The Jewish Tradition: Meditations on Peace

Gemara, Yoma 9b: “But why was the second Sanctuary destroyed, seeing that in its time they were occupying themselves with Torah, [observance of] precepts, and the practice of charity? Because therein prevailed hatred without cause. That teaches you that groundless hatred is considered as of even gravity with the three sins of idolatry, immorality, and bloodshed together.”

Masechet Avot: It was taught that Rabbi Shimon Ben Gamliel said, “The world is maintained by three things, by justice, by truth and by peace.” Rav Muna said, “These three actually are one. If justice is present then truth is present and this makes peace. And all three are found in the same verse, as it is written, “Judge with the justice of truth and peace within your gates.” Wherever there is justice there will be peace. And wherever there is peace there is justice.

Zechariah 8:16: These are the things that ye shall do: Speak ye every man the truth with his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates;

Psalms 37: 37: Mark the man of integrity, and behold the upright; for there is a future for the man of peace

Proverbs 12: Deceit is in the heart of them that devise evil; but to the counsellors of peace is joy.

Friday Night Prayer Service. Talmud Brachot, 64a: Rabbi Elazar said on behalf of Rabbi Chanina: Torah scholars increase peace in the world, as it is said: And all your children will be students of Hashem* and your children will have abundant peace –do not read “your children” (banayich) but “your builders” (bonayich). There is abundant peace for the lovers of your Torah and there is no stumbling block for them. May there be peace within your wall, serenity within your palaces. For the sake of my brethren and my comrades, I shall speak peace in your midst. For the sake of the house of Hashem, our God, I will request good for tiy, Hashem will give might to His nation, Hashem will bless His nation with peace.

* God


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