Photo Credit: Jodie Maoz

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov teaches us that hatred and strife can shut down the channels of heavenly blessing, which are the very source of our sustenance.

In Likkutey Moharan he states: “When a person is about to become angry, he should realize that at that very moment, heaven is sending him a blessing of money, and that the evil inclination is trying to destroy this blessing. Wealth is called a ‘wall,’ as the verse says, ‘The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall…’ (Mishlei 18:11). Anger comes to break that wall, as the verse says, ‘He who cannot control his spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls’ (ibid. 25:28). It changes a wall – a chomah, into anger – chema. This is because anger and wealth derive from the same supernal source….”

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The emotions of an angry person tend to run out of control. If he can take hold of his anger before it begins, all that tremendous energy will continue to flow, but in a different direction. The flood of anger will turn into a flood of blessing. Since anger and wealth derive from the same source, through our actions we can direct this force wherever we want.

The Ohr HaChaim HaKodesh states that Noach was supposed to have perished in the flood; however, he found grace in G-d’s eyes, as the verse says, “And Noach found grace in the eyes of G-d” (Bereshis 6:8). Furthermore, says the Ohr HaChaim, “There are certain mitzvos that can produce this grace.” While the Ohr HaChaim doesn’t specify which mitzvos these are, he may hint to them in his concluding words: “Even Noach’s name reflects this grace, for the letters Noach are the same as those of the word chein, grace. And the Sages say that Noach was gentle in his mannerisms, his thinking, his speech, and his thoughts.” Therefore, says Rabbi Yaakov Meir Shechter, it would seem that a soft and gentle manner can save a person from harsh decrees.

May Hashem help us to channel our anger into compassion and thereby draw down heavenly blessings.

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Rabbi Nosson Rossman is a rabbinic field representative for the Orthodox Union. He can be reached at nathanlrossman@gmail.com.