Rabbi Simcha Zissel of Kelm constantly stressed the importance of working on peace of mind. He suggested the following exercises:
- When you wish to tell someone a piece of news, wait at least fifteen minutes until you tell it to someone else. - When someone asks you for advice, don't give an immediate reply. Think over your response for at least five minutes. - Before you speak to someone, think first about your goals. - Think of how you will say something before you say it. Even if you think about it, keep your mouth shut as much as possible (I added that--Yehuda). I recently had an argument with one of my teachers. I wanted to improve something that was very dear to him. He took it as a criticism. I wish I had kept my mouth shut.
Love Yehuda Lave
Check out this video about the power of empathy on YouTube:
So now, before our entry into Israel and our assumption – for the first time – of our national status, we are given the responsibility of teaching the nations of the world the message of Divine morality, the prerequisite of a world of peace and life rather than a nightmare of destruction and death: compassionate righteousness and moral justice.
Our Kohanim-Levites give this mission to the entire Jewish people, near Shechem which is the burial place of the universalist Joseph, who brought God of morality to Egypt and dreamed of reaching the sun, moon and stars. And if we fail in this mission, then the result will be a world of mayhem and darkness, with Israel as its most vulnerable victims: the chastisements (Deut.
28), which are even more chilling than the blood which is inextricably part of the earlier two covenants (the blood of circumcision and the blood sprinkled on the Divine altar and over the Israelites at Sinai).
We have now returned to our nation-state, and we are truly at center stage of world history; extremist Islam threatens to plunge the world into a black period of religious oppression, terrorist domination, and the jihadist embrace of brute force power.
Operation Protective Edge was an example of life against death, blessing against curse, freedom against slavery. May we continue to carry out our responsibility with courage and resolve; may the Almighty continue to give strength to His people and bless Israel and the world with peace. ■