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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 6, 2007 / 19 Tamuz 5767

Keeping the peace

By Rabbi Berel Wein


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What zealots need to learn about true tranquility


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | This week's Torah reading of Pinchas contains one of the anomalies in the script writing of Scripture.


G-d promises Pinchas the blessing that "My covenant of shalom — peace" be with him and his descendants. The Hebrew word shalom as written here in the Torah has a vav k'tiah — the Hebrew letter vav written in the word shalom is split and incomplete. Usually a split or incompletely written letter in the Torah renders the Torah itself as unusable and needing repair.


But here it is the tradition of the Torah itself that the letter vav itself remain split and incomplete without this affecting the usability and validity of the Torah scroll itself. I have mentioned this matter in previous essays of mine on the portion of Pinchas but I now wish to concentrate on an insight that recently came to mind regarding this split vav.


We all know that there are endless faces and depth to the words of the Torah and that therefore many insights are always contained within one word or even one letter of the Torah. Thus all insights into Torah, based on the framework of the Oral Law and the great commentators of Israel throughout the ages, are valid and instructive. The idea that I wish to advance regarding the split vav is very simple but I feel it to be the essence of truth. Namely, that peace is very fragile, almost always difficult to maintain and it requires great effort to keep it together.


All of human history bears out this fact. True peace, whether in the home, the family, amongst neighbors, in the synagogue, in the community and certainly between nations, is very hard to achieve and even more difficult to maintain.


The Torah wishes us to be aware of the difficulty in achieving and maintaining peace. Peace is not achieved with glib phrases, populist slogans or even just good wishes and sincere intents. It requires great sacrifices, sensitivity to others, patience and vision as to the future and the possible consequences of current behavior, speech and decisions.


And even if peace is achieved it is always a vav k'tiah — a fragile, split, easily ruptured state of being.


Pinchas' act of zealotry hardly seems to be the proper prelude for the Lord granting him the blessing of peace. But the vav k'tiah teaches us that G-d warns Pinchas that this act of zealotry is not to be a permanent policy of Jewish behavior. The self-same sense of risk and sacrifice that Pinchas invested in his act of zealotry now has to be channeled into the achievement of peace and its continued maintenance.


One has to realize how the peace in a family and a community is always threatened by the petty things of life that taken too seriously rip us apart and leave us without peace or serenity of soul and personality.


Pinchas will become the kohein gadol — High Priest — of Israel. His task will be to emulate his grandfather, Aaron, to love peace and pursue peace. He will be unable to do so successfully if he does not first realize the difficulty and fragility of achieving and maintaining peace. Only then will there be a reasoned and successful pursuit of peace become possible.

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JWR contributor Rabbi Berel Wein --- Jewish historian, author and international lecturer offers a complete selection of CDs, audio tapes, video tapes, DVDs, and books on Jewish history at www.rabbiwein.com Comment by clicking here.


© 2006, Rabbi Berel Wein