Rav Hirsh on the prerequisite to peace

“וְהָאֱמֶת וְהַשָּׁלוֹם, אֱהָבוּ” – You shall love truth and peace

These words from the end of Zechariah 8:19 are quoted thoughout Rav Hirsch’s writings.  R Eliyahu Meir Klugman eloquently write is his biography of Rav Hirsch that:

He explained that the concepts of truth and peace invariably occur in that order in Tanach, truth first and only afterwards peace, “For peace is not a father of truth; peach is the child of truth.  Win the people for truth, inalienable truth that can never be sold, nor even for the price of peace, when sacred causes are involved, and then true, everlasting peace will follow of itself.” (page 314)

During the Three Weeks we all try to be a bit nicer.  There are time that I succeed and there are times when I seem to not be able to get past certain things.  It’s a nesoyon (test) for me.  I accept that.  But, it seems that from the words of Rav Hirsch, making peace should not come at the expense of Emes.  In some cases, it’s not the other party that need to see the truth, but ourselves.  We must only be willing to really see what the Emes is, despite any difficulties that may result. 

5 thoughts on “Rav Hirsh on the prerequisite to peace

  1. Neil Harris

    Steg, I had given that some thought and actually hope to look up what Rav Hirsch says regarding laughing and news about Sarah having a baby.

    Thanks for the comment.

  2. Neil Harris

    Rav Hirsch’s commentary on Chumash actually passes over this idea in Va’yera.
    The Rambam says that if someone will not listen to Tochacha (rebuke) then it’s not a mitzvah to give rebuke to that person. My thinking is that if “fudging the truth” will not bring about Shalom regarding a critical issue (following the Rambam’s thinking)then we really can’t alter the Truth.

    Thanks for commenting.


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