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This question is only about interpreting Rambam's view on Revenge in Hilchot Deot 7.7:

הַנּוֹקֵם מֵחֲבֵרוֹ עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר לֹא תִקֹּם. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה עָלָיו דֵּעָה רָעָה הִיא עַד מְאֹד. אֶלָּא רָאוּי לוֹ לָאָדָם לִהְיוֹת מַעֲבִיר עַל מִדּוֹתָיו עַל כָּל דִּבְרֵי הָעוֹלָם שֶׁהַכּל אֵצֶל הַמְּבִינִים דִּבְרֵי הֶבֶל וַהֲבַאי וְאֵינָן כְּדַאי לִנְקֹם עֲלֵיהֶם. כֵּיצַד הִיא הַנְּקִימָה. אָמַר לוֹ חֲבֵרוֹ הַשְׁאִילֵנִי קַרְדֻּמְךָ, אָמַר לוֹ אֵינִי מַשְׁאִילְךָ. לְמָחָר צָרִיךְ לִשְׁאל מִמֶּנּוּ, אָמַר לוֹ חֲבֵרוֹ הַשְׁאִילֵנִי קַרְדֻּמְךָ, אָמַר לוֹ אֵינִי מַשְׁאִילְךָ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁלֹּא הִשְׁאַלְתַּנִי כְּשֶׁשָּׁאַלְתִּי מִמְּךָ, הֲרֵי זֶה נוֹקֵם. אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁיָּבוֹא לוֹ לִשְׁאל יִתֵּן בְּלֵב שָׁלֵם וְלֹא יִגְמל לוֹ כַּאֲשֶׁר גְּמָלוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּאֵלּוּ. וְכֵן אָמַר דָּוִד בְּדֵעוֹתָיו הַטּוֹבוֹת (תהילים ז ה) "אִם גָּמַלְתִּי שׁוֹלְמִי רָע וָאֲחַלְּצָה" וְגוֹ':

He who takes vengeance of his fellow violates the prohibitive commandment of, "Thou shalt not take vengeance" (Lev. 19.18.); and, even though he is not flogged for the violation, it is an extremely evil tendency. Forsooth, it becomes man to be indulgent in his ethical conduct in all temporal matters, for, to those who can reason all worldly matters are vanity and absurdity, unworthy to call forth vengeance on their account. How is the sin of taking vengeance established? Said his friend to him: "Lend me your ax". Answered he: "No, I will not lend it to you." On the morrow, he needs to borrow an ax himself. Says he to his friend: "Lend me your ax." Answered his friend: "No, I will not lend it to you, even as you refused to lend it to me when I asked for it." Behold, this one takes vengeance. For when one comes to lend aught of the other, he should give it to him whole-heartedly, and not to deal with him as he was dealt with by him. And so in all like matters. Even so David expressed it in his good ethical ideas: "If I have requited him that did evil unto me, or spoiled mine adversary unto emptiness etc." (Ps. 7.5).9

Hebrew WIKI says the prohibition is total:

הרמב"ם1 אסר נקימה ונטירה באופן גורף, ולא ציין הבחנה זו בין ממון לבין צער אחר.

How do interpreters and following Poskim understand his language (not how others Paskinan)?

  • Can it really be total? What about goel hadam? – user9806 Oct 13 at 0:19
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    @user9806 Goel is גזירת הכתוב, that overrides the vague Mitzvah of revenge IMHO. – Al Berko Oct 13 at 7:21

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