Saving the world
Sometimes, it seems that there is nothing *you and me* can do, to turn things around in our crazy world.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
Each person is a world in and of themselves, and when we ‘make peace’ with our family members, (ex-) friends, neighbors, and God, we literally bring that koach, that power of rectification, into the world.
This isn’t my idea.
Rebbe Nachman spells it out very clearly, in his writings.
The following translation comes from the Azamra website HERE, but you can also find it in the book ‘Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom’, point 77, which is based on the Hebrew Sichot HaRan.
The world is full of strife.
There are wars between the nations of the world and conflicts in every city. There are feuds in every household, discord between neighbors, friction within the family, between man and wife, parents and children…
Every day man dies – for the day that has passed will never return. Death comes closer every day, yet nobody remembers the purpose of life.
Friction in the home directly parallels the wars between nations.
Each member of the household is the counterpart of one of the nations: their quarrels correspond to the wars between the nations. Even the traits of the different nations can be discerned in the individual members of the household. Each nation has its own particular trait, such as anger, blood-thirstiness and so on. The counterparts of these traits are found in the different members of each household.
You may have no desire for strife: you may only want to live quietly and peaceably with everyone. Even so, you may find yourself forced into conflicts and disputes.
The same happens between nations.
One nation may want peace and is willing to make many concessions in order to achieve it. Yet it finds itself dragged into other nations’ disputes, with each of the opposing sides demanding its allegiance until it is drawn into war against its will.
The same is true in household wars. Man is a miniature world containing the entire world and everything in it. A man and his family contain the nations of the world and all their wars and strife.
For this reason someone living alone in a forest can go out of his mind. This is because all the warring nations are contained within him. Each one attacks the other, and his personality keeps changing depending on which of the nations within him prevails. Swinging from one extreme to another can drive him insane.
But when a person lives with others, these battles are played out among the different members of the household, or between neighbors and friends and so on.
However, when Mashiach comes, all wars and conflict s will come to an end and great peace will come into the world, for “They will neither hurt nor destroy.” (Isaiah 11:9) .
The day before the ‘day of disruption’ in Bnei Brak, and other places in Israel yesterday, I had a massive argument with one of my kids.
Literally for two hours, she was letting me have it with all guns blazing, and wouldn’t stop, and wouldn’t change the subject, and wouldn’t let the discussion end.
For two hours solid, I was really fighting to keep my temper, and to not erupt like Mt Vesuvius and let her have it.
To be clear, it was pretty out of character for this kid, and I had the strange impression that she was actually more just ‘playing a part’, to give me a big test, as opposed to really meaning what she was saying.
When she finally left, I had five minutes of throwing things around my living room a little bit.
But thank God, I kept my temper with her.
And thank God, after 10 minutes (and a lot of throwing things around), I had calmed down enough to totally forgive her, and get rid of 95% of the hard feelings.
At that point, I sent her a conciliatory text message.
But, it took me until the next day until I could really 100% let it all go, and just pretend like nothing had happened.
All this stuff is just a test.
God is just testing us all, and He knows we are human beings that have our limits.
At the same time, He wants us to understand that Ein Od Milvado, and that even when our children spend two hours telling us totally hurtful and upsetting things, if we can understand it’s just a spiritual test of our own middot, the whole thing turns around and evaporates into nothingness, as soon as the test is over.
My daughter is so good, really one of the best people I know.
And she was just being used as a shaliach to help me work on my own bad middot and anger issues.
*You and me* can really bring peace in the Middle East, and everywhere else, too.
When we uproot anger, hatred and the need to ‘be right’ at every cost from our own interactions, and especially with our fellow Jew, that energy, that vibe, then starts to ripple outward, and to put ‘peace’ into the world around us, in some miraculous ways.
BH, I don’t know what the controllers were planning for yesterday, here in Israel.
But one thing I can tell you for sure, is that things didn’t pan out the way they were hoping, not even in Bnei Brak, where I think they were hoping to have pitched battles on the street between ‘secular’ and ‘religious’.
Instead, they got cholent and people crying their eyes out listening to ‘Shalom Aleichem’.
And all the violence got ‘moved’, somehow, to Paris, where two people were killed and hundreds were wounded in clashes between the police and the public.
This is geula in real time!
Each of us is a world.
Every time we ‘make peace’ in our dalet amot, we ‘make peace’ between the nations, too.
That’s what Rabbenu is teaching us.
So, keep clapping, dancing, singing – and fighting back the urge to punch people in the face or hurt them verbally.
It may look like nothing much.
But really, it’s fixing this whole horrible problem at it’s root, and bringing geula and real peace a massive step closer.
PS: Read more about what happened in Bnei Brak on ynet HERE – one of the most poisonous, divisive sites out there.
And even they can’t stop the ahavat chinam from peeking through, especially in the comments.
Capturing these moving moments was a nearby resident, Nehama Kalfa who had come with her sister, hoping “to feel that we are together. We spoke to people, shook hands, and hugged.”
When the piyyut “Sholem Aleichem” began to play, she saw a protester nearby “who started to hum and wave his hands in the air. That’s when I started filming. And then he took off his helmet, started crying, getting emotional and singing.”
According to Kalfa, the protester then looked at her and said, “my father had love for every Jew, and wanted everyone to be united. My father would roll over in his grave if he could see the hatred and conflicts among us.” She recalls, “I was moved to tears. It was a person with a pure heart.”
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