|Examine Your Life
Question 36: Why does the Torah forbid me any type of revenge or even just remembering the harm others caused me?
Rabbi Schwartz :
same verse that forbids us the natural human reactions of longing for
revenge and bearing grudges, also commands us to love these same
friends as ourselves. So, the verse states, "Do not take revenge, do
not harbor resentment, and love your friend as yourself"*. If then the
Torah wants us to love others as ourselves, it must be that we may not
exact revenge against them, nor even just remember the harm they
inflicted on us.
Still, why is it so important that we love
others as ourselves? We could say that, and this is the ultimate truth,
others - all others - are really a part of us. If we are to reach for
our potential and strive for perfection, if we are to resemble Hashem
in our thoughts, words and deeds, we must come to think of others - all
others - as a part of us.
Thus, while we must protect ourselves
from being robbed or even injured by others, still, after the fact,
once we have suffered, we need to forgive them with a full heart.
Moreover, and this is a great exciting thought, we benefit most, in a
huge important way, when we forgive those who have harmed us. For, the
losses we suffered were losses that anyway the heavens had decreed we
take, and the hurt we experienced was a hurt our souls needed to atone
and cleanse us from our own sins. As such, nothing remains for us in
such a situation other than to forgive and forget, rejoice in our
lives, and continue building and growing at full-speed towards our
Let's do it!
* Vayikra 19.18
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