Although I cannot, at the moment, bring to mind specific examples of the Torah stating that it is absolutely forbidden to be angry or act out of anger, I seem to recall seeing this idea many times.

My question is: are there any situations where a Jew is allowed to be angry or act out of anger?

In addition, does it state anywhere explicitly and in a straightforward way that being angry is forbidden?


2 Answers 2


Maimonides's halacha book, Mishne Tora, includes (Deos 2:3):

Likewise, anger is a very bad trait, and it is fit for a person to distance himself from it to the opposite extreme. And he should teach himself not to anger, even about something that it is fit to be angry about. And if he wants to instill fear in his children and household members (or on the community if he is an officeholder) and wants to anger at them so they return to [do] good, [then] he should display himself before them as though he is angering so as to admonish them, but privately his mind should be settled: like someone who seems angry in his time of anger but isn't angry.

  • I think characterizing Hilchos deos as a "Halacha Book" is wrong.
    – avner
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 16:29

every trait has its place as explained in Chovos Halevavos Gate 3 ch.10

So, too, there are two traits - anger and satisfaction. Anger is in place when you see a departure from the way of truth and the rule of righteousness, when falsehood prevails over truth and those who follow it.

Pas Lechem commentary: when you see people turning away from the way of truth, namely, the way of the torah of truth. He wrote "way of truth" corresponding to the commandments between man and G-d and the "rule of righteousness" corresponding to those between man and his fellow. Behold, earlier regarding the trait of courage, he wrote "when you meet the enemies of the L-ord". There the intent was on the wicked who come to strike out at G-d's torah or His people, as written "For behold, Your enemies stir, and those who hate You raise their heads; Against Your people they plot cunningly, and they take counsel against Your protected ones; They said, 'Come, let us destroy them from [being] a nation, and the name of Israel will no longer be remembered.'" (Ps.83:35). There showing anger to them is not enough. Rather one must stand up against them and foil their plans, as written there. For this one needs courage, which is strength of heart, to be moser nefesh (self-sacrificing) in G-d's war, like David in the war against the Philistines, especially in the battle against Goliath, or like the Chashmonaim in the war against the Greeks. Here he is talking about individuals who are being wicked by themselves, and it is enough to show anger to them, to show them that you disapprove of their deeds, and that their deeds are evil in the eyes of G-d. Through this they will feel ashamed and perhaps they will repent.

Marpe Lenefesh commentary: when people sway from the way of truth and when the falsehood strengthens over the truth. Likewise it is permitted to be angry at people of falsehood [who adopt the ways of falsehood].)

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