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Monday, Iyar 8, 5779 / May 13, 2019 (23rd day of the Omer)


The following advice is found in the second chapter of Pirkei Avot: Rabbi Eliezer said, “Let your fellow man’s honor be as dear to you as your own; Do not be easily moved to anger.”


King Solomon says, “Anger rests in the lap of the fool.”


The Talmudic sage Reish Lakish says, “Any man who becomes angry – if he is wise, his wisdom leaves him; If he is a prophet, his prophecy departs from him.”


The Torah tells us that Moshe, the greatest leader of the Jewish people, became angry on three occasions and as a result it caused him to make a mistake. 


One of the mistakes was when Moshe became angry at the people who were asking for water. As a result of his anger, he made the mistake of hitting the rock instead of speaking to it, as G-d commanded him. 


This mistake resulted in G-d’s refusal to let him cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land.  Moshe so much desired to go into the land of Israel.  He pleaded with G-d to let him in, but to no avail and he died in the desert.


When Elijah the prophet became angry at King Yehoshafat, G-d’s prophecy left him for a while.


In Pirkei Avot we find the following four categories of temperaments which people have:


1) “One who is easily angered and easily pacified – his loss is outweighed by his merit; 2) One who is hard to anger and hard to pacify – his merit is outweighed by his loss; 3) Hard to anger and easy to pacify is a pious person; 4) Easily angered and hard to pacify is a wicked person.”


The Talmud tells us that Rabbi Nechunia lived to very old age.  His students once asked him, “What is the secret of your longevity?”


He replied, “I have never accepted gifts and I have always forgotten the wrongs done to me.”


Aristotle said, “Anyone can be angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everyone’s power and is not easy.”


The Talmudic sage Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar said, “Do not attempt to pacify your fellowman in the time of his anger.”  Should one attempt it, his efforts would be in vain and may even backfire.


A wise person said, “When I feel that I am becoming angry at someone, I postpone my anger for another time. What will I lose if I leave it for later? If anything, I will probably gain by it.”