidus—if it’s your nisayon in life,it’s an absolute must.And walking around bitter will affect one’s health.But truly forgiving in your heart is something one can only do at their own pace,and does not mean they have been less successful in overcoming and leading a joyful productive life.I’m a great fan of m.a.–but i never heard of that book”from victim to victor”?maybe that was the title of an article?September 15, 2010 2:48 pm at 2:48 pm #696094
How can a person ‘forgive’ an abuser?
***> Comes up with multiple reasons why the abused had it coming to him/her. So, the abuser takes ZERO responsibility for his/her actions.
***> Gives a half-baked “apology” for one reason only. That reason is, TO CONTINUE THE CYCLE OF ABUSE. When he/she sees the abused becoming resistant to the abuse, they try and soften the abused person’s resolve with an ‘apology’.
***> Believes ‘echta ve’ashuv, I will sin and then, I’ll repent’. Such people the halacha says are not worthy of, nor is forgiveness mandated. This is because, all they want is another chance at abusing you or someone else.
To “Forgive” an abuser is NOT middas chassidus. A person who does this is a Chassid Shotah. Abusers only learn when their lesson when the clamps are put on, NOT before. If you truly care about an abuser, turn up the pressure on them.September 16, 2010 3:48 am at 3:48 am #696095
artchill:trust me,i know more about abuse than i want to know.and honestly,i don’t see myself forgiving the abuser anytime soon.but some people say they can forgive(and they may be given credit for that).i personally judge “forgivability” by the degree of damage control.too much damage with zero attempt to repair?impossible.BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN A PERSON HAS NOT”MOVED ON”.IT MEANS A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF PAIN STAYS.KIND OF LIKE A WOUND THAT HEALS WELL– BUT LEAVES A SCAR FOREVER.September 16, 2010 4:53 am at 4:53 am #696096
eclipse, one does not forgive an abuser for the sake of the abuser. One forgives an abuser because forgiving frees the victim of reliving the abuse and the pain over and over again. It allows the victim to let go of the anger and the pain and break free of the prison they are trapped in. One does not forget when they choose to forgive, they just choose to not invest any more energy into hating and thinking about that horrific excuse for a human being that hurt them and release themselves from the bond that connects them to each other and the pain and the memories. It is not an easy choice and it takes time to get to that point.
While the abuser continues on with his/her life without a care in the world or one ounce of guilt or regret for what they have done, not giving a thought to their actions or the pain and destruction they caused another human being, or maybe even many other human beings, the victims are almost stuck in time in many cases like a broken clock where the hands are frozen; living and reliving the pain and experience of the abuse, and enveloped in their hatred and disgust of the abuser. The effort and energy all that hatred uses is draining and grueling. Once a person chooses to forgive and move on, it is like breaking the chains that bind you to that person. So in essence you are saying “I forgive that person because s/he is in the hands of the devil and is doing his dirty work. He does not know better and cannot control himself. I will never forget what s/he did to me, but I will not waste one more minute of MY precious life on him/her. They are not worth even a mashehu of a thought. I know I will never forget and the scars will last forever but I will no longer be a prisoner of the pain they caused me, so I will forgive them and not allow them to hurt me any longer.
WE forgive for OUR own benefit, not for the benefit of the other party. Once we free ourselves through forgiveness, we don’t necessarily have to have anything to do with the other party. We just don’t internalize about them any more, we don’t waste our energies, our thoughts and our time relating to them in any way any more. We clear our minds to think and dream of other things. We are then free to live, breathe and dream pleasant thoughts and dreams. We can pass this person in the street and choose to completely ignore them as if they were never born, or instinctively punch them in the face and then continue walking. Whatever our choice they probably would not recognize us because they forgot about us, moved on to the next victim, and blocked us out of their minds and hearts. If it is someone close to us then for sure they blocked the incident or incidents out of their minds and hearts and would not acknowledge the hurt they caused or that they should apologize or feel some kind of charatah.
Evil and abusive people have no hasagah what-so-ever that they have accountability or responsibility for their actions. I hope the moderators don’t edit this out because it is very important. After 20 years, my friend’s abuser who is a very chashuv Rav and is now in his 70’s finally came over to his home with his sons to admit his guilt, because he is afraid that my friend will expose him in the press. He did this as a means to ward off the exposure. However, he refused to admit publicly (in the yeshiva) that he molested him and others and resign from the Yeshiva community and the many Vaads he belongs to. My friend was smart enough to tape him.
I asked my friend if he was satisfied with the acknowledgement and if it was enough for him to begin healing. He said it was not sufficient because it won’t help all the other bochurim which could even be hundredds whose lives he ruined. They need the validation as well. B”H, he understood what he needed to do to get on with his life, but he was concerned about those who didn’t. He complained as a teen in Yeshiva as did a friend of his. His friend got kicked out of yeshiva, he did not. He worries about what happened to that friend who went OTD because of this molester.September 16, 2010 8:21 am at 8:21 am #696097
1. sometimes, the abuser’s already in a situation where forgiving him wouldn’t hurt anyone. also, you’re still able to ‘turn up the heat/pressure’ after you’ve forgiven someone.
2. sometimes, the abuser is a. absolutely unaware that he is in fact abusing someone, and b. completely unable to control it if he were aware. personal experience. so this person, b”H, i have come to a point where i’ve almost completely foriven him.
it’s possible for s/o to be able to forgive and abuser.September 16, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm #696098
one type of abuse stems from mental illness.that i forgive regularly because it’s clear that person is unwell.the other type stems FROM POOR MIDOS AND A DANGEROUS LAZINESS TO FIX IT(OR RATHER DENIAL).a million times harder to forgive.i beg to differ with your point that you can put on pressure after you’ve forgiven.once you’ve forgiven you will have put it behind you,not still be dwelling on it.the resistance you meet up with trying to stop abuse will just make you mad at OTHER people instead.artchill,have you also found that to be so?
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