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Nisan-Fighting the Fire of Anger IX

The Vorker Rebbe said that the truly humble man is unable to feel anger. Even if he is interrupted when busy, he will show no annoyance. He always believes the other man to be more important than he.


He is like a wood chopper addressed by the King. Is it conceivable that the woodman should feel irritation against the king for being bothered when occupied with his work?

An excellent example of such a humble person is Hillel. The well-known story relates that two people made a wager that Hillel could be brought to show anger. [Shabbat 31] Though the questioner harassed Hillel with ridiculous questions while the Rabbi was preparing for Shabbat, Hillel retained his calm. (Siach Sarfei Kodesh, II, page 82)

iPray-iLove-Blessings of Shema-Morning: “Then they all accept upon themselves the yoke of heavenly sovereignty from one another, and lovingly grant permission to one another to sanctify the One Who formed them, with tranquility, with clear articulation, and with sweetness.” The highest Angels are able to sing their awesome praises of God only in a state of humility, seeing themselves all as needing the permission of the others, and willingly granting permission for all the other Angels to sing. This is a perfect opportunity to practice the humility necessary to control anger: be patient with the voices of the other people praying near you, who may be disturbing your prayers. Practice humility in giving them the freedom to express themselves as they will. Such humility will empower us to seeing with the same, “tranquility, clear articulation, and sweetness,” as do the highest Angels.

Haggadah: “To remind us of the Temple, we do as Hillel did in Temple times; he combined Matzah and Maror in a sandwich.” Hillel’s sandwich, in which all the different parts of the Seder were equal, was a Humility Exercise: reminding us to allow everyone at the Seder to speak with our full permission and patience, without our becoming frustrated and angry.

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