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Thought for the Day: Making Peace Between Two Jews

Today is the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul, making it also the last day of Av.  That makes this a great time for a sharp message that is important to hear as we enter into Elul z'man and prepare for the Days of Awe.

Chazal tell us that bringing peace to two Jews who are fighting is one of the mitzvos from which one enjoys the fruit in this world while the principle remains for him in olam haba.  This is for two reasons.  First, "banim atem la'shem" -- every Jew is a child of HaShem.  How miserable is it when your children are fighting?  There are very few pains that hurt like having two children who are so upset with each other that they can't speak civilly to each other.  But there is a deeper reason, the Chovos Levavos says that no one can hurt you nor help you as much as a mustard seed's worth unless HaShem wants it that way.  Any insult or hurt from another person is only a message from HaShem.  Don't shoot the messenger.

Hillel says that the whole Torah is founded on "don't do to your friend what you hate to have done to yourself".  None of us likes to be misunderstood, and we hate when that misunderstanding is used against us.  And we really hate when we we've had a bad day or been insensitive and the person we've hurt keeps it going.  We are usually so embarrassed by our behavior we just hope they won't notice (or at least pretend not to notice).  So, according to Hillel, the whole Torah is founded on us not doing those things.

Elul is upon us.  That's frightening.  How are we going to even walk into Shul on Rosh HaShana, let alone tell HaShem how we deserve another year of life after the great job we did last year.  Making up with a Jew who has hurt our feelings is a great way to soften the judgement.

Remember:  If you have a problem with another frum Jew, you have a problem with G-d  You don't need that.


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