Better Than Revenge

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8 Responses

  1. Garnel Ironheart says:

    What is the proper balance between “Thou shalt not bear a grudge, neither shalt thou take revenge” and “Don’t be so sweet that you get eaten up?”

    Also, am I the only person who thought of the Goel HaDam rule when reading this article?

  2. soccer dad says:

    What about the law of Go-el hadam? It allows the taking of revenge under very specific circumstances. It also allows the accidental murderer a way to save his own life at the cost of his freedom.

  3. mb says:

    “It is no accident that after the Holocaust Jews did not call it Al-Naqba, nursing resentment and revenge, but instead turned to the future, building a nation whose national anthem is Hatikvah, ‘the hope’.”
    Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks.
    Chag Semeach

  4. tzippi says:

    I’m not troubled by any connection to concept of go-el hadam. The connection is loose at best. Honor, and saving face, is not part and parcel of the mitzvah, at least not as I’ve learned.
    And, is the mitzvah of go-el hadam reshus (optional) or chov (mandatory)?

  5. norm depalma says:

    Holocaust survivors feel pain, loss and even guilt whether they exact revenge or not, whether they build a bayit neeman beyisroel etc

  6. Avigdor says:

    The Oresteia is a wonderful midrash on this whole problem. Its solution to the cycle of revenge and violence is a neutral and independent court system that metes out justice.

  7. Yehoshua Gavant says:

    Living well is the best revenge. (George Herbert)

  8. Raymond says:

    I understand and agree with Rabbi Adlerstein’s very valid point, that success is the best revenge.

    Nevertheless, I do think that there is something very wrong about letting evil people get away with their evil deeds. They must be taught a lesson, put in their place, somehow made to understand the suffering that they have inflicted on innocent people.

    That Holocaust survivor should have killed those who murdered his family; it sounds clear to me that he spent the rest of his life regretting not having done so. Measure for Measure surpasses Turning the Other Cheek in my very strong sense of justice.

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