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The importance of peace

The last few days, there’s sadly been a lot of ‘machloket’ going on, on the blog again.

In some ways, it’s my fault, because I often see things in a very ‘black and white’ way, and once I come to a conclusion – especially, one that I really have tried to ‘pin down’ and where the conclusion is important – I fight my corner in a very robust way.

That especially happens with the Rav, because as this stage, I have been attacked in so many different ways, by so many different people, on this subject, that my tolerance for ‘nice arguments’ is extremely low.

At the same time – what I REALLY want is to have peace with my fellow Jew.

Even the ones who come here and diss me, and slander the Rav publically, because for whatever reason, that’s the ‘job’ Hashem gives them to do.


In many ways, 5783 has been the year of me having massive arguments about the Rav with people I otherwise really care about, love and respect.

And while I’m clearly going to carry on supporting the Rav, to the best of my ability, and ‘fighting for truth’, to the best of my ability, I also acknowledge that God really wants peace.

Sometimes, it seems very hard to give God what He wants.

But I know, I really know, He wants the Jews to have peace and achdut.

Especially between the otherwise ‘good’ people who find themselves kind of side-tracked into fighting each other over stuff that is not that important, compared with maintaining a united, and mutually-helpful and respectful front to our enemies out there, who really ARE trying to kill us, in a billion different ways.


All these ideas crystallised for me, when I read one of Rav Berland’s prayers this week on Shabbat.


In fact, this prayer made such a big impression on me, I have translated it:


The Geula depends on achdut and peace.

Ribono Shel Olam, who can do anything.

Save me from the machloket of Korach and his congregation!!!

And I shouldn’t encourage any machloket in the world.

And in the merit of this, I should merit that all my children, and the children of my children, everyone should merit to be prophets.

As it says: “All these were the sons of Heman.”

Answer me, Hashem, save me from machloket!

And in the merit of this, I should have the merit, like the great Aharon HaKohen, to stop every plague in the world, and end every machloket.

And to be a lover of peace, and to chase after peace.


Answer me, Hashem. Give me the merit of being a ‘lover of peace’, and to inspire peace in every place, and in every city and town, and each and every kehilla.

And between man and his fellow man, and between a man and his wife, and to create peace between one kehilla and the next.

And between a man and his fellow man, when each person promotes their own Rav and their own kehilla, and degrades other Jewish kehillot, where there are true Tzaddikim, who serve Hashem day and night, without any pause. And who don’t let themselves sleep, nor give themselves rest.

For the work of the Tzaddikim is to raise the Shechina up out of the dust.


And because of the machloket, we are “Like one who chops and splinters [wood] on the ground, so have our bones been scattered to the mouth of the grave.”

And then we lower and throw down the Shechina into the midst of the coarse earth, into the sludge and the mud, where it’s unable to rise up.

Answer me, Hashem! Have mercy on me, with multiple mercies, and give me the merit of being saved from machloket!

Even if it appears to be l’shem shemayim (for the sake of Heaven). Because there is no machloket in the world in our generation that is l’shem shemayim – only the machloket of Korach and his congregation.


Where Moshe was the real one being persecuted, and where he had no intention of besmirching Korach, Datan and Aviram – exactly the opposite! He was searching for all the ways in the world to create peace, and even followed them to their homes and encampments.

And pleaded before them, come, and let’s make peace!

And they responded: We won’t ascend! “Even if you will gouge out the eyes, we won’t go up!”

Please answer me, Hashem, give me the merit of always being on the side of Moshe Rabbenu, may peace be upon him. To chase after peace, and to inspire peace, and to just connect to peaceful people, who inspire peace and pursue peace.

And just by way of this, the geula will come, speedily, in our days, in the blink of an eye.

Amen, netzach sela va’ed.


So, here’s what I’m currently thinking.

I can already tell you, that if people come here ‘to have a go’ at the Rav, in particular, that I will find it very hard to not fight hard against them.

But, I will make an effort to try and avoid personal insults, as much as possible, bli neder, and to tone down my ‘fight’ response as much as possible, whilst maintaining clear boundaries against obvious psychos.

And also, I am very open to ‘making peace’ with anyone who I’ve had disagreements with in the past, to bury the hatchet properly, and to try to move forward in a much healthier, mutually-respectful way.

The ikker is not what happened in the past, so much, the ikker is to just move forward into the future without repeating the same mistakes.

So, I apologise to all the people who I’ve upset, deservedly or otherwise.

And I’m stating up front: LET’S MAKE PEACE.

Let’s have achdut.

Everyone can make mistakes, everyone can get carried away, me included, and it will make God very happy if there is more peace amongst the Jewish people, and less quarrelling and ‘trying to be right’.


So, that’s where I’m holding today.

And tomorrow, I will be back to posting up more stuff that undoubtedly will press a few people’s buttons, because that just seems to be the job God has given me to do.

But, if I’m pressing your buttons, let’s try to have the discussion peacefully, and with humility that no-one really knows what is going on, and we have to do these ‘deep dives’ together, to even have a hope of finding out.

And also, let’s try to leave the Rav out of these ‘discussions’ as much as possible, because he’s really just a mirror, and the stuff that is reflecting back to each person should be kept more private and dealt with internally, not online in the comments section of a public blog.

All this is just a big learning process.

For all of us involved.

And it would be great if we could proceed forward, together, without getting caught up in stupid machloket about ‘the Tzaddik HaDor’.

That’s exactly what the yetzer wants.


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6 replies
  1. Molly
    Molly says:

    I read a little anecdote the other day where Avraham had finished serving his guest a good meal and instructed him to thank HaShem for the meal. The man instead thanked his idol. Again, Avraham corrects him and tells him to thank HaShem. Again, the man thanks his idol. Frustrated, Avraham asks the man to leave. Later on HaShem gently chastises Avraham, “I put up with this fool for 70 years–you couldn’t handle him for just a few hours?”

    I’ve been learning more about how HaShem desires peace between his creations even more so than he desires us to fulfill a mitzva. Peace trumps all else, even being right. It’s in those cases where instead of trying to convince someone of something, we’d instead offer our arguments and frustrations to HaShem. And ask Him to soften their hearts to the truth. We have to let go of a lot of things even in our own home for the sake of peace. It’s hard.

  2. moshe parry
    moshe parry says:

    that’s not the story molly… don’t know where u got that from… story goes the traveler refused to thank Hashem for the food and lodging way out in the wilderness… avraham avinu told him that if so he will have to charge him for the accommodations and presented him with an exorbitant bill… the man asked why so much and avraham explained that the food etc does not belong to himself (to avraham) but belongs to Hashem the Master of creation and everything in it and so is very very precious and valuable… but Hashem willingly gives it away for free to those who sincerely thank Him for His largesse… to wit the guest readily thanked Hashem and joined the ranks of an ex-idolator… truth.out…

    • Molly
      Molly says:

      I was interested in knowing the truth of the matter so I dug a little deeper, and turns out it was all travelers he did this to – not just a particular fella. But the rebuke about tolerating people for a small amount of time considering HaShem tolerates them for years still is meaningful to me.

      Quotes below!

      When Abraham’s guests wished to bless him for his generosity, he would say to them: “Has the food you have eaten been provided by myself? You should thank, praise and bless He who spoke the world into being!”

      If they refused, Abraham would demand payment for the food they had eaten. “How much do I owe you?” they would ask. “A jug of wine is ten folarin,” Abraham would say; “a pound of meat, ten folarin; a loaf of bread, ten folarin.” When the guest would protest these exorbitant prices, Abraham would counter: “Who supplies you with wine in the middle of the desert? Who supplies you with meat in the desert? Who supplies you with bread in the desert?” When the guest would realize the predicament he was in he would relent and proclaim: “Blessed be the G‑d of the world, from whose providence we have eaten.”

      (Midrash Rabbah; Tosefot Shantz on Sotah 10b)

      What value, we might ask, was there in such an unwilling proclamation, extracted under duress? Was this not a mere mouthing of words, devoid of any conviction as to the truth of the One G‑d or any desire to thank Him for His providence?

      But Abraham had a vision of humanity which convinced him that every positive deed, word or thought does have value, no matter how “superficial” or “hypocritical” it might seem to a less discerning eye. When Abraham looked at his guests, he did not see pagans and idolaters; he saw creatures of G‑d, men and women who had been created in the divine image and possessed a potential, inherent to the very essence of their being, to recognize their Creator and serve His will.

      Most often, a kind word and a helping hand will bring to light this inner potential. At times, however, a soul might be so encrusted by negative influences and a corrupted character that a certain degree of “pressure” must be applied to quell its resistance to a G‑dly deed. (Of course, any use of such “pressure” must conform to the dictates of G‑d’s Torah, whose “ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its pathways are peace”—as in the case of Abraham’s fully legitimate demand for payment.)

      Abraham understood that no human acknowledgment of G‑d can ever be “hypocritical.” On the contrary: a denial of G‑d is the ultimate hypocrisy, for it is at variance with the person’s quintessential being. When a creature of G‑d proclaims “Blessed be the G‑d of the world from whose providence we have eaten,” nothing can be more consistent with his or her innermost self.

  3. Simon
    Simon says:

    With your knowledge of mental/emotional/spiritual health:
    1: What do you think it is when people say “I was born homosexual”? What causes this attraction to such impure things?
    2: What is “autism”? I hear it, but sounds like a “fake western medicine disease label” kinda thing.

    • Rivka Levy
      Rivka Levy says:

      The problem is identifying with a trait or lust, as ‘us’.

      There are for sure tendencies, desires, feelings – but that’s not ‘us’.

      The real ‘us’ is the soul, and the soul is pure and holy, and only wants to participate in the world in a way that builds it and promotes God’s will in holiness.

      Re: autism – I’ve come to the conclusion it’s basically the system becoming so ‘overloaded’ with poisons and toxins – including emotional and spiritual ‘toxins’, btw, not just physical ones, it basically shuts down.

      The spiritual toxins can be considered to be a kind of ‘klipah’, that the person may or may not be born with.

      That’s where I’ve got to, in a nutshell. But this could change as more info comes into view.

  4. Nahman
    Nahman says:

    Traduction de la prière du Rav shlita en français

    La Geula dépend de l’achdut et de la paix.

    Ribono Shel Olam, qui peut tout faire.

    Sauve-moi du machloket de Korach et de sa congrégation !!

    Et je ne devrais encourager aucun machloket dans le monde.

    Et grâce à cela, je devrais mériter que tous mes enfants, ainsi que les enfants de mes enfants, méritent d’être prophètes.

    Comme il est dit : “Tous ceux-ci étaient les fils de Heman.”

    Réponds-moi, Hashem, sauve-moi du machloket !

    Et grâce à cela, je devrais avoir le mérite, comme le grand Aharon HaKohen, d’arrêter toute épidémie dans le monde et de mettre fin à tout machloket.

    Et d’être un amoureux de la paix et de poursuivre la paix.


    Réponds-moi, Hashem. Accorde-moi le mérite d’être un “amoureux de la paix” et d’inspirer la paix en tout lieu, dans chaque ville et village, et dans chaque communauté.

    Et entre l’homme et son prochain, et entre un homme et sa femme, et de créer la paix entre une communauté et la suivante.

    Et entre l’homme et son prochain, lorsque chaque personne soutient son propre Rav et sa propre communauté, et dénigre les autres communautés juives, où se trouvent de véritables Tzaddikim qui servent Hashem jour et nuit, sans aucun repos. Et qui ne se permettent pas de dormir, ni de se reposer.

    Car le travail des Tzaddikim est de faire monter la Shechina hors de la poussière.


    Et à cause du machloket, nous sommes “Comme quelqu’un qui coupe et brise [du bois] par terre, ainsi nos os ont été dispersés à l’entrée de la tombe.”

    Et ensuite nous abaissions et jetons la Shechina au milieu de la terre grossière, dans la boue et la fange, où elle ne peut pas se relever.

    Réponds-moi, Hashem ! Aie pitié de moi, avec de multiples miséricordes, et accorde-moi le mérite d’être sauvé du machloket !

    Même s’il semble être l’shem shemayim (pour l’amour du Ciel). Car il n’y a aucun machloket dans le monde de notre génération qui soit l’shem shemayim – seulement le machloket de Korach et de sa congrégation.


    Là où Moshe était réellement persécuté, et où il n’avait aucune intention de diffamer Korach, Datan et Aviram – au contraire ! Il cherchait par tous les moyens possibles à créer la paix, et les suivait même jusqu’à leurs maisons et campements.

    Et il plaidait devant eux, venez, faisons la paix !
    Et ils répondaient : Nous ne monterons pas ! “Même si tu nous arrachais les yeux, nous ne monterons pas !”

    S’il te plaît, réponds-moi, Hashem, accorde-moi le mérite d’être toujours du côté de Moshe Rabbenu, que la paix soit sur lui. De poursuivre la paix, d’inspirer la paix et de me connecter simplement à des personnes pacifiques, qui inspirent la paix et la recherchent.

    Et rien qu’avec cela, la geula viendra rapidement, de nos jours, en un clin d’œil.

    Amen, netzach sela va’ed.



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