Consensus or Division - Which is the Greater Danger?

About this class

The weeks between Passover and Shavuot traditionally include the study of Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers).This class is part of a Beit Avi Chai series where we explore the depth, meaning and relevance of some of Judaism's most fundamental ethical teachings and maxims.
In this session, we try to understand which poses a greater danger to us - consensus or division.
Click here to access the other classes from this Pirkei Avot series.
כָּל מַחֲלֹקֶת שֶׁהִיא לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם, סוֹפָהּ לְהִתְקַיֵּם. וְשֶׁאֵינָהּ לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם, אֵין סוֹפָהּ לְהִתְקַיֵּם. אֵיזוֹ הִיא מַחֲלֹקֶת שֶׁהִיא לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם, זוֹ מַחֲלֹקֶת הִלֵּל וְשַׁמַּאי. וְשֶׁאֵינָהּ לְשֵׁם שָׁמַיִם, זוֹ מַחֲלֹקֶת קֹרַח וְכָל עֲדָתוֹ:
Every dispute that is for the sake of Heaven, will in the end endure; But one that is not for the sake of Heaven, will not endure. Which is the controversy that is for the sake of Heaven? Such was the controversy of Hillel and Shammai. And which is the controversy that is not for the sake of Heaven? Such was the controversy of Korah and all his congregation.
(א) כל מחלוקת וכו'. לומר כי מה שאמר כל מחלוקת שהיא לשם שמים סופה להתקיים הכונה שלעולם יתקיימו במחלוקת והיום יחלוקו בדבר א' למחר בדבר אחר ומחלוקת יהיה קיים ונמשך ביניהם כל ימי חייהם ולא עוד אלא שאורך ימים ושנות חיים יוסיפו להם:
(1) Every argument, etc. [This is] to say about that which it said, "Every argument that is for [the sake of] heaven's name, it is destined to endure" - the intention is that they will endure in their argument forever. And [so,] today they will argue about one thing and tomorrow about another; and argument will endure and continue between them all the days of their lives. And not only this, but [also] 'length of days and years of life will be added to them.'
(יג) צריך שיהיו כל העשרה במקום אחד וש"ץ עמהם והעומד בתוך הפתח מן האגף ולחוץ דהיינו כשסוגר הדלת במקום [שפה] פנימית של עובי הדלת ולחוץ כלחוץ:
(13) All of the 10 need to be in one place and the prayer leader with them. And one who stands inside the doorway, [in the area of the doorway that is] from the door-stop and outward... meaning [the area] that when you close the door at the place of the inner [lip] of the thickness of the door and outwards - it is like [he is] outside.
(יד) מי שעומד אחורי בית הכנסת וביניהם חלון אפי' גבוה כמה קומות אפילו אינו רוחב ארבע ומראה להם פניו משם מצטרף עמהם לעשרה: הגה גגין ועליות אינן בכלל בית והעומד עליהם אינו מצטרף [ר"י נ"ג ח"ז]:
(14) One who stands behind the synagogue and in-between them is a window - even if it is several stories high [and] even if it's not 4 [tefachim] wide - and his face is seen by them from there, he joins with them for the 10. Rem"a: Roofs and upper stories (ie. attics) are not in the category of "a house" and the one who stands on them is not joined [to the 10]. [Ri ??]