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An Oheiv Shalom Have Its Limitations

11/25/2013 02:27:08 PM


One of the great sources of pride that I feel in klal Yisroel is the fact that we can say with a certain level of confidence that we are a nation of Rodfei Shalom- pursuers of peace. Despite our well founded skepticism we entered into the Oslo Accords with the PLO, withdrew from Gaza and to this day overwhelmingly support some form of a two State agreement. 

This National perspective that values peace even when others would seek confrontation has been built into the psyche of klal yisroel dating back to the time of Yaakov Avinu. The Torah tells us that Yaakov sent messengers to Eisav making overtures of peace and on no fewer than eight occasions referred to Eisav as 'Adoni' my master. While many commentators are critical of Yaakov's decision to 'diminish' himself in front of Eisav, the majority of Rishonim and Medrashim understand that for the sake of peace 'diminishing' oneself is a small price to pay. Its for this reason that the Medrash informs us that Rebbe Yehuda HaNassi was adamant to refer to Antoninus (who is presumed to be Marc Anthony) as 'my master' even though Rebbe Yehuda knew that he represented the mantle and leadership of the Torah community in eretz Yisroel. 

That inclination, to count ourselves among those who are ohavei shalom has been challenged throughout Jewish History and is challenged once again this week in light of the international peace agreement with Iran. While any casual observer of the situation in Iran realizes how complicated the predicament is and that no clear cut solution has presented itself I can't help but ask if the softer, more conciliatory, approach will ultimately strengthen or weaken Iran's resolve moving forward.  

For now, all we can do is daven that the International leaders are given the proper insight in navigating the world though these murky waters and that the leaders of Israel are blessed with wisdom and strength as they try to steer the country through this complicated tap dance. I call upon our entire community to continue to say Tehillim on behalf of the country as a whole and specifically for the chayalei tzahal. Additionally this would seem to be an especially apropos time to focus in our Tefillos on the bracha of Sim Shalom. 

May the Shomer Yisroel, who has guded our nation throughout the millenia, continue to bestow peace upon us, our nation and all of his creations. 

Sat, April 17 2021 5 Iyyar 5781