How to defuse anger – by Rabbi Berland

Rabbi Eliezer Berland’s Kuntres on How to Defuse Anger

When the English translation of this Kuntres was shown to Rabbi Berland, shlita, he explained that at soon as it started to be widely circulated, the trait of anger would be nullified in the world.

This is also available in hard copy, from the store.

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Anger

When one gets angry, all sorts of hell (lit: demons) control him, and even the holy Divine Presence doesn’t stand by his side. And the soul, which is a part of Godliness, dwells within the person, and at the time of anger, the fire of anger enters the person, and this causes the Divine Presence and the Godly soul to leave the person.

And the Divine Presence says: “He and I cannot dwell together.”

And even more so, that by a person getting angry, he can easily fall into more severe and grave sins. Every person has seven branches, which are (two) ears, (two) eye, (two) nostrils and a mouth, that correlate to the seven branches of the Menorah.

And when a person prays on the topic of overcoming anger, he merits that his face shines, and always looks lucid and pure. And by doing this, he guards all the holy oils located in the human brain, just like the oil in the Beit HaMikdash, that was pure from all impurities.

And every time a challenge arises, where we even start just thinking angrily, [we should] immediately ward it off, with all force, and to merit to speak gently, even though they angered me.

And then, a person merits the radiance of the Divine countenance, and to guard the oils with great holiness.

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Prayer #680: To not even get angry in our minds

TO MERIT TO NOT LOSE THE LIGHT OF THE DIVINE PRESENCE, AND THE GODLY SOUL. AND TO GUARD THE PURITY OF THE HOLY OILS, AND THE RADIANCE OF THE DIVINE COUNTENANCE. AND TO OVERCOME ANGER, EVEN IN OUR MINDS.

“You who tears himself apart in his anger, will the earth be abandoned for your sake?” (Job 18:4)

Simply, every time we get angry we lose the Divine Presence and Godly souls, and then the Divine Presence says: “He and I cannot dwell together.”

Please Hashem, give me the merit to not lose the holy Divine Presence, as a result of even a single angry thought. Because as a result of this, all sorts of hell (lit: demons) control him, because all of the blood boils, and then it’s possible to transgress even more severe and grave sins.

Please Hashem, “deliver me from the wicked one’s hand, from the palm of the schemer and the violent one,” so that he shouldn’t devour our souls, and he shouldn’t make our lucid and pure face turn sour. And we should merit to have the pure, lucid and refined menorah, us and all of Your nation, Beit Yisroel.

Because through anger, a person loses the seven branches of the menorah, in an aspect of the Greeks, who defiled all of the oils.

Please Hashem, merit us that we no longer defile the oils of the Beit HaMikdash (Holy Temple) through anger, and that we should always guard the purity of the oils, and the purity of the radiance of the Divine Countenance, and we should always have lucid and pure faces.

And if, for Heaven’s sake, anger will come upon us, we should immediately overcome it and eradicate it from ourselves.

Please Hashem, merit us to destroy the anger from within ourselves, and that we should no longer stumble into anger again, not even a thought of anger. Rather, we should always restrain ourselves and remain silent, and always speak gently, even if they make me angry.

I shall never get angry again.

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PATIENCE

“Patience” (being slow to anger) is the service of every moment, especially when a moment comes when someone annoys me, and it’s difficult for me to endure.

Rabbenu (Rebbe Nachman of Breslov) revealed to us that when he arrived in Israel, he merited the highest level of patience, to the point that Rabbenu avowed that even if they would chastise him to the utmost, Rabbenu wouldn’t hold a grudge (i.e. become irritated) at all. Rather, he would bestow upon him all good.

The tzaddikim that are our leaders, and from whom we drink the well-waters of life; the tzaddikim, who teach us about conceding, and about [continuing to] provide even when we’re annoyed – even though they caused me sorrow beyond comprehension, as occurred to Yosef the Tzaddik, that even after the brothers sold him, Yosef only provided and cared for his brothers. And he didn’t take revenge, nor held a grudge against them.

And the tzaddikim also fulfill the verse: “and it turned about” (ve’nahafoch hu), and they turn themselves in the opposite direction from the rest of the world, and they only bestow and give, even when they get ‘bad’ in return for the ‘good’ they did. And they intensify their mercy more and more.

And may we merit to learn and follow their holy ways, and to integrate them [into ourselves] completely.

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Prayer #645 – FOR PATIENCE

TO MERIT PATIENCE [BEING SLOW TO ANGER) AND NOT TO HOLD A GRUDGE AGAINST ANYONE IN THE WORLD. AND ONLY TO BESTOW UPON HIM ENDLESS GOOD, AND TO LEARN FROM THE WAY OF THE RIGHTEOUS, WHO DON’T EVER TAKE REVENGE, NOR HOLD A GRUDGE. AND WE SHOULD MERIT TO CHANGE OUR NATURE FROM ONE END TO ANOTHER.

Master of the Universe, Almighty, please give me the merit to have patience, and that I shouldn’t ever harshly judge anyone, even if he will cause me all the misfortune and all the torment in the world, as it says in the laws of Tefillin 5:17 [of Likutey Halachot].

That Rabbenu said that when he arrived in Eretz Yisrael, he merited to have such patience, that even if someone did all the afflictions in the world to him, he wouldn’t bear a grudge at all. On the contrary, he would bestow all the good in the world upon him, and shower him with endless abundance, to him, his children, and all his offspring forever. Because the tzaddikim act the exact opposite from the rest of the nation.

They don’t take revenge, nor do they bear a grudge, as is says: “You shall not take revenge and you shall not bear a grudge against the members of your people.”

And they don’t hold a grudge at all, like Yosef HaTzaddik, who even after they tortured him in every possible way didn’t judge them harshly, nor get angry, chas v’shalom. On the contrary, he gave them food, drink and clothes, because the tzaddikim are the aspect of ‘Purim’, the aspect of ‘v’nehafoch hu’ – the complete opposite from the rest of the nation.

So, too, may we merit to not bear a grudge at all, and to transform our bad nature from one end to the other.

And we shouldn’t bear a grudge again, but rather overcome it with endless mercy.

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In life, everyone has ups and downs.

However, at the time of a ‘down’, one needs to remember the light and happiness that he had during the moments that he was on a ‘high’, because when a person falls, he is only left with a feeling (or memory) of the previous place he was in. Therefore, he is prone to stumble by getting angry, because this low place that he has currently fallen to is a place that contains anger and fury.

And when a person overcomes anger, he will merit to enter the Garden of Eden free of judgment, and he will also merit to have boys and girls, and they will have comprehensive knowledge.

Only through singing and praising and thanking Hashem is one saved from anger, because within this point of anger that one has deep in his heart, there is a grudge against Hashem, God forbid. “Why is this happening to me? Why am I going through this?”

But when one strengthens himself with singing and dancing, and he sings and praises and blesses Hashem, he sees how much kindness Hashem bestows upon him every moment, and he reveals Hashem’s glory in all the worlds.

And then happiness will be showered upon him, as well as the power to overcome the low mental state that we sometimes fall to.

And we will also merit to overcome all of the anger that is to be found there.

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PRAYER #620, A PRAYER AGAINST ANGER

TO MERIT BEING SAVED FROM ANGER THAT COMES ABOUT AS A RESULT OF BEING IN A LOW MENTAL STATE OF MIND. AND TO MERIT ENTERING GAN EDEN WITHOUT JUDGMENT. AND TO ALWAYS SING AND DANCE, AND THEN HASHEM WILL BE REVEALED IN THE WORLD.

Master of the universe, Almighty, as I fall to the sefira of Malchut in the world of Asiya – (Hashem created the world utilizing the attributes of the 10 sefirot, Malchut being the lowest) – and these sefirot endlessly repeat themselves in different worlds which in our case is in the world of Asiya (which is pretty much our physical world as we know it.)

Which is very, very, low, that there lies all the anger and fury that comes about as a result of a low mental state, that because of it, we fall into anger.

Because by being saved from anger, we merit entering Gan Eden, without any judgment at all.

And, through this we merit to have boys and girls “that have comprehensive knowledge.” Please Hashem, merit me to have the knowledge that the rulership (700) is before Your (190), “might (83) is in Your hand (36) and power (222) by Your Right side (137) = 1357.

For it is impossible to be saved from anger without singing and dancing, songs and praises.

As is says[1]: “I shall sing (248) with praise (375) and enter (180) the (9) openings (548) = 1357.” And “I will rejoice (354) and exult (202) in You (22), I will sing praises (253) to Your name (360), Most High (166) = 1357.” And “by doing so, You shall reveal Your greatness (48), power (222) , and glory (1087) = 1357 and eternity, and so too with song, Your name will be glorified.”

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Our Sages of blessed memory spoke very much against anger.

Aas mentioned before, that anger rids a person from the Divine Presence, and that during a bout of anger, all sorts of hell dominate a person.

Even the Divine Presence doesn’t stand before him, and this is considered as though he worships idols, which is one of the strictest transgressions in the Torah.

And anger causes one to be judged severely, and horrible afflictions will come upon him, and this causes poverty and difficulty in earning a living, and he is left without anything. However, when one merits to overcome anger, he merits tremendous wealth, and the entire world is dependent and rests upon him.

As the Vilna Gaon said, that every moment that a person muzzles his mouth, no angel, nor any other creation, can stand against him, because in those moments that he overcomes himself, he changes nature, and holy wealth is showered upon him. Rebbe Nachman explains that they want to shower wealth upon him, then immediately, a heavenly accusation is aroused against him: Who says he’s deserving of this?! And then, they challenge him with anger, to see if he will withstand it, and when he merits to withstand the test, they immediately shower upon him wealth.

But if he fails to withstand the test, for Heaven’s sake, then he loses the presents that they wanted to give him.

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PRAYER 619: A PRAYER TO BE SAVED FROM ANGER

To merit being saved from anger, because there is no transgression greater than this, and a person is judged severely and pushes away the Divine Presence and loses the abundance of wealth.

Master of the Universe, Almighty, that no obstacle can stand before You, merit me that I should be saved from anger, and that I shall never get angry, for there is no transgression as severe as anger.

As it says, anyone who gets angry, all sorts of hell (demons) control him, and it’s considered as though he worships idols. And Hashem will never, ever forgive him, and he will have to answer for every single time he got angry, as is says: “You who tears himself apart in his anger, will the earth be abandoned for your sake?” (Job 18:4), where he causes the Divine Presence to leave the world and the Divine Presence runs away from the world.

And he is not revived again, and he is judged with severe judgments and horrific afflictions. And Rabbenu (Rebbe Nachman) says in Torah 69, that he loses all of his abundance as well as his wealth, and he is left bare, lacking everything.

And all of this occurs as a result of the head of the family failing the test of anger.

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Anger is an opening towards transgressing severe sins.

When a person merits to revitalize himself, and to overcome this difficult challenge, he will merit to guard his eyes, because these things depend upon each other. When we don’t get angry, we merit to guard our eyes, and when we guard our eyes, we merit to overcome anger, as it says about Rabbi Matiyah ben Charash, who withstood the challenge of guarding his eyes. To the extent, that he asked his students to bring him red-hot skewers and he inserted them into his eyes.

The main thing is to guard the eyes.

Rebbe Nachman writes in Likutey Moharan that a person who guards his eyes will merit to see lofty things, because one thing depends upon the other.

When someone opens his eyes to see things that are prohibited, he combines the two  caangels that are not from the holy side, that are called ‘andrala / musiya’ – which is a name that is subdivided into two, ‘andrala’ and ‘musiya’. When a person transgresses with his eyes, they combine with each other, and pogroms come about in the world, G-d forbid.

And when one strengthens himself to guard his eyes, he also merits to overcome anger, and to sweeten the harsh judgments in the world.

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Prayer 531, To Merit Being Saved From Anger

To merit being saved from anger and to never get angry. And to guard my eyes and by so doing, I’ll merit to never get angry.

Master of the universe, Almighty, merit me that I should be saved from anger, and that I shouldn’t get angry at anything. And even something that I think to get angry about, G-d forbid, I should never get angry again, and I should never stumble over anger again.

Rather, I should learn from Hushim the son of Dan, who cut off Esav’s head, and didn’t let his grandfather Yaakov lie in disgrace.

And then, if we don’t get angry, we merit to put red hot skewers in our eyes, like Matya son of Charash did, that even though he lived in Rome, he merited to get the inspiration there to place red hot skewers in his eyes.

The main thing is not to see something prohibited, because King David says in Psalm 119: “avert my eyes from seeing futility”. And this should be pronounced and read with the letter ‘vav’ and not with the letter ‘vet’, to read: “blind my eyes from seeing futility.”[2] That I prefer that You should blind me, rather than I should remain with open eyes, G-d forbid, and that I shouldn’t see anything forbidden, G-d forbid.

And then, when we don’t stumble over forbidden sights, we will never get angry.

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A person’s service – his praying and learning about overcoming anger – gives him the strength to endure the feeling of anger, but it doesn’t always work the first time.

When one works on a specific trait like anger, for example, challenges arrives. But on the flip-side, there are also special gifts, like long life, for example.

When one merits to reach higher levels, he comes to a place of: “And Aharon was silent”, and even if someone insults him, he will remain silent and restrain himself. And when someone knows that this is the best thing for me, he will also merit to have a long life.

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PRAYER 672 – TO MERIT TO HAVE A LONG LIFE BY OVERCOMING ANGER

To merit being saved from anger, and that I shall never get angry at any family member, nor anyone who disgraces me or speaks against me. Rather, I will only love them, and in this merit my life will be lengthened without any ailments or pain, whatsoever.

Master of the universe, save me from anger!

“Raise me high over those who rise against me. Rescue me from evildoers, and save me from bloodthirsty men. For behold, they lie in ambush for my soul, brazen ones gather around me – not for my transgression, and not for my sin, oh Hashem.”

Please Hashem, save me from the trait of anger, and I shall never get angry again. Not against my wife (husband), not against my boys, not against my daughters. And I should bring forth the trait of: “And Aharon was silent.” And I shall always be silent to those that curse me, and be silent to those that disgrace me, and be silent to anyone who speaks against me, and I should love them with a profound love, with all [the five parts of my soul] my nefesh, ruach, neshama, chaya and yechida.

Even if they disgrace me, I will know that this is the healthiest and most pleasant thing, and that in the merit of this, I will have long days and years [of life], without any aches, nor any pain at all.

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When the spies entered to spy out the land, it wasn’t a simple challenge to not stumble into anger, regarding how the spies spoke.

But Yehoshua bin Nun didn’t angry, no matter what, and he knew that everything was with G-d’s Divine Providence (hashgacha pratit). And he just prayed to G-d, that the Jewish nation wouldn’t stumble into the sin of the spies, which was slander, because by this grave sin, we fall physically when our enemies make war against us.

So too, spiritually, a person falls into the evil inclination, which causes him to disconnect from G-d, and this transgression is equal to all the sins in the world. And this grave sin stems from the snake, from the time when the first man sinned. Neither the snake not the Satan has any pleasure from what he says and the slanders he speaks.

Our main service is to cling to G-d, and to pray – as we do every morning – to be saved from the sin of slander, and not to succumb to it. And by doing this, to merit being safeguarded and saved from this serious, grave transgression and sin.

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PRAYER 681: To Not Get Angry, No Matter What

To merit to learn from Yehoshua, who didn’t get angry no matter what.  And we will be saved from anger and slander, that completely bonds us to the snake, and disconnects a person from the Jewish nation, and we should merit to only cling to HaKadosh Baruch Hu (the Blessed G-d).

That he spoke and slandered, therefore Blessed G-d, save us as well from this grave and awful sin, and we should never again transgress this sin. And we should never again cling to the sin of the awful and terrible snake.

And we should cling only to You, and to nothing else in the world, at all.

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When a person prays to overcome anger – and each time he overcomes – the entire world exists in his merit.

As it says: “He suspends the earth on nothingness” (Job 26:7)[3].

In the merit that you were silent, and you controlled yourself, the entire world depends on and exists in your merit. Because at the moment that anger arrives, there is certainly room for justice to understand your anger. And when you overcome it, and remain silent, and you sacrifice your embarrassment and anger before G-d, and you forgive your shame, at that moment the Upper Worlds join, which causes all of the nations of the world to fear the Jewish people.

And this is considered as though a person martyred himself for Kiddush Hashem, to sanctify the Holy Name.

When shame comes upon a person, he should know that he is loved before Hashem and the Tzaddik, as Rabbenu HaKadosh (Rebbe Nachman) said, I brought you a present: controversy. Because when conflict (machloket) is brought against someone, it’s like a springboard that catapults this person to great spiritual heights, but it just clothes itself in an embarrassment, or anger.

Therefore, if one merits to withstand this test, and to pray for it, he will merit miracles and wonders, as in the days of Matityahu ben Yochanan the High Priest, and everyone (i.e. a person’s opponents) will fall on their own.

Just strengthen yourself, at the time of this difficult and terrible challenge.

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PRAYER 127: TO MERIT BEING SAVED FROM ANGER

Master of the universe, Almighty, merit me to be saved from anger, by being elevated up to the Adam Kadmon of Adam Kadmon[4], in the merit of: “He suspends the earth on nothingness.” That through this ‘nothingness’, one remains silent when being embarrassed.

And about this it says: “They get embarrassed and they don’t embarrass. They hear their disgrace and they don’t respond. They do it with love, and are happy with their afflictions. About them is says: ‘and let those who love Him be like the powerfully-rising sun’” (Judges 5:31).

Because: “Zion will be redeemed through justice, and those who return to her through righteousness” (Isaiah 1:27), and I should merit to fulfill what is written in Tractate Gittin 7: “Wait silently for (the salvation of) Hashem and wait longingly for Him” (Psalms 37:7).

And He will make them fall before you, because by a person forgiving his embarrassment, the heels of Leah combine with the crown of Rachel[5], and via this, the verse is fulfilled: “Upon Edom I will cast my shoe”, “all the dwellers of Canaan dissolved.” “He will strike (the wicked of) the world with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips he will slay the wicked.”

Because someone who forgives his embarrassment, at every moment and at every second, he is delivering himself up for Kiddush Hashem, to sanctify the Holy Name, and the entire world exists in his merit. And I shouldn’t feel at all that I’m being embarrassed, nor that someone is hurting me.

And by overcoming my anger and shame, I should merit to subdue Klipat Edom (51) and Yishmael (457) = 508, in the merit of Serach (508) bat Asher, who entered Gan Eden alive. Because: “G-d is angered every day,” and by overcoming anger we sweeten: “G-d is angered every day.”

Because whoever G-d loves, He sends that person embarrassments, as Rabbenu said: “I brought you a present: conflict.” And by this: “He perceived no iniquity in Yaakov, and saw no perversity in Israel.” And by this, Hashem Echad (13), I shall merit miracles and wonders, as in the days of Matityahu ben Yochanan, the High Priest.

And the verse: “Wait silently for Hashem, and wait longingly for Him,” will be fulfilled by me rising early to go to the beit hamidrash (place of Torah learning), and they will fall away on their own.

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Rebbe Nachman explains in Torah Lesson 2 in Likutey Moharan, that the entire service of Moshiach depends on ‘smell’.

As it says: “He will be imbued with a spirit of fear of Hashem” (Isaiah 11:3).

“The breath of our nostrils, Hashem’s anointed’ (Lamentations 4:20).

All of man’s vitality comes via his breathing, which is from the nose – ‘af’ in Hebrew. So too, anger is also referred to as ‘af’, from the language used to describe anger. When a person works on his anger, and prays on it step-by-step, he will eventually overcome it. And then, he will merits to bring a holy spirit upon himself, because when a person gets angry, he brings upon himself a spirit of hell, and all sorts of hell (demons) control.

If a person checks himself that that moment when he becomes angry, it’s possible for him to feel the fire burning in his hands. And when a person overcomes this, he literally contains the super powers of fire in his hands, and by his overcoming it, he rids the world of judgment.

And when a person constantly thanks and praises Hashem about everything, the anger diminishes and nullifies, because he understands that everything is only endless kindness that Hashem bestows upon him.

When a person requests: “Your mercy should come upon the bird’s nest” (i.e. he remonstrates with us for trying to take the eggs or the chicks), this means, in other words, that Hashem commanded us to send off the mother bird before taking the eggs, and this person is more ‘merciful’ than Hashem, so to speak. Why should the chicks or eggs be taken from their mother?

Therefore, we immediately ‘silence him’ because the Hebrew world for nest, ‘kan’, has the same gematria as the Hebrew word for anger, and when a person thanks Hashem every moment, even when he doesn’t understand, he sweetens all the anger in the world. And then a holy, pure spirit rests upon him, as it says: “Create a pure heart for me, O G-d, and renew within me a steadfast spirit” (Psalms 51-12).

Because he attracts upon himself a pure spirit from above, because when a person gets angry, he is in a state of lacking self-control, and evil forces control him. But when a person prays and pleads to overcome anger, then he will merit to see the face of our righteous Moshiach, about whom it’s written: “He will be imbued with a spirit of fear of Hashem”, “the breath of our nostrils, Hashem’s anointed.”

And he gives strength to the kingdom of Moshiach to reveal itself in the world, and all of this comes by way of his nullifying his anger with mercy.

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PRAYER 921: TO MERIT THE REVELATION OF THE KINGDOM OF MOSHIACH IN THE WORLD

To merit to have patience, and to sweeten anger with mercy, because the spirit of hell is awakened at a moment of anger, and a person has no control over himself. And the way to overcome it is by thanking Hashem and by doing this, we will see our righteous Moshiach, and his kingship will reveal itself in the world.

Please Hashem, merit us to not ever get angry, and by doing this we will merit: “the breath of our nostrils, Hashem’s anointed.”

Because it’s only by having the patience to never get angry, and that no thought of anger should ever cross our heart or mind, that the soul of Moshiach can be brought forth to the world. And if we never, ever have anger, we will merit the spirit of Moshiach, and when a person gets angry, he brings upon himself the spirit of hell, “that anyone who gets angry, all sorts of hell (demons) control him.”

Master of the universe, Almighty, save us from anger, and we should never get angry, and we should never stumble into anger, nor a thought of anger.

And we should always have endless patience for every single Jew, “because when a person says that your mercy should come upon a bird’s nest, we silence him.” Because by thanking and thanking, every single second and with every single breath, he only thanks Hashem, by doing this: “Your mercy will come upon a bird’s nest”. Because nest (kan) is the numerical value of anger (kas) = 150.

And a person must sweeten anger with mercy, and he merits to do this by saying every moment and every second, thank You, Hashem, an aspect of: “and on good will Your name be remembered.”

And by this, he merits the aspect of: “we silence him”, to be silent at the time of his anger, and even if they embarrass him and anger him, he doesn’t feel any anguish or anger. And no anger will ever control me again.

Please Hashem, merit me to constantly have a holy, pure spirit, “a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of knowledge and fear of Hashem,” and I should never get angry again. Please Hashem, “the wisdom and the understanding to the Eternal One, the knowledge and intelligence to the Eternal One.”

Please Hashem, place upon me a spirit of gentleness that is unique, and I should always have mercy and care for every single person, especially myself, that I shouldn’t drop myself into the burning furnace of anger, because then at the time of anger, all sorts of hell (demons) control me, and I have no control over myself.

Please Hashem, merit me to see the King Moshiach, because it is not possible to see the King Moshiach unless we sweeten anger with mercy. And then, the kingdom of Moshiach will be revealed in the world, and inasmuch as the anger becomes nullified to mercy, so will the kingdom of Moshiach be revealed in the world.

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A COMPILATION OF RABBI ELIEZER BERLAND’S WORDS OF WISDOM, ON THE TOPIC OF ANGER. (MAY HE LIVE LONG AND HAPPILY, AMEN!)

A person comes to the Tzaddik to acquire patience.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov explains in Likutey Moharan Lesson #155 how a person merits to acquire patience: by accepting embarrassments.

For example, they embarrass you, they don’t accept you to yeshiva, they don’t accept your daughter to a certain school or high-school – you have to be happy with this! The main thing is not to blame yourself, nor the members of your household, and to remember that everything is directed from Heaven, and it’s prohibited to get angry.

Rabbenu warns that one angry outburst destroys 100 opportunities to make a living (parnassa). There is nothing to get angry about! Know, that everything is from Hashem.

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When a person comes to Uman, he merits to acquire patience and he learns to acknowledge that everything is from Hashem, as is says: “and every creation should know that You lead him to do what he does. And every creation should understand that You created him, and for as long as his soul rests within him he should say, ‘Hashem the G-d of Israel is the King of His Kingdom, and rules over all.’”

The human being is a creation of Hashem, and we are like clay in the hand of the Creator, and all of our service in the world is to know that Hashem escorts and guides me with endless love. And the main service of man is to thank and praise Hashem for placing the soul within me that enables me to crown Hashem in His entire kingdom and rulership.

And the main service is patience, and especially [overcoming] anger, so that he shouldn’t declare himself unfit [to serve Hashem], because then they will shower hidden wealth upon him. And a person needs to be careful not to ruin the bounty that will be sent to him from Above at a time of challenge, and by him overcoming [his anger], he crowns Hashem in the entire universe.

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During the last generations just after the Second Temple [was destroyed], neither their sin nor [the time for] their redemption was revealed to them, and they didn’t understand why the Temple was destroyed.

The reason for the destruction was sinat chinam, hatred without a cause.

But a person doesn’t even feel that he has sinat chinam, baseless hatred, or even holds any ‘baseless’ grudge or anger against someone else, because he is sure about his own righteousness, and he doesn’t understand that this is a sin, and he doesn’t sense the severity of it, and therefore, the second Beit HaMikdash was destroyed.

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Why haven’t we been redeemed?

Because the Torah was forgotten from us, because the Torah that we learn has to be learnt in depth, and the Torah has to be learned in holiness, and not just as some science, or wisdom.

As long as the Beit HaMikdash wasn’t built in our time, it’s as though it was destroyed in our time.

When we merit to plumb the depth of the Torah, and to [learn] its true meaning, the personal and general (world) redemption will arrive.

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Rabbi Yonatan said, that once upon a time they traveled by ship, and they saw a chest set with diamonds on the ocean floor, and all sorts of fish surrounded it. Someone who knew how to swim when to take the chest, and then a fish called birsha wanted to devour his leg, to swallow his leg and his thigh.  He poured vinegar [on it] and the fish fled.

At the moment he’d already gotten closer to this chest, that was set with precious diamonds and gems, a Heavenly voice called out and said, What business do you have with this chest that belongs to the wife of Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa, where she will soon place blue cloth (wool tzitzit) within it, for the righteous in the World to Come?!

What is this chest? This chest is hinting about a person who always stumbles into anger.

He stumbles into anger one time, and by doing so he loses all the precious stones and gems. Because Hashem wants to bestow precious stones and gems upon a person. As the Sages, may their memory be for a blessing, said, if Adam hadn’t have sinned, then he would have had two snakes. One snake he would have sent up North, and the other down South, and they would have brought him precious stones and gems.

Hashem wants every person to have endless wealth, and endless precious stones and gems. Just there is an ‘unfortified city’ with no walls – there is no fence around his anger. The moment a person gets angry, especially against his wife, at that moment, he loses all of his wealth.

Because wealth comes via the wife, as our Sages of blessed memory said: “Respect and appreciate your wives so that you should become rich.” Because wealth comes through her, and if a person angered his wife, or caused her sorrow, he will then lose all of his wealth. He will go around the whole land, from North to South to East to West, and he won’t find anything, because he lost all of his wealth.

The moment someone stumbles into anger, Rabbenu says, he is considered to be an unfortified city with no wall. Because the moment that someone stumbles into anger, he is like an unfortified city; there is no wall. Because: “the treasure of a wealthy person is his city of strength, and like a high wall in his chambers” (Proverbs, 18:11).

“The treasure of a wealthy person” – this is his city of strength, like a wall. “The treasure of a wealthy person” is called a strong, high wall. Now, it’s come time to give a person a strong, high wall – endless wealth! But the moment he stumbles into anger, he loses all of his wealth, and now he needs to travel all around the globe, where maybe he’ll find a few coins.

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The Rebbe says that by way of improper hitbodedut (personal prayer that one composes in one’s own words, without any set text), one comes to anger.

There is such a thing as improper hitbodedut! He’s not praying about acquiring some humility in hitbodedut; rather, he’s praying that I should be learned, and a genius, that I should finish the whole of Shas (the Talmud).

The most severe thing in the world is pride, there is nothing worse than this.

This is the person: honor. That’s his whole being, his imaginary self-honor.

What, this other person doesn’t know what I want?! He’s doing the opposite of what I want?! And not what I intended?! He did something against me?! Something was done against my will?! Someone changed my plans a little bit?!

Who am I, and what am I? What are all these ‘plans’ and things to do? Pie-in-the-sky.

Live quietly! There is no world, there is nothing. Hashem helps. The Torah that I want, Hashem also wants. But who says, that I really want it?

Every time this person’s plans are ruined, he is filled with anger.

Each time, it seems to him that his ‘plans’ are a prophecy from Mount Sinai, or a prophecy from Hashem. He got this prophecy, that you need to do this and that!!! He says to himself, I am the Holy of Holies! Anyone who tries to prevent me from doing something deserves to die! He should be eradicated from the world!!!

The Rebbe says that if I get angry at someone, if I stumbled into anger – then it’s certain that this person seeks honor. And everything he does, every ‘mitzvah’ that he performs, it’s only in order to gain more respect from it.

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THE FOLLOWING IS BASED ON THE 9TH OF REBBE NACHMAN’S TALES, THE STORY OF THE SIMPLE ONE AND THE CLEVER ONE

The Simple One said to the Clever One, Take my entire home! I’m ok, one square meter is enough for us. You take the entire house, but just be happy! Just give us a smile, let us see you smile! You never smile. You are always tense, and you want to kill everyone. What happened to you? Once upon a time, we saw you happy! Once upon a time, we saw you smile. Take my house, just give one smile!

Rabbenu HaKadosh (Rebbe Nachman), of blessed memory, said that he merited to acquire such a level of patience, that he wouldn’t experience any kind of anger of grudge, no matter what would happen. Even if he brings upon me all the strife in the world, even if the one that hates him the most will bring upon him all the strife…

This is all tikkunim (spiritual rectifications – situations that one needs to overcome, and by doing so, he settles old spiritual debts and prevents new ones from arising) – and he won’t get angry against this person, not bear a grudge against him, at all.

It says that everyone has his spiritual ‘root’, his people (i.e. those people who stem from the same spiritual ‘root’ in Heaven.) In the future time, everyone will have 600,000 [people]. In the future time, Am Yisroel will be like the sand in the ocean that can’t be counted, due to its multitude. Everyone will literally have 600,000 [people].

If we would merit, so too now, we would each have 600.000.

When a person stumbles into anger, he loses the souls that are connected to him, they distance themselves from him. When a person stumbles into anger, the souls that are connected to him automatically become distant from him.

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FOOTNOTES:

[1] This was composed by the holy Arizal, to be sung by the Shabbat table.

[2] In Hebrew, ‘avert’ is spelled: העבר, while ‘blind’ is spelled: העור.

[3] Nothingness – בלי מה – also means silence.

[4] A kabbalistic term denoting an extremely lofty, spiritual world.

[5] Kabbalistic terminology, describing a very deep spiritual rectification.

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