We are all familiar with various techniques on how to control anger, such as counting to ten before you respond when you are angry and other techniuques. However, this week’s Torah portion tells us a much more effective way to deal with anger.
In this week’s portion, we read how Joseph, who has become the ruler of Egypt, reveals his identity to his brothers. But instead of being angry at his brothers for selling him into slavery, he completely forgives them and shows them his great love by kissing them and becoming very emotional at their meeting.
How could Joseph fogive his brothers so wholeheartedly? The answer is that Joseph didn’t view the pain he endured as coming from his brothers. He believed that it came from G-d, as the verse tells us that Joseph told his brothers; “And now it was not you who sent me here but, G-d, he has made me a ruler throughout the land of Egypt.” It is true that his brothers did a sinful act by selling him into slavery. However, ultimately, it was G-d’s plan and it was meant that he should suffer and if his brothers wouldn’t have done it, then G-d would do it through other methods.
This then is the Torah’s formula for anger. The reason we get angry at some people is that we feel that the person caused us pain. However, if we stop for a moment and contemplate that the Torah teaches us that in truth, all pain comes from G-d and if it was meant for us to receive the pain, we would receive it regardless of the person who caused us the pain, it will help us overcome our anger.