Part 5 in Jewish Wisdom for the Everyday Man: a “guide for the perplexed” through the modern maze of morality from ancient Jewish Sages.
We all want peace, and most would agree that it’s a noble goal. But what price are we willing to pay for peace? Here in Israel, we are faced with this question every day. Should we pull back from lands, stop Jewish settlements, release prisoners or invest even more money in the Palestinians?
Peace at any price?
Jewish Sages believed that we should be willing to pay a very high price to achieve peace. According to Pirkei Avot (1:18), one of the very foundations of the universe is peace. In the Siddur, Judaism’s daily prayer book, we thank God for “creating peace and everything else.” The idea here is that everything on earth, all that we have, is equal in value to peace. That may sound like a very high price to pay,...