Please Learn in the Merit of:

Please learn for the merit of a complete recovery for the following individuals:

Ya'akov Don ben Esther Ahuvah Sharona
Avraham Yishayahu ben Aviva
Perel Leah bas Sima

Please learn in the merit/memory of Eyal ben Uriel, Gil-Ad Michael ben Ophir, Ya'akov Naftali ben Avraham, and Alter Aryeh Leib Reuven ben Sima

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Shmiras HaLashon י"בּ כּסלו - Kislev 12 - Seventy-Second Day

© 2006 by Robert Lepor. All rights reserved.

[The obligation of the son to avoid associating with the dispute of his father, applies only] when he doesn’t have the ability to prevent and subdue the quarrel. However, if the son finds favor with his father, and he has the ability to subdue the quarrel, and [nevertheless] remains silent [in spite of his ability to bring an end to the dispute], he is punished because of this [inaction. This follows that which is taught] in Tanna D’Vei Eliyahu (Eliyahu Rabbah), chapter 21 (1), as follows: “A person should not see their father and mother when they are speaking words of excess (Meaning: Lashon HaRa and similarly [forbidden speech]) and remain silent. If he did [remain silent, allowing the forbidden speech to continue, both] he and [his parents] will not complete their days and years. Furthermore, it is a mitzvah for every person to impose peace between the [conflicting] sides [of the quarrel], it being included among the things for which a person eats the fruits [of their reward] in this world, and the principle [of the reward] remains [intact] for him in The World to Come, as is [taught] in [maseches] Peah.[1] (Chapter 1, Mishna 1) Even if [the person] sees that the law does not accord with one side [of the quarrel], and [the participants in that side of the quarrel] are worthy of punishment due to [their involvement in] the dispute, even [in such a situation], a person should gird himself with all of his strength to make peace between the [disputing] sides, and he should not be lax in this [matter of instilling peace]. Even if he is the most important [person] in Israel [he should invest all of his strength to bring a stop to the quarrel, as] we find [to be the case with Moshe Rabbeinu, as it says], “And Moshe arose and he went to Dathan and Aviram…” (Bamidbar: 16; 25) (Meaning: [Moshe arose and went to Dathan and Aviram] to make peace with them [by speaking] words of peace.) Our Sages of Blessed Memory have also said [in maseches Sanhedrin]: “From [this incident involving Moshe, we learn] that we must not hold onto a quarrel.” (Sanhedrin, 110a) ([The following teaching] is brought in [the] Midrash: “Because Moshe walked to the doorway of Dathan and Aviram, he merited to save four righteous individuals from the doorway of gehinnom, they being the three sons of Korach and On ben Peles.”[2] [Furthermore], it is written [in Tehillim], “…Seek out peace and pursue it.”[3] (Tehillim: 34; 15) Our Sages of Blessed Memory have said [regarding this pasuk]: “Seek it out for one you love, and pursue it with your enemy, seek it out in your place and pursue it in other places, seek it out with your body and pursue it with your money, seek it out for yourself and pursue it for others, seek it out today and pursue it tomorrow.”[4] The intended [teaching of] the Midrash [when] it comments, “pursue it tomorrow”, [is meant to] inform [us] that a person should not give up [in his attempts to quiet the conflict], thinking to himself that he is unable to make peace. Rather, he should pursue peace today, and tomorrow, and the following day, until he attains it. [No matter how unrealistic it may seem, one should strive to bring about peace. The above is the case], for [we see that] even [concerning] the [thick] ropes of the wagon, [they being difficult to sever at first], if [one] constantly presses [the rope, it] will become [increasingly] thin and will eventually break. So too [is this true of attaining peace, for] even if he has not achieved [success after attempting to pursue peace] once and twice, nevertheless, [that person] should not cease from [involving himself in] this holy attribute [of bringing about peace]. Even if [the] words [that] he [spoke, they being directed at encouraging a peaceful resolution], are [found to] not [be] of any benefit to the leaders of the quarrel themselves, [he should not desist in his goal to inspire peace. If the person fails to attract the instigators of the quarrel to abandon their quarrel, he should understand that] the attribute of [attaining] victory has strengthened itself within them and their eyes [consequently] became blinded from seeing the truth. In any case, with his words encouraging peace, [the person] should [seek to] stop the people who are more peripheral to the quarrel [from continuing to involve themselves in the dispute. Even if he was not successful in convincing the leaders of the dispute to put a stop the quarrel, he nevertheless has a good chance of stopping the other participants in the dispute from continuing to support the quarrel, for] these people [in the periphery of the quarrel] are not directly affected by the dispute, and are only naively drawn after the council of those who are at the forefront of the dispute. [Therefore, in his attempt to achieve peace, that individual] will rescue [those peripherally involved in the dispute] from the bitter punishment [visited upon those who partake in the quarrel], as Moshe Rabbeinu, Alav HaShalom, did, [thus saving four righteous individuals from death], as mentioned earlier.

[1] This passage from the Mishna in Peah states, “These are the things for which a person eats the fruits [of their reward] in this world, and the principle remains intact for him in The World to Come:… Bringing peace between a person and his fellow…”

[2] This teaching is found in Yalkut Shimoni, Parshas Korach, Remez 752, on the pasuk, “Va’yakhilu al Moshe…”

[3] The full pasuk reads, “Remove yourself from evil and do good, seek out peace and pursue it.” (Tehillim: 44; 15)

The MaLBI”M explains that this pasuk is referring to an inhabited area, for in an uninhabited area, one cannot find that which is evil to avoid and that which is good which can be performed. Therefore, one should not say that in order to seek out peace, they will escape to an uninhabited area; rather, he should be around other people, even if they are likely to come to quarrel. For, with those people, one should seek to instill peace. The MaLBI”M points out that David, when writing this chapter of Tehillim, had in mind that it refer to Doeg. Doeg spoke Lashon HaRa against Nov, the city of Kohanim, leading Shaul to order Doeg to wipe out the city of Kohanim. RaSh”I, quoting the teaching of our Sages from the Yerushalmi (maseches Peah, 4a, chapter 1, halacha 1), states that one should seek out peace in one’s place and pursue it in another place.

From the above, we learn that peace is something which must be pursued and concerning which one must invest effort, in order to bring about peace.

Rav Tivyumi states in the above section from maseches Peah, that one who pursues peace receives honor in this world as well as life in The World to Come.

The Yerushalmi states as follows:

“And acts of kindness: For it is written, “One who pursues righteousness (MaLBI”M – i.e. performs the mitzvos between man and HaShem) and kindness, will find life, righteousness, and honor.” (Mishlei: 21; 21) [He will find] honor in this world and life in The World to Come… And bringing peace between a man and his fellow: It is written, “Remove yourself from evil and perform that which is good, seek out peace and pursue it.” (Tehillim: 44; 15) Seek it in your place, and pursue it in another place. Rav Tavyumi said, ‘It says here, [in Tehillim], “pursue”, and it says above, [in Mishlei], “pursue”. Just as the “pursuing” over there [in Mishlei, refers to] honor in this world and life in The World to Come, so too, over here, [with respect to the pasuk in Tehillim], this is the case.”

[4] Note from the “Kol HaLashon” Hebrew printing of sefer
Shmiras HaLashon: “This [teaching] is found in sefer Ma’alos HaMiddos, Ma’alas HaShalom, pg. 321, in the Eshkol printing. [In sefer Ma'alos HaMiddos it does not state] that [this teaching] is written in the name of our Sages of Blessed Memory…”

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