I have been seriously hurt by my ex. It has now been seven months of abuse, put-downs, bad-mouthing and humiliation, and I have remained silent. But now I have an overwhelming urge to take revenge. And I have the chance. With one phone call, I could ruin his career and shatter his entireI could ruin his career life. Should I do it?


The desire for revenge is natural and understandable. We have an innate expectation that justice should be done, and when we see evil go unpunished, we want to intervene. But we can't. "Do not take revenge," the Torah warns. Revenge is wrong.

Of course, we need not be helpless victims of those who have malicious designs on us. We must protect ourselves from being hurt and do all we can to prevent acts of evil. But even if we have been hurt, we mustn't hurt back.

On the other hand, the very same Torah which warns us not to take revenge describes G‑d Himself as "a vengeful G‑d." How can this be? If we are told not to be vengeful, why is G‑d then allowed to be? If revenge is immoral, how can G‑d be vengeful?

But that is exactly the point. The very fact that G‑d is vengeful allows us humans not to be. No human justice system is foolproof, so ultimate justice is in His hands. He will right the wrongs and punish the wicked. In this world or in the next, in this lifetime or another, in ways we may never know, justice will be served.

It's funny, you often hear people disparaging "the vengeful G‑d of the Bible." They somehow think that a vengeful G‑d willJustice will be served produce vengeful followers. The opposite is true. It is precisely G‑d's vengefulness that enables humans to let go of the desire for revenge. We know there is a true Judge, and He will do justice. So we humans can leave the vengeance to Him, and get on with living.

Don't waste your energy on feelings of bitterness and hostility. The more hatred thrown at you, the more you should surround yourself with love. If there are evil people out there, make sure you associate with good people. Don't worry about getting even. Focus on getting on.