Shlom Bayit/HaBriyot: peace in the home/and in the community
1 א

(יב) ... הִלֵּל אוֹמֵר, הֱוֵי מִתַּלְמִידָיו שֶׁל אַהֲרֹן, אוֹהֵב שָׁלוֹם וְרוֹדֵף שָׁלוֹם, אוֹהֵב אֶת הַבְּרִיּוֹת וּמְקָרְבָן לַתּוֹרָה:

(12)... Hillel says, "Be of the disciples of Aharon, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving the creatures and bringing them closer to Torah."

2 ב

1.What is the difference between loving peace and pursuing peace?

2. What other values might be in conflict with peace? I.e. what do we fight about and why?

3 ג

1.What discrepancy is Rashi picking up on in the Torah's narrative?

2. Do you think it's OK to lie to preserve peace?

4 ד

(ט) וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ אֵׄלָׄ֔יׄוׄ אַיֵּ֖ה שָׂרָ֣ה אִשְׁתֶּ֑ךָ וַיֹּ֖אמֶר הִנֵּ֥ה בָאֹֽהֶל׃ (י) וַיֹּ֗אמֶר שׁ֣וֹב אָשׁ֤וּב אֵלֶ֙יךָ֙ כָּעֵ֣ת חַיָּ֔ה וְהִנֵּה־בֵ֖ן לְשָׂרָ֣ה אִשְׁתֶּ֑ךָ וְשָׂרָ֥ה שֹׁמַ֛עַת פֶּ֥תַח הָאֹ֖הֶל וְה֥וּא אַחֲרָֽיו׃ (יא) וְאַבְרָהָ֤ם וְשָׂרָה֙ זְקֵנִ֔ים בָּאִ֖ים בַּיָּמִ֑ים חָדַל֙ לִהְי֣וֹת לְשָׂרָ֔ה אֹ֖רַח כַּנָּשִֽׁים׃ (יב) וַתִּצְחַ֥ק שָׂרָ֖ה בְּקִרְבָּ֣הּ לֵאמֹ֑ר אַחֲרֵ֤י בְלֹתִי֙ הָֽיְתָה־לִּ֣י עֶדְנָ֔ה וַֽאדושם זָקֵֽן׃ (יג) וַיֹּ֥אמֶר ה' אֶל־אַבְרָהָ֑ם לָ֣מָּה זֶּה֩ צָחֲקָ֨ה שָׂרָ֜ה לֵאמֹ֗ר הַאַ֥ף אֻמְנָ֛ם אֵלֵ֖ד וַאֲנִ֥י זָקַֽנְתִּי׃ (יד) הֲיִפָּלֵ֥א מֵה' דָּבָ֑ר לַמּוֹעֵ֞ד אָשׁ֥וּב אֵלֶ֛יךָ כָּעֵ֥ת חַיָּ֖ה וּלְשָׂרָ֥ה בֵֽן׃

(9) They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he replied, “There, in the tent.” (10) Then one said, “I will return to you next year, and your wife Sarah shall have a son!” Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind him. (11) Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years; Sarah had stopped having the periods of women. (12) And Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “Now that I am withered, am I to have enjoyment—with my husband so old?” (13) Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I in truth bear a child, old as I am?’ (14) Is anything too wondrous for the LORD? I will return to you at the same season next year, and Sarah shall have a son.”

5 ה

(יג) ואני זקנתי. שנה הכתוב מפני השלום, שהרי היא אמרה ואדוני זקן:

(13) ואני זקנתי I BEING OLD — Scripture (God) in relating her words to her husband alters them for the sake of peace, for she had said (v. 12) “my lord is old” (Genesis Rabbah 48:18).

6 ו
Song of Songs Rabbah 1:31
[In Babylon] it was taught: If a man has taken a wife and lived with her for ten years but she has not borne a child, he is nonetheless obligated [to “be fruitful and multiply,” and therefore to marry another woman].
R. Idi said: The story is told of a woman from Sidon who lived with her husband for ten years and did not have children. They came before R. Shimon ben Yohai and asked to be divorced from one another.
He said to them: Look here, as you married each other with food and drink[i.e. celebration], so too, may you separate only with food and drink. They went on his way, and made a holiday for themselves. They made a great feast, and she got him too drunk.
This brought him back to his senses, and he said to her: “My beloved, if you see anything (hefetz) that you want in my house, take it and go to your father’s.
What did she do? After he fell asleep, she called to her servants, saying, “Carry him, in his bed, to my father’s house.”
At midnight he awoke when the effects of the wine had worn off, and said to her, “My beloved, where am I?”
She said to him: “In my father’s house.”
He said to her: “What am I doing in your father’s house?”
She said to him: “Is that not what you said to me last evening, ‘anything you desire in my house, take it and go to your father’s house’? There is nothing I desire more in the world than you!”
They went before R. Shimon ben Yohai, and he stood and prayed over them, and they had children.
7 ז

1. What stands out about this story to you?

2. What does this lesson of the Sages have to say about conflict within our holy relationships?

3. Why does the story have to end with them having children?

8 ח

(ה) כֵּיצַד מְאַיְּמִין אֶת הָעֵדִים עַל עֵדֵי נְפָשׁוֹת, הָיוּ מַכְנִיסִין אוֹתָן וּמְאַיְּמִין עֲלֵיהֶן. שֶׁמָּא תֹאמְרוּ מֵאֹמֶד, וּמִשְּׁמוּעָה, עֵד מִפִּי עֵד וּמִפִּי אָדָם נֶאֱמָן שָׁמַעְנוּ, אוֹ שֶׁמָּא אִי אַתֶּם יוֹדְעִין שֶׁסּוֹפֵנוּ לִבְדֹּק אֶתְכֶם בִּדְרִישָׁה וּבַחֲקִירָה. הֱווּ יוֹדְעִין שֶׁלֹּא כְדִינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת. דִּינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת, אָדָם נוֹתֵן מָמוֹן וּמִתְכַּפֵּר לוֹ. דִּינֵי נְפָשׁוֹת, דָּמוֹ וְדַם זַרְעִיּוֹתָיו תְּלוּיִין בּוֹ עַד סוֹף הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁכֵּן מָצִינוּ בְקַיִן שֶׁהָרַג אֶת אָחִיו, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית ד) דְּמֵי אָחִיךָ צֹעֲקִים, אֵינוֹ אוֹמֵר דַּם אָחִיךָ אֶלָּא דְּמֵי אָחִיךָ, דָּמוֹ וְדַם זַרְעִיּוֹתָיו. דָּבָר אַחֵר, דְּמֵי אָחִיךָ, שֶׁהָיָה דָמוֹ מֻשְׁלָךְ עַל הָעֵצִים וְעַל הָאֲבָנִים. לְפִיכָךְ נִבְרָא אָדָם יְחִידִי, לְלַמֶּדְךָ, שֶׁכָּל הַמְאַבֵּד נֶפֶשׁ אַחַת מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל, מַעֲלֶה עָלָיו הַכָּתוּב כְּאִלּוּ אִבֵּד עוֹלָם מָלֵא. וְכָל הַמְקַיֵּם נֶפֶשׁ אַחַת מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל, מַעֲלֶה עָלָיו הַכָּתוּב כְּאִלּוּ קִיֵּם עוֹלָם מָלֵא.

וּמִפְּנֵי שְׁלוֹם הַבְּרִיּוֹת, שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמַר אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ אַבָּא גָדוֹל מֵאָבִיךָ.

וְשֶׁלֹּא יְהוּ מִינִין אוֹמְרִים, הַרְבֵּה רָשֻׁיּוֹת בַּשָּׁמָיִם.

וּלְהַגִּיד גְּדֻלָּתוֹ שֶׁל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, שֶׁאָדָם טוֹבֵעַ כַּמָּה מַטְבְּעוֹת בְּחוֹתָם אֶחָד וְכֻלָּן דּוֹמִין זֶה לָזֶה, וּמֶלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא טָבַע כָּל אָדָם בְּחוֹתָמוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן וְאֵין אֶחָד מֵהֶן דּוֹמֶה לַחֲבֵרוֹ.

לְפִיכָךְ כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד חַיָּב לוֹמַר, בִּשְׁבִילִי נִבְרָא הָעוֹלָם. וְשֶׁמָּא תֹאמְרוּ מַה לָּנוּ וְלַצָּרָה הַזֹּאת, וַהֲלֹא כְבָר נֶאֱמַר (ויקרא ה) וְהוּא עֵד אוֹ רָאָה אוֹ יָדָע אִם לוֹא יַגִּיד וְגוֹ'. וְשֶׁמָּא תֹאמְרוּ מַה לָּנוּ לָחוּב בְּדָמוֹ שֶׁל זֶה, וַהֲלֹא כְבָר נֶאֱמַר (משלי יא) וּבַאֲבֹד רְשָׁעִים רִנָּה:

(5) How do we press the witnesses in a capital case? We bring them in [to the court's chambers] and press them: "Perhaps what you say [isn't eyewitness testimony] is but your own assessment, or from rumors, or your witnessing an actual witness testify, or your reporting what a trustworthy said. Or perhaps you were unaware that by the end we'd interrogate you, with examination and inquiry. Know that capital cases are not like monetary ones. In monetary cases, [a false witness] can return the money and achieve atonement. But in capital cases, the blood of [the victim [and all his future offspring hang upon you until the end of time. For thus we find in regard to Cain, who killed his brother, "The bloods of your brother scream out!" (Genesis 4:10) - the verse does not say blood of your brother, but bloods of your brother, because it was his blood and also the blood of his future offspring [screaming out]! [Another explanation of the verse: for his blood was splattered over the trees and rocks [there was more than one pool of blood]. [The judges' speech continues] "It was for this reason that man was first created as one person [Adam], (1) to teach you that anyone who destroys a life is considered by Scripture to have destroyed an entire world; and anyone who saves a life is as if he saved an entire world."

(2) And for peace between creatures, so that a person wouldn't say to his fellow: My Dad is greater than your Dad!

(3) So that the heretics wouldn't be able to say: There are many authorities (gods) in heaven.

(4) And to tell of the greatness of the Holy One, (blessed be He) - because man mints many coins with one mold, and each one is similar to the other. But the King, King of kings the Holy One (blessed be He) minted every person in the image of the first Man and yet each one is NOT similar to his fellow.

Therefore everyone must say: 'For me this world was created.'

And if you say why should I go through all this trouble, behold it has already been said: "And if he witnessed or saw and didn't tell..."

And if you say, why should I be guilty over this man's blood (the one on trial), behold it already says "there is joy in destroying wickedness."