Is revenge ever justified?

This video encourages the discussion of Jewish values as they relate to contemporary culture. Jewlarious does not endorse any particular film.

Comments (12)

(12) Paul Klein, July 27, 2008 11:26 AM

Vengeance for the future

Vengeance dictated by rage hurts the avenger but when it is applied to prevent future injury by eliminating or discouraging a known source seems prudent to me.

(11) Channah, July 27, 2008 3:49 AM

Not vengeance, consequence

Those who commit serious wrongdoings should feel the consequences of their actions - but not by the hands of those they've personally wronged. The need to be vengeful can consume a person to a point at which their true motives are clouded, so that the punishment should be dealt by someone with a clear perspective on justice who is able to ordain cause and effect, without the erosion of character and spreading of hate that often occurs when the vengeful take charge. In that sense, no, vengeance for it's own sake is not justified.

(10) Anonymous, July 26, 2008 10:53 PM

Justice, not vengeance

It is the responsibility of all peoples to see that justice is done. Vengeance does nothing but further scar the one who partakes of it.

(9) Paladin, July 23, 2008 5:18 AM

Vengence not in itself wrong.

"Vengence is mine, I shall repay is the utterance of the Lord". Scripture itself shows that at times, under the right circumstances vengence may be the proper course. Is it obsession, revenge or justice when the Mossad hunts down terrorists and kills them years after the crimes they commited? Is it obsession when you hear of some former concentration camp guard being caught 60 years after the war and being procecuted for their crime? Some crimes that occured in this country during the civil rights era are just now being closed. What drives the people who pursue these criminals? Obsession, vengence or a sense of justice? At what point should one just let it go and get over it? In the utopia that many people today desire, everyone will just get along if we leave each other alone. The problem is, that the express purpose of terrorists, like the Joker in the movie, is simply to "see the world burn", to kill as many people not of their faith and belief as possible and destroy what they see as a corrupt world. There can be no negotiaton with someone who simply wants you off the face of the earth. No compromise, no appeasement. So, do we just keep giving in and hoping that they will change, or like the schoolyard bully, do you punch him in the nose and make him respect you. Eventually, evil and all those who pratice it will be destroyed, but in the meantime, how many innocents should be allowed to die, in hopes of appeasing those bent on destroying our way of life? Hard questions which will need difficult solutions.

(8) Anonymous, July 22, 2008 4:24 PM

"Revenge is sweeter than honey". But it is not a character trait we should display. Not if you belive that everything that happeens to you is from Hashem.

Distroying Amalek is not revenge, it is the distruction of evil as dictated by Hashem.

(7) Joey, July 22, 2008 4:12 PM

This clip is right, that anger must be released or it can destroy you, but it is wrong to say that revenge is the way to deal with that. If, for example, Batman feels somehow responsible for his parents' death, how will killing the murder help? It says nothing of his own supposed guilt. And ultimately, vengeance is selfish, it's about you getting back at someone. Justice is about what is being avenged.

God bless.

(6) Anonymous, July 22, 2008 8:20 AM

justice versus obsession

We all thirst for justice, and when the world denies it to us, it is the natural course to seek to create justice for ourselves. But longing for justice can morph into an obsession with vengeance. When we can no longer see anything beyond the one cause, then we have lost our souls and have become the perpetrators of evil rather than dispensers of justice. In the Batman saga, Batman has no life outside of his solitary fixation: to personally hunt down evildoers and destroy them. Some people think the difference between Batman and the Joker is that Batman is doing good while the Joker celebrates evil. But in the current film, the Joker says Batman completes him, and I think he is right. They both inhabit a world of violence, only Batman tries to justify his use of violence in the cause of good. I cannot help but draw a parallel to the war on terrorism that we are fighting. Our president is so consumed with being Batman that he fails to weigh the cost of that fight and to thoughtfully consider other means of accomplishing just goals. For example, we could find ways to free ourselves of our dependence on foreign oil, so we can break the economic strength that feeds the training of terrorists. I believe in fighting in a just cause, but for the sake of preserving and protecting our freedom. We must be aware of the very real possibility that, in the name of justice, we have actually become obsessed with revenge, thereby sacrificing our own humanity.

(5) Teresa, July 22, 2008 7:25 AM

Can a mere mortal be trusted with vengenance?

Vengenace is mine sayeth the Lord. It is that simple. We must trust Hashem like Job of old, though he slay me yet will I trust him. Taking vengeance one on one like in the video shown might give pleasure briefly and indeed be justified but can never satisfy the soul only haunt and torment with the decisions made in the heat of anger or battle.

(4) Anonymous, July 22, 2008 7:21 AM

Revenge is sometimes justified.

Remember Amalek? Yes, it is a command that is more profound than mere revenge. And revenge can be self-destructive. But there is most definitely a proper place for revenge when it is to right a terrible wrong that has and remains affecting others. The inyan of the Goel Ha'Dam is a reshus and not a chiuv. But we do learn from Pinchus Ben Elazar Ben Aaron HaCohain that a very unique type of vengence in a unique circumstance by the one person who is qualified to met out the action is not only justified, but rightous.

(3) steven, July 21, 2008 9:47 AM

is it revenge or avenge?

The torah clearly points out that a person who commits manslaughter and escapes from ir hamiklacht can expect that the family members of the victim to avenge his accidental death. How more so that the Joker in Batman killed Bruce's parents be-mazid can escape justice in this world? Does Batman have the right to avenge the death of murderer that escaped the eye of justice?

(2) David, July 21, 2008 8:48 AM

HaShem is the Judge

my beloved grandfather, z"l, used to say "di Klenste Nekomeh farsamt di neshomeh"...the smallest revenge poisons the soul." Any time I hire myself to be in the violence, anger and hate business, I run up losses in my covenant to heal the world.

(1) Rosen, July 20, 2008 6:30 AM

depends on how one defines "revenge"

When one is intimidated to get revenge on those who did him/her wrong, it all depends on how it's defined.

Perhaps the best revenge is to live well in spite of those who discourage you, thus disproving their negative predictions or debunking their actions either thru forgiveness or reporting them for their misdeeds upon you.


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