Keeping Cool

Question

Hi Rabbi, how do I control my anger when I am deeply insulted in public? I know what I’d like to do, but — what does Judaism teach is the right thing to do? Thanks!

4 weeks

Answers

  1. I suggest we take a lesson from King David. King David’s son Avshalom rebelled against his father and wanted to take the crown for himself. King David needed to flee from the rebellion mounted by his son.

    While fleeing, he was publicly insulted by an important man named Shimi ben Gera who was also part of the rebellion against King David. Shimi cursed King David, saying: “Out with you, you worthless bloody man!” King David’s aide, Avishai, volunteered to kill Shimi for cursing the king. However, King David told Avishai to stand down, saying: “Let him insult, for it must be that God has certainly commanded him to curse me.” (Shmuel II 16:10)

    If we always keep in mind that anything that happens to us is a result of a Heavenly decree — as King David did — we will hopefully succeed in restraining our anger and leave it to Heaven to settle the account with our insulter.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team