Thursday, February 14, 2008

“Torah Scholars Increase Peace in the World…”

In the end of Adar 5727 (1967), the Slabodka Yeshiva finished Maseches Yevamos and made a gala siyum. The bochurim begged Rav Yechezkel Abrahamsky, zt”l, to speak during the celebration, and he eventually agreed. Rav Abrahamsky taught a very powerful lesson that none could forget. Just before making the actual siyum mesechta he said, “On the last amud of Yevamos we find a statement incorporated in our prayers which is actually repeated several times in Shas: Talmidei chachamim marbim shalom baolam... What does this really mean, that Torah scholars ‘multiply peace in the world?’ Is this meant to teach us that a Torah scholar should spend the bulk of his time going from house to house making peace between husband and wife and man and his neighbor?! No, this statement actually refers to a much higher calling.

Rav Abrahamsky continued, “People who are truly happy are at peace with everyone. Unsatisfied people are contentious and always looking for a fight. All of their days are one big grudge and they are always angry at everyone. It is well known that the true Torah scholar takes tremendous pleasure from every daf gemara that he learns. They get more pleasure from learning the holy Torah than a new millionaire gets from his sudden fortune. As the wealthy man basks in his abundant blessings, the Torah scholar basks in the glow of the even greater windfall of acquiring an eternal connection to Hashem! For this reason he is a man at peace with all. He is so filled with delight and fulfillment from his learning that he never gets angry and never holds a grudge against anyone. Truly a part of the Am medushnei oneg! He hardly notices mundane matters that don’t go his way since he is so filled up with the pleasure of his learning; such things are insignificant in his eyes!”

Rav Abrahamsky concluded, “This is what the Gemara means. The very fact that such joyous and fulfilled people exist is how they fill the world with peace!”

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