Must a Jew turn the other cheek?
Now, turning the other cheek is non-Jewish talk. It’s from a certain book; I won’t mention it’s name. You don’t invite another slap. If you get a slap on one side, nobody ever says, “Give me another slap.” The possuk that the Navi said, יתן למכהו לחי – Give your cheek to the one who smites you (Eicha 3:30) means the first slap. You offer your cheek for the first slap – you don’t offer your cheek for the second slap.
Now, what does it mean you offer the cheek for the first slap? It’s talking about somebody who has a mission to accomplish; the Navi, let’s say. A Navi knows he’s going to talk to somebody who doesn’t want to hear. So the Navi comes with his cheek ready for a slap. But he’s not asking for two slaps. Sometimes he gets two also but not because it’s a mitzvah to get slapped. It’s a mitzvah to deliver the message. Now, if you can deliver the message and then disappear before the slap comes, that’s what you should do. Because just to turn the other cheek as a mitzvah, no, that’s not a Jewish teaching.
TAPE # 620 (October 1986)