Shoftim, Siman 18 שופטים, י״ח
1 א

כִּי תִקְרַב אֶל עִיר לְהִלָּחֵם עָלֶיהָ וְגוֹ'. רְאֵה כַּמָּה גָּדוֹל כֹּחַ הַשָּׁלוֹם, שֶׁאֲפִילוּ לַשּׂוֹנְאִים, אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לִפְתֹּחַ לָהֶם לְשָׁלוֹם. כָּךְ שָׁנוּ רַבּוֹתֵינוּ, שׁוֹאֲלִים בִּשְׁלוֹם הַגּוֹיִם מִפְּנֵי דַּרְכֵי שָׁלוֹם. אָמַר רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר הַקַּפָּר בְּרַבִּי, גָּדוֹל כֹּחַ הַשָּׁלוֹם, שֶׁבְּשָׁעָה שֶׁיִּשְׂרָאֵל עוֹשִׂין חֲבוּרָה אַחַת, אֲפִילוּ עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה בֵּינֵיהֶם, אֵין מִדַּת הַדִּין נוֹגַעַת בָּהֶם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: חֲבוּר עֲצַבִּים אֶפְרָיִם הַנַּח לוֹ (הושע ד, יז). וּבְשָׁעָה שֶׁהֵן חֲלוּקִין, מִדַּת הַדִּין נוֹגַעַת בָּהֶן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: חָלַק לִבָּם עַתָּה יֶאְשָׁמוּ (שם י, ב). אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ דְּסַכְנִין בְּשֵׁם רַבִּי לֵוִי, רְאֵה כַּמָּה גָּדוֹל כֹּחַ הַשָּׁלוֹם, שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב שְׁנַיִם וּשְׁלֹשָׁה תֵּבוֹת בִּשְׁבִיל הַשָּׁלוֹם, וְאֵלּוּ הֵן, כְּשֶׁנִּסְתַּלֵּק יַעֲקֹב אָבִינוּ, נִתְיָרְאוּ הַשְּׁבָטִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַיִּרְאוּ אֲחֵי יוֹסֵף כִּי מֵת אֲבִיהֶם וַיֹּאמְרוּ לוֹ יִשְׂטְמֵנוּ יוֹסֵף וְגוֹ', וַיְצַוּוּ אֶל יוֹסֵף לֵאמֹר אָבִיךָ צִוָּה לִפְנֵי מוֹתוֹ לֵאמֹר, כֹּה תֹאמְרוּ לְיוֹסֵף אָנָּא שָׂא נָא וְגוֹ' (בראשית נ, טו-יז). וְלֹא מָצִינוּ שֶׁיַּעֲקֹב אָבִינוּ צִוָּה הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה, אֶלָּא הֵם אָמְרוּ מֵעַצְמָן. אָמְרוּ חֲכָמֵינוּ זִכְרוֹנָם לִבְרָכָה, כַּמָּה קוּלְמֻסִים מִשְׁתַּבְּרִין, וְכַמָּה דְּיוֹ מִשְׁתַּפְּכִין לִכְתּוֹב הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה שֶׁלֹּא הָיוּ. וּמִפְּנֵי מָה, מִפְּנֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם. שֶׁאֲפִילוּ שָׂרָה אִמֵּנוּ, בִּשְׁבִיל הַשָּׁלוֹם, הִכְתִּיב עָלֶיהָ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא דָּבָר שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה מֵעוֹלָם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַתִּצְחַק שָׂרָה בְּקִרְבָּהּ לֵאמֹר (שם יח, יב). הָיְתָה מַבֶּטֶת בִּקְרָבֶיהָ וְאוֹמְרָה, מֵעַיִם הַלָּלוּ טוֹעֲנִים וָלָד, שָׁדַיִם הַלָּלוּ שֶׁצָּמְקוּ מוֹשְׁכִין חָלָב. וַאֲפִילוּ אֲנִי נַעֲשֵׂית כָּךְ, אַבְרָהָם לֹא זָקֵן הוּא. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וַאדוֹנִי זָקֵן (שם). וּכְשֶׁבָּא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְהוֹכִיחָהּ, אָמַר לְאַבְרָהָם, לָמָּה זֶה צָחֲקָה שָׂרָה וְגוֹ' (שם פסוק יג). וְלָמָּה כָּךְ. בִּשְׁבִיל שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׂנָאֶנָּה וִיהֵא שִׂנְאָה בֵּין אַבְרָהָם לְשָׂרָה.

When you approach a town to attack it, [you shall offer it terms of peace]: See how great is the power of peace; as the Holy One, blessed be He, said to open with peace even to the enemies. So did our Rabbis teach, "We inquire about the welfare of the gentiles for the sake of the ways of peace." R. Eliezer HaKappar beRabbi said, "The power of peace is great; as at the time that Israel makes itself one group, the trait of strict judgement does not reach them, even [if there is] idolatry among them, as it is stated (Hosea 4:17), 'Ephraim is addicted to images; let him be.' But at the time that they are divided, the trait of strict judgement reaches them, as it is stated (Hosea 10:2), "Their heart has been divided, now they will be guilty." Rabbi Yehoshua of Sakhnin said in the name of Rabbi Levi, "See how great is the power of peace, as Scripture [added] two or three words because of peace and these are them: When our father Yaakov departed, the [brothers] were afraid, as it is stated (Genesis 50:15-17), 'When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us, etc.?" So they sent this message to Joseph, "Before his death your father commanded saying, 'So shall you say to Joseph, "Forgive, I urge you, etc."'"' But we do not find that our father Yaakov commanded these words. Rather they said them on their own." Our Sages, may their memory be blessed, said, "How many quills are broken, and how much ink is spilled to write these things that were not. And because of what? Because of peace." As even [with] our mother Sarah, the Holy One, blessed be He, dictated something about her that never was, for the sake of peace. As it is stated (Genesis 18:12), "And Sarah laughed to herself (bekirbah), saying." She observed her innards (bekeraveah) and said, "These innards are to carry a fetus, these shriveled breasts are to draw milk? And even if I am [to do] this, is Avraham not old, as it is stated (Genesis 18:12), 'and my lord is old.'" But when the Holy One, blessed be He, came to rebuke her, he [only] said to Avraham (Genesis 18:13), "Why did Sarah laugh, [saying, 'Shall I in truth bear a child, old as I am]?'" And why so? So that he should not hate her and there be hatred between Avraham and Sarah.