Don’t Get Angry… There’s A Better Way

Preparing for Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur

 In 2011, in advance of Rosh Hashanah, the Ten Days of Repentance and Yom Kippur 5772, the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks recorded a series of ten short videos, each reflecting on a particular theme or prayer pertinent to this special and spiritual period in the Jewish calendar.

These timeless messages are equally applicable as we enter any new year.

Berogez rachem tizkor. In wrath remember mercy. So we pray when we say selichot or tachanun. And what a line that is. Did you ever lose your temper with someone, say something in anger you shouldn’t have said? Did you ever make someone cry? There’s something about anger that makes it the most destructive of the emotions.

Maimonides said that in most things follow the middle way but not in anger. Even a little bit of anger is bad news for you and those around you. They used to say about one of the Lubavitcher Rebbes that whenever he felt as if he were about to be angry he’d get out several volumes of Talmud and jewish law and look up if it were permissible to be angry on such an occasion; and by the time he’d done all that research how could he be angry any more? 

Berogez rachem tizkor. In the coming year, when you feel angry, that’s the time to remember mercy. Kindness achieves what anger never can.

Shanah Tovah.