Ways of Peace

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7 Responses

  1. Raffi says:

    WhaWhaWhaaaat? I see you making the case for your interpretation, but I do not see you explaining at all why it can’t be the commonly understood one (aside from one brief comment). Maybe darkei shalom DOES mean keeping the peace lest they kill us. Maybe Rambam’s prooftext indicates that halacha would never put us into a situation where our lives are at risk. I’m not sure how the gemara in sukkah disproves that. It only supports the importance of shalom, not your particular interpretation of darkei shalom.

    A vous.

    • micha says:

      A value called “darkhei Shalom” which the Rambam derives from tov Hashem lakol and from vekhol nesivoseha shalom — from verses that describe Hashem’s ways and the Torah’s nature (respectively). That’s not a discussion of putting our lives at risk, but of imitating G-d and acting the way the Torah calls on us to.

      And the Rambam uses darkhei Shalom as the basis of a list of mitzvos that the gemara says are to be learned from Hashem’s example — again, a call to imitate G-d.

      There is really no other way to understand the cited Rambam.

      And the Rama invokes the idea as a general rule, including a number of contexts that have nothing to do avoiding life-threatening danger. (As the gemara does with mishum eivah.) Does a kohein get the first aliyah (Gitin 59b) in order to prevent people from killing each other over it? That too is “darkhei Shalom“.

      I see R’ Aharon Lichtenstein’s conclusion as inescapable.

      • Raffi says:

        “A value called “darkhei Shalom” which the Rambam derives from tov Hashem lakol and from vekhol nesivoseha shalom – from verses that describe Hashem’s ways and the Torah’s nature (respectively). That’s not a discussion of putting our lives at risk, but of imitating G-d and acting the way the Torah calls on us to.”

        Says who? Drakheiha darkhei noam is used sometimes to indicate that G-d wouldn’t command us do something painful or unpleasant. That could simply be about our this-worldly concerns, not about G-d’s way of doing things.

        “There is really no other way to understand the cited Rambam.”

        You have a long way to go to prove that as conclusively as you have stated it. Not that I am averse to the interpretation – I just don’t think you’ve made a strong enough case.

        “Does a kohein get the first aliyah (Gitin 59b) in order to prevent people from killing each other over it?

        No, but it’s certainly not unreasonable to suggest that these rules are there to prevent people from getting upset, jealous, petty, etc., and to “keep the order.” Again, I don’t think you have sufficiently proven that it is NOT meant this way.

        • micha says:

          You asked why I defined darkhei Shalom as “walking the path of the One Who made peace” and yet haven’t yet explained why (1) the Rambam’s derivation of “tov Hashem lakol” and
          (2) his applying “darkhei Shalom” to the very same mitzvos the gemara tells us we learn from Hashem’s example in the chumash
          do not reflect just such a translation.

          You only attacked the other parts of Rav Aharon’s argument that darkhei Shalom is a primary value. But you still haven’t touched the core of the discussion.

          • Raffi says:

            Sorry, I don’t hear it. Seems to me the Rambam could simply be saying that we do these acts of chesed (the classical acts of chesed as illustrated by the gemara in Sotah) even for goyim, because of darkei shalom, i.e., to avoid getting pummeled. (The Rambam you cite is, after all, located in a discussion of how we treat outsiders, not how to act like G-d in general.)

          • micha says:

            The Rambam Rav Aharon Lichtenstein cites says that how we treat others is dictated by darkhei Shalom and his proof of that is that HQBH does so.

            As I said, it’s so open and shut, I don’t see what exchange there is to have on the subject.

            (Aside from his other proofs.)

  2. Raffi says:

    The Rambam Rav Aharon Lichtenstein cites says that how we treat others is dictated by darkhei Shalom and his proof of that is that HQBH does so.

    No, it isn’t. That is your (or his) interpretation of the Rambam’s proof. The Rambam brings two pesukim. YOU are the one who is saying that these pesukim are brought as expressions of imitatio dei.

    Furthermore, as I stated, the Rambam is not engaged in a discussion about “how we treat others;” he is specifically discussing how we treat outsiders. Of course they are intertwined, but they are nonetheless different topics.

    I regret that you are apparently unable to see any other perspectives here such that in your eyes it is entirely “open and shut.”

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