Family Feuds: Peace in the Home
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

(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.”

4 ד

(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).

5 ה

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

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

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?