Turning the Other Cheek: Response



Dear Rabbi Ben-Chaim,

I noticed that in your response regarding the Jewish view of the position of “Turning the Other Cheek,” you explained the Jewish position that one should not lay down to die when someone else seeks to kill him/her. Bravo, I agree.

But I feel you neglected to mention one point, a point that relates to nonphysical violence.  In the concluding paragraph of Shemoneh Esrei (Elokai Netzor), we say, “Let my soul be silent towards those who curse me, and let my soul be like dust towards all.”  In a way, this is a manifestation of a doctrine similar to that of “turn the other cheek,” in the sense that it is saying that human beings should not respond or be irritated at verbal abuse - so long as it is not actually harming them -­ but should rather forsake their own honor and absorb these “curses.”