My car was vandalized, and I’m extremely frustrated by the whole matter. I believe the perpetrator is a disgruntled neighbor of mine. I contacted the police, filed a report, but there were not witnesses to there’s not much that can be done. How do I get some closure on this? Is there any way to take revenge?
The Talmud writes that vengeance is great because it is placed between two names of G-d, as it says in Psalms “Kel Nekamos Hashem” – “The Almighty is the G-d of vengeance.” In other words, vengeance should be reserved for G-d, not for us, because He truly knows exactly how much someone should be punished and what the best way to punish that person would be.
It is hard to overlook hatred and wrongdoing, but you should confront the person in a way that is non confrontational and ask him/her why s/he did this. Ultimately, if s/he isn’t responsive, one should try to emulate King David. The Talmud relates how he was pelted with trash by one of his subjects while escaping Jerusalem from his attacking son Avshalom. He allowed himself to take the abuse without taking revenge. For that he became the fourth leg in the chariot of G-d, along with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It wasn’t all of the Torah that he learned or the Psalms that he sung, but the ability to remain humble, to accept hardship and not to react to another person’s wronging him. That is true greatness. The Talmud writes that the world is sustained by one who keeps his mouth closed in middle of a fight. May this hardship be an atonement and source of great merit for you.
Rabbi Meir Goldberg,
Maimonides Leaders Fellowship
Rutgers Jewish Xperience