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Shabbat Parashat Beshalach 5774

Ein Ayah: A Multi-Faceted Peace

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 9:361)

Gemara: Torah scholars (talmidei chachamim) make a lot of (marbim) peace in the world, as the pasuk says: “And all your sons (banayich) are learned in Hashem, and a lot of peace to your sons” (Yeshaya 54:13). Do not read it as “banayich” but as “bonayich” (your builders, i.e., talmidei chachamim). “Much peace will be for those who love Your Torah, and there will be no obstacle for them” (Tehillim 119:165). “There shall be peace in your congregation of people, tranquility in your palace. On behalf of my brothers and friends, I will speak of you peace. On behalf of the house of our Lord, I will request of you goodness” (Tehillim 122:7-9). “Hashem shall give power to His nation; Hashem will bless His nation with peace (ibid. 29:11).   


Ein Ayah: Some people mistakenly think that world peace will be achieved only when people think and act alike. Then, when they see that Torah study causes there to be many approaches to wisdom, they think that divisive dispute is produced. In truth, though, true peace comes specifically when there is a peace that stems from multiplicity. This multiplicity indicates that all of the elements and approaches contained within wisdom exist in a way that each has a place according to its value and content. Actually, those things that seem unnecessary or contradictory demonstrate how when all the wisdom is brought together, the divine light of truth is seen. That is why talmidei chachamim, in expanding wisdom in different ways that create multi-facetedness, increase peace. The many sons/builders will see that all of them, even those that are opposite of their own approach, are all learned in the ways of Hashem and cause knowledge of Him to be revealed.

The gemara does not talk of making a greater (gadol) peace but a more numerous (rav) peace. This shows the importance not of unanimity but of multi-facetedness. This is like a building, which is built by combining many pieces of building material, corresponding to the many elements of truth that are all “the words of the living G-d.”

The rule is not to waste any power but rather to expand it and find a place for it. When there is an apparent contradiction between one concept and another, wisdom builds its house and the internal content of the concept emerges. It becomes clear that each element of wisdom relates to the other element of existence, so that the entire picture and house will be broad and firm.

The congregation of people is blessed by peace. They will find life specifically by the variety of their contributions, as long as they are leading to one great goal. That is the tranquility in the palace, which is the place where quiet and serenity is appropriate.

“On behalf of my brothers and friends, I will speak of you peace” relates to the fact that each has a contribution, whether it is in the realm of the intellect or of emotion. At that point, the unity will bring a harmony of peace. “On behalf of the house of Hashem, I will request of you goodness” refers to the focal point, and the good we ask for is drawn from within the blessing of peace. Hashem will give power, which is the completeness of life. The peace that comes along with that power is the unification of the different parts. Shalom, peace, is a name of Hashem, who combines all the different powers into one unity – may His name be blessed forever.

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