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Anger Remedy No. 2
While focusing on certain divine names during prayer, one can fix anger.
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Anger Remedy No. 2


Shaar Ruach HaKodesh in the writings of the Ari, which contains (amongst other things) numerous remedies (tikunim) for various sins, includes Remedy #15 (p. 18b in the standard editions, p. 50-52 in the Brandwein edition), a (second) rectification for anger:

Here is another way to remove anger when it overtakes a person, beside the remedy mentioned previously. If a person meditates on what follows, the [aspect of the] evil inclination that causes anger will be nullified. It will therefore be effective [in eliminating anger] - unless, of course, the person willfully chooses to become angry.

The two names Ado-nai and Elokim…signify the two types of courts: lenient and strict…

Let us first explain what anger is. As we explained above [Anger Remedy #1, click here], there are three types [and derivations] of vengeance [in Hebrew, "kina", whose numerical value is 151]: the name Eh-yeh when spelled out with the letter hei, giving a numerical value of 151; the combined numerical values of the names Ado-nai and Elokim, which equal 151; and the square of the name Eh-yeh, which equals 151. All these equal the numerical value of the word for "anger" [in Hebrew, "ka'as"] plus 1 for the word as a whole.

We see from this that anger derives from the two names Ado-nai and Elokim, which signify the two types of courts: lenient and strict. When these two names are combined, anger issues from them.

In other words, being judgmental (i.e., acting like a court) is the source of anger. The connection between anger and the name Eh-yeh will be discussed presently. The name Elokim signifies strict judgment, and the name Ado-nai lenient judgment. In Kabbala, the name Elokim is associated chiefly with the sefira of gevura and the name Ado-nai with the sefira of malchut. Judgment is obviously an essential aspect of both of these attributes. When allowed to get out of hand, however, it degenerates into anger.

This is the mystical meaning of the verse: "for I, G-d your G-d, am a jealous G-d." (Ex. 20:5, Deut. 5:9)

The italicized "G-d" is the translation of the name Havayah, which is read nowadays as the name Ado-nai. The non-italicized "G-d" immediately following is the translation of the name Elokim. Thus, the combination of these two names makes G-d "a jealous G-d", exacting vengeance.

For anger derives from these two names, Ado-nai and Elokim, whose combined numerical value is 151.

This is also alluded to in the verse: "For anger rests in the bosom of fools." (Ecclesiastes 7:9) The numerical value of the word for "in the bosom of" [in Hebrew, "becheik", spelled beit-chet-yud-kuf] is 120, which is the number of permutations of the name Elokim, from whence anger derives.

The name Elokim comprises five letters (alef-lamed-hei-yud-mem), and five letters produce 120 permutations: 5! = 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 120. The different permutations of this name indicate all the various types of judgment.

Now, the word "becheik" comprises the letters of the word "Yabok" [spelled yud-beit-kuf] together with the letter chet inserted in the middle.

The Yabok is a tributary of the Jordan river and…signifies the context of the struggle between good and evil…

The Yabok is a tributary of the Jordan river and was the scene of Jacob's night-time encounter with the angel of Esau. (Genesis 32:23-33) As such, it signifies the context of the struggle between good and evil.

The significance of this is that when the name Havayah is joined to the name Elokim the negativity of the name Elokim is sweetened by the mercy of the name Havayah. The combined numerical value of these names is that of "Yabok", which equals 112.

Just as the name Elokim is associated with G-d's attribute of judgment, the name Havayah is associated with His attribute of mercy. Judgment is not intrinsically negative, of course, since proper discernment is necessary in order to recognize good and evil and separate them. Only when judgment is allowed to overtake a person's consciousness does it become a negative force, resulting eventually in anger. Therefore, care must always be taken to moderate and mitigate judgment with mercy.

Through anger, the individual introduces the letter chet into this word…

This interplay between judgment and mercy may be seen as the struggle between Jacob and Esau's angel (not Esau himself - for he is the personification of fallen judgement, i.e., anger and violence - but his "angel" or spiritual origin). They are both legitimate, but Jacob (mercy) must always retain the upper hand. This is why this struggle took place at the Yabok river, for as we said, the numerical value of Yabok is 112, the sum of the numerical values of the name Havayah (26) and Elokim (86).

However, through anger, the individual introduces the letter chet into this word. The numerical value of chet is 8, alluding to the eight kings of who ruled the land of Edom. [By inserting them into the picture,] the individual causes the world to revert to chaos.

Edom is the kingdom of Esau, and thus signifies unmitigated judgment. As such, this kingdom and the eight kings who ruled it (Genesis 36:31-39) express the energy of the world of Tohu ("chaos"), the order of creation that preceded the rectified order of Tikun or Atzilut. In this world, the sefirot could not interact because they did not allow each other to enter each other's vessels. In other words, they exhibited excessive severity, judgment, and self-centeredness. By exhibiting anger, the individual causes the world to regress to this level.

This is the mystical meaning of the verse, "And the querulous man alienates his friend." (Proverbs 16:29)

The word used for "friend" in this verse, "aluf", is the same as that for "chieftain", possibly alluding to the chieftains of Edom. (Genesis 36:15-19) The meaning would then be that an angry person separates between people, causing the world to regress into the state of Tohu.

When the name Havayah is thus separated from the name Elokim, this produces the state of severe judgment, which in turn leads to anger. The root of this anger is in the 120 permutations of the name Elokim, which is the numerical value of the word "in the bosom of", as we have noted.

Now that we have explained the damage [caused by anger], we can explain the remedy. Since anger causes the name Havayah to be dissociated from the name Elokim, the remedy is to join them together again.

This is done as follows: During the morning, afternoon, and evening prayers, when reciting the first three blessings of the Standing Prayer, one should meditate on the following: When saying "Blessed are You, O G-d" during the first blessing (Avot), one should, when saying the name Havayah, meditate on the spelling of this name whose numerical value is 72, i.e., as it is spelled out using the letter yud. He should also intend [in his mind] to unite this name with the name Eh-yeh as it is spelled out using the letter yud.

When saying "Blessed are You, O G-d" during the second blessing (Gevurot), one should, when saying the name Havayah, meditate on the spelling of this name whose numerical value is 63. He should in addition intend to unite this name with the name Elokim. This he does by visualizing the name Havayah vocalized with the vowels of the name Elokim.

The name Elokim has three vowels (chataf-segol, cholam, chirik). These should be envisioned as appearing together with the first three letters of the name Havayah. The second blessing of the Standing Prayer is called Gevurot ("powers") since it discusses G-d's power and strength. The name Havayah whose numerical value is 63 is associated with the sefira of bina. Inasmuch as bina is the source of gevura, joining these two names in effect grants gevura an experience of its source, or returns gevura to its source in bina.

As we said above, bina is the analysis through which the insight of chochma is processed. This process entails evaluating one's preconceived notions and way of thinking in light of the new insight, a process of judgment and severity, since old ideas that do not jibe with the new insight will have to be rejected. Thus, bina is the source of gevura. However, it is always necessary to keep gevura connected to its source in bina, so that it retains the "personality" of an objective arbitrator rather than degenerating into an arbitrary despot.

When saying "Blessed are You, O G-d" during the third blessing (Kedushat HaShem), one should, when saying the name Havayah, meditate on the spelling of this name whose numerical value is 45, i.e., as it is spelled out using the letter alef. He should in addition intend to unite this name with the name Ado-nai.

In the mikveh…he should meditate on the fact that the numerical value of the word "mikveh" is the same as that of the word for "anger" and that of the name "Eh-yeh" spelled out with the letter hei

The name Havayah whose numerical value is 45 is associated with the concept of humility. The numerical value of the word for "what" ("mah") is 45, and the question "what?" implies a humble admission that one does not know everything. Moses, the humblest man on earth (see Num. 12:3) said of himself and his brother Aaron, "What are we?," (Ex. 16:7,8) i.e., "we are, or personify, the attribute of 'what.'"

This attribute is the essential compliment and inner dimension of the attribute of malchut, sovereignty. This was exemplified by King David, the quintessential monarch, who declared of himself, "I shall be lowly in my own estimation." (Samuel II, 6:22)

Thus, in the second and third blessings of the Standing Prayer, he has connected the name Havayah with the names Elokim and Ado-nai, which are the two powers of judgment from which anger is numerically derived, as we have said. In this way, he has sweetened them by associating them with the name Havayah.

The way to prevent anger is thus to ensure that one's power of judgement is always mitigated by mercy. The third blessing of the Standing Prayer is called Kedushat HaShem ("the holiness of G-d's name), for this is its subject.

In the first blessing of the Standing Prayer, he has also through his meditation sweetened the source of these two powers of judgment, that is, the name Eh-yeh, from which anger also is derived when it is spelled out with the letter hei, as we have mentioned. This name is sweetened by the name Havayah spelled out to equal 72. Thus, all three aspects of anger have been rectified: the root and its two branches.

To summarize:

 

Amidah

 

Name to be rectified

 

Name Havayah used to rectify it

first blessing (Avot)

Eh-yeh (will & understanding)

Havayah = 72 (wisdom in mercy)

second blessing (Gevurot)

Elokim (severity)

Havayah = 63 (understanding in mercy)

third blessing (Kedushat HaShem)

Ado-nai (sovereignty)

Havayah = 45 (humility in mercy)

The Arizal makes another recommendation for insulating oneself from anger:

In addition, one should immerse in the mikveh twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays…. When he immerses, he should meditate on the fact that the numerical value of the word "mikveh" [spelled mem-kuf-vav-heh, 151] is the same as that of the word for "anger" [ka'as, 150 plus the kolel] and that of the name "Eh-yeh" spelled out with the letter hei [151]. He should intend through these immersions that the anger that overcomes him be nullified, provided that he persists in immersing this way.

For another approach, also from the Ari, see Anger Remedy No. 1.

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From the teachings of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria; translated and edited by Moshe Yaakov Wisnefsky   More articles...  |   RSS Listing of Newest Articles by this Author
Moshe Yaakov Wisnefsky is a scholar, writer, editor and anthologist, living in Jerusalem. He has recently produced two monumental works: "Apples from the Orchard: Arizal on the Weekly Torah" and a Chumash translation with commentary based on the works of the Lubavitcher Rebbe (Kehot).
Rabbi Yitzchak Luria […Ashkenazi ben Shlomo] (5294-5332 = 1534-1572 c.e.); Yahrtzeit (anniversary of death): 5th of Av. Buried in the Old Cemetery of Tzfat. Commonly known as the Ari, an acronym standing for Eloki Rabbi Yitzchak, the G-dly Rabbi Isaac. No other master or sage ever had this extra letter Aleph, standing for Eloki [G-dly], prefaced to his name. This was a sign of what his contemporaries thought of him. Later generations, fearful that this appellation might be misunderstood, said that this Aleph stood for Ashkenazi, indicating that his family had originated in Germany, as indeed it had. But the original meaning is the correct one, and to this day among Kabbalists, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria is only referred to as Rabbenu HaAri, HaAri HaKadosh [the holy Ari] or Arizal [the Ari of blessed memory].

 

Reader Comments
Latest Comments:
Posted: July 24, 2011
anger
From what I have learned, anger is not only a sign of weakness and lack of control, you bring out in the world negativity. When someone shows anger, he not only forgets the goodness of G-d, but also attracts evil. With anger your blood flow to the brain can G-d forbid cause a break in your blood cells. Is it worth it? Show kindness, and only through good deeds you can overcome this negative side of you.
Posted By Anonymous, netanya, israel

Posted: Nov 30, 2010
Re: easy to anger
As you can see from the article, tempering justice with mercy, i.e. judging another person favorably, helps to avoid anger.
Posted By webmaster
via kabbalaonline.org

Posted: Nov 30, 2010
easy to anger
i get angry easy , what should i do ?
Posted By Igal
via kabbalaonline.org



 


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