Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Talent of Anger- with Guest Blogger Chana Rachel Schusterman

The Power of Using our G-d Given Talents (and Helping Our Children Recognize Theirs.)

There are twelve months in the Jewish calendar. The talent of ANGER is the tenth, the month of Tevet (December-January.)

We are all familiar with the emotion of anger, the almost automatic reaction to hurt feelings resulting from a perceived insult or injury. Feelings of irritation, frustration or rage often lead to behavior that is unhealthy, aggressive, and out of control.  Learning to manage our anger is part of the process of becoming emotionally stable and mature. 

What is the “talent” of anger and how can we recognize it?  Counter-intuitively, a person who often feels the emotion of anger does not have the “talent” of anger.  A person who has this talent has the ability to control his anger and, in addition, is dedicated to standing up for what is right. This talent is the ability to make positive change by demanding that injustice be corrected. This talent does not tolerate indifference to evil.    

When a child has this talent and sees his class-mate being bullied, he cannot ignore it. He feels dedicated to defending his fellow student.  His innate principles guide him to take action on behalf of his friend. 

We can be role models to our children by helping them manage their emotions. We can teach them to think before acting out. A parent needs to notice whether our child is just angry or whether he is responding to an injustice in the world. It is essential to actively listen to our children and help them to choose how to face challenges with the strength of their talent.  

Tools For Developing The Talent of Anger:

1  Don’t make something unimportant into an issue. 
2  Notice whether your ego is involved or whether you are standing up for what is right.
3  Practice doing what's right and keep your emotions in check.

The Kabalah of the Talent of Anger: 

The second commandment, that there should be “no other gods before Me,” is the basis of the talent of anger.  Based on G-d’s Torah, we must do good deeds.  We must also recognize what is against G-d’s Torah, which must therefore be rejected. 

The tenth day the month of Tevet is a fast day.  It commemorates the seige 
(1273 BCE)  of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, leading to its destruction
 and the ensuing exile of the Jewish people from our homeland.

The tribe of this month is Dan.  During the travels of our people in the desert after the Exodus from Egypt, this tribe traveled at the rear.  It was their job to return objects lost by those of the tribes who marched ahead. Some members of the tribe of Dan struggled with idol worship. (They did not strongly reject what they should have rejected.)

Chana Rachel Schusterman is a Jewish spiritual counselor and coach. If you would like to contact her, please email me at

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