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Are there Jewish origins to the saying "Never go to bed angry"?

by Rabbi Simcha Bart

  

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Though I have never seen the phrase as stated - the concept can be found in the Talmud and in a nightly prayer recited before retiring.

The Talmud1 relates that Rabbi Nechunia Ben Hakanah and Rav Huna never went to sleep before forgiving anyone who wronged them.

In the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (Abridged Code of Jewish Law) it says:

"...a person should forgive any colleague who wronged him, so that no other person will be punished because of him… One should repeat three times: "I release all those who caused me distress." Afterwards, one should recite the prayer: Ribono shel olom, hareini mochel... (Master of the world, behold, I forgive...)."2

Here is the prayer as recited by many before reciting the Shema before going to bed:

"Master of the world; Behold, I forgive anyone who angered or antagonized me, whether it was directed toward my body or my money or my honor or anything which belongs to me. [I forgive them] Whether the action was performed by total accident or willingly or through neglect or through premeditation, whether it was done through speech or physical action... may no person be punished because of me."

Footnotes

  • 1. Talmud tractate Megillah 28a
  • 2. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 71:3

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Talmud
Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.
Shema
The most fundamental Jewish prayer, recited twice daily. This prayer, of Biblical origin, professes the belief in G-d's absolute unity.