There is a beautiful story found in the Zohar3 — the central text of Jewish mysticism — which
illustrates this idea. Rabbi Abba, says the Zohar, once sat at the gateway to the town of Lud in
Israel, which is now the location of Ben Gurion Airport.
He saw a traveler sit down on a pile of rocks at the edge of a mountain overlooking a cliff. The
man was exhausted from his journey and immediately fell asleep. Rabbi Abba watched this
scene for a bit when suddenly he saw a deadly snake slither out of the rocks, and make its way
rapidly towards the sleeping man. Before he had time to intervene, a giant lizard jumped out
from the rocks and killed the serpent, saving the sleeping man’s life.
The man awoke, shocked to see a beheaded snake lying in front of him. He quickly gathered his
possessions and rose to continue on his journey. At that very moment the pile of rocks he was
sitting on collapsed and dropped into the ravine below.
Rabbi Abba ran after the man and recounted everything he had witnessed. He asked, "My friend,
tell me, to what do you attribute all these miracles that have just occurred?"
The traveler responded:
“Well, one thing I can tell you. I never go to sleep without forgiving someone who offended me.
When someone caused me pain, I always tried, with all my heart, to resolve whatever animosity
was between us. I turned the hateful situation into an opportunity to do acts of kindness for the
person involved in the misunderstanding.