"Egypt" Loses Its Power Over Israel on the 15th of Nissan

"...and on the 15th of Nisan they will in the future be redeemed from subjugation to exile.” (Tanhuma, Bo 9)

21 August 2018

Basic Concepts: "Revenge"

10 Elul 5778

Turning the other cheek is a Christian 'value,' not in accordance with our Holy Torah. And there is some innate human awareness that revenge is necessary to bring the world into balance. Who has not heard a child's voice raised in righteous anger: "That's not fair!" And who has never joined in the cheers at the precise moment in the movie where the bad guy gets what's coming to him? Something very satisfying settles on the heart when justice is served. 

Or Hara'ayon, Chapter Twelve: "Revenge," pp. 273 - 275...
Love has its place, as does hate. Peace has its place, as does war. Mercy has its place, as do cruelty and revenge. The Torah dons sackcloth over the distortion of the concept of revenge, which has become a target for the arrows of all Jewish Hellenists and worshippers of the alien culture, as if revenge were negative and evil by nature.

The very opposite is true! No trait is more justified than revenge in the right time and place. G-d, Himself, is called Nokem, Avenger: "The L-rd is a zealous and avenging G-d. The L-rd avenges and is full of wrath. He takes revenge on His adversaries and reserves wrath for His enemies" (Nachum 1:2). Our sages also said (Berachot 33a), "Shall we say even revenge is great because it appears between two names of G-d? 'A G-d of vengeance is the L-rd' (Ps. 94:1). R. Elazar responded, 'Indeed. Where revenge is necessary, it is a great thing'" {see Rashi].

"It is a great thing!" It is a great mitzvah to take revenge of the righteous and humble from the evildoer. Whoever forgoes or rejects such an opportunity is cruel, and he denies belief in G-d. As King David said (Ps. 58:11-12):

     The righteous man shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance. He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. Men shall say, "Verily, there is a reward for the righteous. Verily there is a G-d Who judges on earth."

This is the secret of the greatness and holiness of revenge. It explains why it is a mitzvah and why the righteous are joyous when they see it carried out. When injustice is done on earth, when the kingdom of evil takes control and stifles the righteous and the innocent, it is only natural for a person to ask G-d, "Where are You?" In a period of Divine concealment, doubt and heresy burgeon forth, as it says (Deut. 31:17), "I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured. Many evils and troubles shall come upon them, so that they will say on that day, 'Are not these evils come upon us because our G-d is not among us?'"

...The evildoer's victory is the very worst profanation of G-d's name, because it implies the defeat or impotence of G-d. Of this King David said (Ps. 44:23-25):

     Nay, but for Your sake are we killed all the day. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Awake! Why do You sleep, O L-rd? Arouse Yourself, cast us not off forever. Wherefore do You hide Your face...?

Thus, when G-d stops hiding His face and actually "awakens...like a mighty man recovering from wine, and smites His enemies" (Ps. 78:65-66), when He takes revenge of His people and of Himself, which are one, He thereby sanctifies His name, proving to the world that Israel indeed has a G-d and that He lives and endures. The victory of injustice and wickedness is ostensible proof of G-d's absence from the world, and there is no greater profanation of G-d's name. By contrast, G-d's victory and revenge over His enemies, the evildoers, prove to the world that "verily there is a G-d Who judges on earth!" (Ps. 58:12)....
NOTE: These are just short excerpts from the greater body of work. It is preferable to get the books and read it in its entirety.

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