The Greatness of Peace

Sholom, peace, is an incredibly important thing. I made a video on this inyan, however the feed apparently cut out before I finished the whole point and gave the eitzos, so I wrote this to present the essential ideas and implementation of them.

In Likutei Moharan, Torah Peh (80), Rebbe Nachman starts with the posuk “Hashem oz l’amo yiten, Hashem y’vorech es amo basholom,” Hashem will give strength to His people, Hashem will bless his people with peace. Chazal say that there is no vessel that reinforces blessing like peace. In relation to Birkas Kohanim, the Baal Shem Tov says that a person who doesn’t have peace is like a house without windows: just as a house without windows can’t effectively protect the objects inside, so a person who doesn’t have peace cannot keep the brochos and shefa (Divine bounty) that Hashem gives them. According to Rebbe Nachman, the way to attain sholom is to bring together opposites, like how Hashem unified the two angels in Shomayim, one of Aish (Fire) and the other of Mayim (Water), and this brought sholom in Shomayim as we say in the posuk after davening Amidah and Kaddish.

This concept of unifying opposites is a key principle in the Kabbalah of the Arizal, and hence highly influential in chassidus. There’s much talk of Hamtokas HaDinim (Sweetening the Judgements), Yichud Zochor v’Nukva (Unification of Masculine and Feminine), and various concepts along these lines. One particular unification that is incredibly important to make is the unification of Mochin D’Gadlus (Broad Mindedness) and Mochin D’Katnus (Small Mindedness). Both of these are needed, which is shown through the fact that Rashi tefillin are an obligation upon every Jewish man to wear everyday, and according to the Tikkunim these correspond to Mochin D’Katnus, whereas the tefillin of Rabbeinu Tam correspond to Mochin D’Gadlus. Though our modern society frowns upon the concept of small mindedness, it is not a bad thing; all this means is that one focuses on details and specific things rather than the big picture. Though one should not think this is the way to practice Judaism properly, to only obsess over tiny details. Of course we must follow halocho to the finest points, but we must not lose sight of the key aspect of Torah life, which is connecting to Hashem in all ways. Mochin D’Gadlus is the recognition of Hashem and His glory at all times, and seeing that everything Hashem does is for the good, because the ultimate purpose of everything is טוב. This is why a person should learn Kabbalah and chassidus, because these things assist with understanding the bigger picture, and place all of our observances into a context far greater than simply performing ritual actions within our corporeal world, with our physical bodies.

The very prospect of the soul existing in the body, being that the soul is completely spiritual and the body completely physical, is in a sense the perfect vehicle for creating sholom, and receiving brocho. This is part of the times of Moshiach, as I wrote about before Yom Tov last week, in regards to the Seudas HaMoshiach, that when Moshiach arrives all physicality will be filled with spirituality in a revealed and known way, hence why there will be no more war, everything will be in a state of peace.

Rebbe Nachman says the way to generate sholom is to fully unify thought and speech, specifically in regards to holy words, such as words of Torah and prayer. This means that one fully throws himself into those things to the utmost degree. Through this one can generate peace through uniting those opposites. In other ways, peace can be established through kindness to others, though not to be kind to a detriment, nor to be too harsh on anyone. When this happens, a space for brocho to rest and take effect is created.

When Hashem gives brocho to us, Rashi says, that we are also in the position to receive Chiddushei Torah (Novel Insights in Torah). So when we create sholom within ourselves, and within the world around us, we are able to create or receive these new ideas, which according to the chassidishe rebbes brings about incredible rejoicing and celebration in Shomayim. Because of this, the Tono D’Vei Eliyahu states that it is a chiyuv (obligation) on every Jew to develop these new insights and share them. It is so important to do this, it can’t be fully expressed.

In order to deal with Chiddushim and the various other matters, a person must first have some degree of ישוב הדעת, a settled mind. The way I recommend for this, is to simply do a fourfold breath, instructions for this can be found online. It’s kosher, and everybody can do it. To do this before davening will help incredibly with being able to pray with kavana, which is crucial. The Arizal says in Pri Etz Chaim that to daven without kavana leads to our tefillos being captured by the wicked forces, chas v’sholom. Once your mind is settled, then davening can begin with full kavana, and through this bezras Hashem, you’ll be able to attain a state of internal peace, which will flow out to be a state of external peace as well. From the Chiddushei Torah you’ll be able to receive and write from this degree of sholom, God willing, you can cause great delight and joy in Shomayim, which will lead to Hashem granting us many brochos and much bounty from above.

Hashem should bless us with sholom, simcha, and good health, and we should merit to see Moshiach swiftly!

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