In Jacob’s blessing to Simon and Levi, they Akhalkem (separate) and Afitzem (Scattered) in all of Israel? (Genesis 49:7).
Rashi, as Torah’s teacher, states that Simon’s tribe has spread to teach children. Similarly, Levi’s descendants traversed all of Israel, serving as tithe and offering collectors.
To understand Jacob’s words in another way, we need to consider two major events in the lives of Simon and Levi. These brothers avenged Dinah’s rape by killing the men of Shechem (Genesis 34). Some believe they played an important role in the sale of Joseph (Rashi, Genesis 42:24). In both incidents, Simon and Levi showed dangerous anger by taking the law into their own hands.
It’s related to their anger that Jacob addresses his comments. Note his two terms that Jacob uses regarding Simon and Levi. Akhalkem (separate) and Afitzem (to scatter).
Akedat Yitzchak seems to comment on Afitzem “Anger and tantrums, though undesirable qualities, can serve to rouse human heroes..The qualities of anger and passion that were concentrated in Simon and Levi can be dispersed among all the tribes.” Wise.Israel… A little spread is useful, but a single concentration is dangerous.” When spread out, anger is dispersed and directed productively.
But given another term Jacob uses, Akharkem, another thought comes to mind. in the end, Akhalkem It means that Simon and Levi will actually break up. Living together, Simon and Levi could wreak havoc, feeding on each other’s anger and creating endless flames of destruction. It may eventually disappear. From this point of view, Jacob declares anger of any kind to be harmful.
Of course, anger is an emotion. You can’t control your emotions, but you can control your actions. So even if you feel angry, the ultimate goal is not to react with anger. The best thing to do is to wait a while until the response becomes calmer. As Breslov’s Rav Nachman puts it, “anger cannot be reconciled.”
Indeed, holding anger for a long period of time is unhealthy. It takes energy and we only have so much energy that it is not wise to use it negatively. , which means that it dominates me on some level.
Jacob’s Blessing leaves us with an unresolved question: Is there a positive component to anger? Akedat Yitzchak Or, as Rav Nachman suggests, should anger be removed altogether? Or somewhere in between?
January 6, 5:28 p.m.