Tuesday, November 30th | 26 Kislev 5782

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March 22, 2021 11:21 am
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This Passover, Let Us Release Our Anger

avatar by Mitchell Kaye

Opinion

The Israel Project and the World Jewish Congress host a pre-Passover seder for foreign diplomats in Israel. Photo: Avishai Zigman.

Operation Warp Speed was an unreported success of the Trump administration, in the unprecedented marshaling of public and private resources to develop multiple COVID-19 vaccines in record time. Yet despite his loss and exit from the political scene, much of the resentment of Trump remains.

The election is over and many on the left are still angry. They won the White House, kept the House, and flipped the Senate including two formerly red Georgia Senate seats. Happy days should be here again with this trifecta — but are not.

The Torah says that anger is the most grievous of all sins, as it leads to all other sins. Moses was denied entry into the Promised Land as a result of his anger — hitting a rock instead of speaking. King Solomon wrote, “Like a broken city without a wall, so is a man whose spirit is unrestrained.”

The second of the 10 plagues is Tzfardeah. The Midrash says initially there was only one ugly monstrous frog. The Egyptians in their anger tried to kill the frog, but with each attempt, the frog spit out more frogs. As anger increased, so did the quantity of frogs, and soon swarms covered the land inflicting punishment on Pharaoh and his people.

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The Rambam, also known as Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon or Maimonides, was a noted doctor, medieval philosopher, and prolific and influential Torah giant. He suggested three keys to healthy living: eat less, exercise more, and swallow (get rid of) your anger. Studies show joy and happiness increase immunity levels, and that the opposite is equally true.

Despite our seders being smaller again this year, avoiding anger remains important. In our social distancing and isolation, interactions with family and friends are greatly missed, providing each of us an opportunity to be more sensitive to the pain and suffering many experience every day. The virus attacks indiscriminately, treating all of us as equals. Lastly, it reminds us that we are all connected, and that something that affects one person can affect the lives of many others.

During this season as we go from slavery to freedom, let us resolve to reach out and bring light, happiness, and companionship to everyone in need. We must put aside our differences, come together, and not forget to swallow our anger. Wishing the community a sweet, inspiring, and kosher Pesach!

Mitchell Kaye served five terms in the Georgia House of Representatives.

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