Rabbi Label Lam
What We All Really Want!
And I will give you peace in the land...(Vayikra 26:6) From here we
learn out that peace is equal to all (the other material blessings).(Rashi)
Hillel used to say; "Be from the students of Aaron, love peace and
pursue peace, love people and bring them close to Torah. (Pirke' Avos
Chapter 1 -Mishne 12)
Who is the man who wants life, who loves days, to see good? Guard your
tongue from bad and your lips from deceit. Turn from bad and do good.
Quest peace and pursue it. (Tehillim 34)
The Talmud tells us that Aaron had an effective way of brokering peace
between quarreling parties. He would approach one side and tell them
that the other one really wants to make up and then he would turn to the
other and tell them the same. When they would finally meet, the barriers
of hatred and distrust having already been removed, the old sparks of
friendship would easily and immediately re-ignite.
Even though it worked, and practically speaking, achieved its desired
end, still the methodology seems to be based upon deceit. Why should
truth be compromised to achieve the goal of peace? Can it really be a
lasting peace if truth is not an active ingredient?
Rabbi Moshe Weinberger of Congregation Aish Kodesh of Woodmere, N.Y.,
told the following story at a weekend retreat in December last year.
There is a young boy, a "special child" in their community who has an
amazing habit that strangely exhilarates his soul. He loves to approach
people and connect their hands. Then he claps his hands together and
expresses glee when the people clasp each other's hands. This could
probably be perceived as an innocent but not necessarily profound
activity that brings a little extra measure of friendship to an already
A few months early at a large wedding gathering this child grabbed onto
the hand of a stranger. He started to gently, but to firmly tug on the
man's arm as if he wanted to take him to predetermined place. A little
embarrassed, not wanting to over resist, the man looked for assistance
and continued to march along in the direction in which he was clearly
Now over on the other side of the wedding hall, at this well attended
affair, the boy did what was his usual custom. He took the hand of the
one he was leading and connected it to the one to whom he seemed to have
purposefully sought out. The two men turned out to be old times friends
who for some reason had not talked and had actually become enemies for a
number of decades.
They shook hands hesitatingly, at first, but having been brought
together under these circumstances by this sort of "divining rod", they
yielded. The longstanding wall of ice soon crumbled and melted as they
hugged and cried. The next hours of the wedding were spent talking and
laughing and trying to recall the forgotten reason that had caused the
habit of hate to build between them.
When Aaron approached each of the parties with a notion that the other
desired to mend the relationship, he was not bending the truth. Although
neither had approached him with a prior request, he was still playing
the part of an honest broker.
Aaron, who truly loved and reveled in the experience of peace,
understood that deep down, buried beneath layers of ego there's a soft
sweet loving friendly soul that longs to unite with its kind. Although
it's not always apparent, and may seem quite the contrary at times,
Aaron, who knew the heart of his people through his own pure heart, also
knew what's best for each and what we all really want.
Text Copyright © 2002 Rabbi Dovid Green and
Project Genesis, Inc.