Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

DO NOT TAKE REVENGE OR BEAR A GRUDGE Part 3

Last week we began discussing the reasons for the commands to not take revenge or bear a grudge. We discussed the opinion of the Sefer HaChinuch about the reason for the prohibitions to take revenge or bear a grudge. He wrote that if a person causes us pain of some kind then that is a result of Divine Providence and it is futile to feel resentment towards him. The other commentaries offer other explanations:

The Rambam (Maimonides), the great commentator who lived around 1000 years ago, writes simply that the matters over which we may feel vengeful are, in truth, not important enough to get upset about. There are far more important matters in life than when a person wrongs us - at the time we may feel very upset, but later on we realize that what he did was really not of such significance.

The author of the great ethical work, ’Orchos Tzadikim’ writes that to take revenge is forbidden because it demonstrates the characteristic of cruelty - trying to cause harm to another human being is cruel and unjustified even if he caused us harm.

Another possible explanation of this prohibition is that if everyone were to continually take revenge on each other then society will become very unpleasant, characterized by tense relationships and a feeling of distrust. We can all make mistakes and occasionally cause harm to other people - this alone need to cause great dissension. However, if we take strong action every time we felt wronged then society would constantly be characterized by conflict and discord. Consequently the Torah instructs us to try to be forgiving and judge others favorably, thereby maintaining a society of healthy relationships.

The commands to not take revenge or bear a grudge are not easy - we can easily feel slighted by other people’s behavior towards us. However, like all commandments Hashem does not demand anything that is beyond our capability. By working on our character traits we can reach the level where petty incidents do not affect us and we can forgive people, recognizing that they are humans and all humans make mistakes.


Text Copyright © 2008 by Rabbi Yehonasan Gefen and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON MISHPATIM:

View Complete List

A Free Spirit
Shlomo Katz - 5776

Gilded Bondage
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

Honor Due to a Thief
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Giant Step Toward Holiness
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Old Memories
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

Resilience
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5776

ArtScroll

Help!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Beyond the Letter of the Law
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

Bribes Blind: Not Only Judges & A Case Study
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5776

> The Complete Body Of Mitzvos
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

Beyond the Letter of the Law
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

Those in a Thankless Role Deserve A Thank-You
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Values We Can Trust
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

Judgement to the Side of Merit
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Realizing Idealism
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

The Metaphor of Coming In and Going Out With His Coat
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information