How to Use Anger

How to Use AngerA question I received: Who should you release your personal anger on? Sometimes it’s felt very strongly, and so I wanted to know how it can be used, whether at all.

My Answer: There is no one quality that was created in us without a purpose, and we need to use all of them, including anger. However, how we actually use anger needs to be clarified. When feeling angry, we first need to unite with the One who initiates our existence – the Creator (“There is none else beside Him”) – and our initial conditions for being able to do so are in having a Reshimo and a desire. We then need to determine what depends on us, to which we say “If I am not for me, then who is?” As a result, we should come to hate that which is within us, preventing us from uniting our entire sensation into one whole (“Israel, Torah and the Creator.” Read Baal HaSulam’s letter “Taking the True Path,”* in Pri Chacham, pages 63-64). We should then come to hate external disturbances, treating them as impurities, and neutralize them within ourselves. And because of “the necessity to practice caution with the laws of nature,” one should take after the collective (see Baal HaSulam’s article “The Freedom,” item “Take After the Collective”).

* Note: Baal HaSulam’s letter “Taking the True Path” is not yet available in English, however, below is an English translation of a lesson on this letter with M. Laitman.

Lesson on Pri Chacham Letter on p. 63 – “Taking the True Path”


  1. Take After the Collective
    Our scriptures say: “Take after the collective”. That means that wherever there is a dispute between the collective and the individual, we are obliged to rule according to the will of the collective. Thus you see that the collective has a right to expropriate the freedom of the individual.
    But we are faced with a different question here, even graver than the first, for this law seemingly regresses humanity instead of promoting it. Because while most of mankind is as yet undeveloped, and the developed are always a small minority, it turns out that if you follow the will of the collective, which are the undeveloped and the ones of hasty heart, the opinions and desires of the wise and the developed, which are always the minority, are never taken into account. Thus you seal off humanity’s fate to regression, for it will not be able to make even a single step forward.
    Although, as it says in the “Essay of Peace” about the “obligation to caution in the laws of nature”, that since we are ordered by providence to live a social life, we have become obligated to observe all the rules that deal with sustaining the society. And if we underestimate their importance, even to a small extent, nature will take its revenge in us, regardless of whether or not we understand the reason in the law.
    And we can see that there is no other arrangement to live by within our society, but that of “Take after the collective”, which sets every dispute and tribulation in society in order. Thus, this law is the only instrument which gives society a right to exist. Therefore it is considered one of the natural precepts of providence, and we must accept it and guard it meticulously, regardless of our understanding.
    It is like all other precepts (Mitzvot) in the Torah, that are all the laws of nature and His providence, which come to us from above downward. And I have already described how all the stubbornness that we detect in the conduct of nature in this world, is only because they are extended and taken from laws and conducts of upper, spiritual worlds.
    Hence, you can also understand that the Mitzvot in the Torah are no more than laws and conducts, set in upper worlds, which are the roots for all of the conducts of nature in this world, as two drops in a pond. Thus we have proven that the law of “Take after the collective” is the law of providence and nature.

  2. Love Thy Friend as Thyself
    We should examine further and understand the meaning of the verse, “Love thy friend as thyself.” The literal meaning of it is to love your friend in the same amount that you love yourself. However, we see that the collective cannot keep up with it at all. If it had said love your friend as much as your friend loves you, there still would not be many people who could observe it completely, yet it would be acceptable.
    But to love my friend as much as I love myself appears to be impossible. Even if there were but one person in the world except me, that would still be impossible, much less when the world is full of people. Moreover, if one loved everyone as much as one loves oneself, he would have no time for himself. But one must willingly satisfy one’s own needs without neglect, for one loves oneself.
    It is not so concerning the needs of the collective; for one has no strong motivation to stimulate one’s desire to work for them. Even if one had a desire, could one still keep this statement literally? Would one’s strength endure? If not, how can the Torah obligate us to do something that is not in any way feasible?
    We should not consider that this statement is spoken by way of exaggeration, because we are cautioned by the saying: “Though shall not add to it nor subtract from it.” All the interpreters agreed to interpret the text literally. Moreover they said that one must satisfy the needs of one’s friend even in a place where one is himself in need. Even then we must satisfy the needs of our friend and leave ourselves needing.
    The Tosfot interpret that anyone who buys a Hebrew slave, it is as though he buys a master for himself. And the Tosfot interpret that should one happen to have but one pillow, if one lies on it oneself, he does not keep, “For he is happy with thee.” And if one does not lie on it and does not give it to one’s slave, this is sodomite rule. It turns out that against his will one must give it to one’s servant. It turns out that one has bought oneself a master.

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