Thursday, December 23, 2010
Peace 101 Shalom / Salaam: T-shirt or reality?
In this piece from Rabbi Natan of Breslov’s “Likkutei Etzot” [Advice], he uses the teachings of Rabbi Nachman to make a most simple and beautiful statement on Peace, its potential for the fulfillment of the purpose of the world- the service of G-d and its obstacles. I present it here as a kind of manifesto. I would put it on a T-shirt if only there were one big enough.
I particularly encourage my knowledgeable Muslim readers to share insights and texts that inform their strivings for peace, both in themselves and with others.
Rabbi Natan writes..
As peace spreads in the world the whole world can be drawn to serve G-d with one accord. Because when men are at peace with each other they talk to one another and together they can think about the purpose of the world and all its vanities. People then talk to each other about the realities of life that in the final analysis, when a person dies, nothing remains of him except whatever preparations he has made for the eternal world which awaits him after death. Neither silver nor gold accompany a man after his death... When people understand this they will abandon their illusions and their idols of silver and aspire only to G-d and His Torah. Their only aim will be to serve G-d and seek out the truth. But when there is no peace in the world, and even worse when there is strife and dissension, men are not open with one another and they never discuss the purpose of life. Even when somebody is open about it his words fail to enter the hearts of other people, because people are not interested in finding out the truth, all they want is to win the argument: they are aggressive and full of hatred and jealousy. When somebody wants to win an argument his ears are not open to the truth. The main reason why most people are so far from G-d is because of the divisiveness and strife which are so widespread today because of our many sins
-(Likutei Etzot [Advice] Shalom 4 based on Likutei Moharan 27: 1).
Shameless Promotion: This excellent book and others of Rebbe Nachman's teachings in English are available from www.breslov.org - Judaism with a Heart