Anger - Jewish Outlook

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One of the things we learned is that if you are standing on a roof, and you are standing near the middle of the roof, then there is no danger of your falling off, so theoretically it doesn’t matter if there is a fence on the roof or not. But if you are standing right on the edge and you are in danger of falling, then you really need a fence to keep yourself from falling. So in the same way, if a person doesn’t get angry, he doesn’t need a fence, but most of us are getting angry all the time, so we need some kind of fence to protect us.

Rebbe Nachman says that a strong fence against getting angry is to make a vow. If you make a vow, you really have to keep it, because the Torah says not to say G-d’s name in vain. So if you make a vow it is a very strong thing. It gives you strength to keep it.

But he also says; don’t kid yourself. Don’t make a vow that you’re not going to get angry the rest of your life, because you’ll break it, and it has no meaning. Even if you make a vow for just ten minutes – “I won’t get angry,” that is very good. If you can go for ten minutes without getting angry, then you have kept your vow, and it gives you more strength for the next time.

The Hebrew word for vow, shvua, comes from the word savea, which means satisfied, or full. A vow is really like food for the soul, it fills you with the strength to keep it. The Ziditchover Rebbe heard that Rebbe Nachman said he was making vows, so he said, “Even to make a vow for five minutes, you still have to be on the level.”

If you are really immersed in anger, and you can’t even make a five-minute vow, the only thing you can do is be like an ox plowing the field, and really work on it. Lift yourself up to the level where you can make a vow, then make a vow for five minutes.

Rebbe Nachman says, how do you have to talk to yourself when you make a vow? You have to call yourself; “Shlomo, the son of Pesia, don’t speak evil.” You have to talk to yourself, call yourself by your name.



Daily Torah Quote

Joke of the day

Little Josh was brought to Dr. Gill cause he hadn’t eaten anything for days. Dr. Gill offered him all the goodies he could think of. No luck. He tried a little scolding. It didn’t work. A little pleading, to no avail. Finally he sat down, faced the boy, looked him in the eye. He said, “Look young man, if you can be stubborn, so can I. You’re not going anywhere till you eat something. You can have whatever you want, but only after you have eaten will you leave.” Josh just sat and glared for some time, then said “OK. I’ll eat but I have some conditions. First, I’ll have exactly what I want and exactly how I want it and second you’ll share with me.” Dr. Gill was OK with this. He asked the child what he’d like. “Worms!” said Josh. Dr. Gill was horrified but didn’t want to back out and seem like a loser. So, he ordered a plate of worms to be brought in. “Not that many, just one,” yelled Josh as he saw the plate. So, everything other than one worm was removed. Josh then demanded that the single worm be cut into two pieces and then Dr. Gill eat half. Dr. Gill went through the worst ordeal of his life, and after finishing, barely managing to keep his cool, said, “OK, now eat!” Josh refused as he sobbed, “No way! You ate my half!”