Thinking about the Sermon - Parshat Chukat
Last Shabbat, I discussed the topic of controlling anger and being forgiving.
Here are some of the insights which we can apply in our lives:
The Jewish ethical text, Reishit Chochma, offers a strategy for dealing with anger. Make a commitment that, if you lose your temper, you will give away a sum of money! It has to be an amount that would provide a real deterrent. In time, you will find that losing your temper is becoming very costly and you’ll find the willpower to control it!
Ethics of the Fathers teaches that, as important as it is not to lose one’s temper, it is more important to be forgiving and not bear a grudge. We mentioned two strategies to be more forgiving:
If someone has upset you, think about the good things that they have done for you or for others. If necessary, sit with a pen and write it down. Allow the negativity to become lessened or neutralized by appreciating that the person has redeeming features.
If we think someone has done something wrong, think about ways of judging them favorably. Maybe we misinterpreted what they did. Or, maybe what they did was wrong. But who knows what they were going through in their lives at that time?!
Read this excellent article on forgiveness.