Monday, February 15, 2010

“Loving and Pursuing Peace”

Rav Zelig Braverman, zt”l, learned together with a certain man who had very bad eyesight. One day, the chavrusah opened up his heart and told his tale of woe to Rav Braverman. “I have a very difficult time at home. My wife insists that I help her with the housework, but because of my poor eyesight this is impossible. She really needs the help however, and won’t take no for an answer. When she sees that I have not done what she requested she insults me terribly—it literally breaks my heart. I don’t know how to change the state of affairs. Please help me!”
A few days later, the chavrusah arrived in a much happier state of mind. “Rav Zelig, you must be davening up a storm. Today, my wife did not insult me at all. On the contrary, it appears as though she no longer has any complaints and my shalom bayis has returned.”
But the nearsighted man did not understand just how hard Rav Zelig had worked to restore their happiness. Rav Zelig had been observing their movements and had found that when the husband went to daven, the wife went out to shop. The moment he realized this he let himself into their home and got to work. During their absence Rav Zelig washed the dishes and did the floors—the very jobs the wife had demanded her husband do.
When the woman of the house came home, she figured that her husband must have done his chores after all, and the husband thought that she had seen how hard it was for him and had taken care of the tasks herself. Naturally, each admired the other for this sacrifice and peace reigned once again.
When Rav Shalom Shwadron, zt”l, told this story he remarked, “It is astounding to what lengths the gedolim would go to ensure that there would be peace in Jewish households. They were truly students of Aharon Hakohein who was 'אוהב שלום ורדף שלום'—he not only loved peace, he pursued it!”

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