Friday, February 1, 2008

Shalom, Shalom!

" שאלו תלמידיו את רבי זירא ואמרי לה לרב אדא בר אהבה במה הארכת ימים אמר להם מימי לא הקפדתי בתוך ביתי..."

On Taanis 20 find that when Rav Ada bar Ahava was asked in what merit he had been blessed with such incredible longevity, he answered, “In my entire life, I never got angry at home.” Home doesn’t necessarily only mean at home, but with his wife in particular. As Rabi Yosi said, “I never called my wife, my wife, but rather my home.” (Shabbos 118b)

It once came to the notice of Rav Rafael of Barashad, zt”l, that his wife was spending beyond their means. People approached him and said that their income was not sufficient to cover her somewhat extravagant purchases on behalf of the household, and that he ought to take the matter in hand. Knowing that he had no choice but to confront her about it, he went home.

When Rav Rafael arrived, his wife was dutifully awaiting him. Instead of entering the house as he normally would, he immediately walked in and sat down on a bench. He said feelingly, “Dear heart! My crown! Shalom, Shalom, Shalom!”

His wife was somewhat perplexed by this effusive greeting, and waited to hear what else Rav Rafael had to say.

He continued in a gentle voice, with a smile on his face, “I’ve heard that you have been spending a lot of money, more money that we really have. Now, the Shelah HaKadosh says clearly that a single argument drives away a hundred livelihoods. So could it be that the solution is to have a fight with you over this? Will it make the problem go away? Quite the contrary! That’s why I say: Shalom, Shalom Shalom! Peace, peace, peace!”

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