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Controversy and Shalom Bayit

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One of the 7 Noahides Laws is the establishment of courts, because Hashem desires a just society. A system where there is consideration for the needy, the sick, the orphans, a system where people who make a mistake are taught how to do better. A court system ensures that people agree on standard values and norms, rules of conduct with each other based on the 7 Noahides Laws so that people can teach each other what is not right and what is unjust, but also (and perhaps especially that) what is right and just.

When there are multiple courts, it is important that they follow the same rules so that there is peace between the courts and no controversy. When courts have the 7 Noahides Laws as their foundation, things will be much easier.

Courts – as long as we do not come into contact with them – are quite far away from the common man.

Closer to home are our Torah teachers. Peace and harmony among our teachers makes peace and harmony in our more immediate society.

All the above points – however serious points of controversy therein might be – are quite far beyond our reach to influence.

Within our sphere of influence, though, lies our own community of faith. When we find that group members have points of controversy, it is important to play a mediating role and bring back peace and harmony within the group..

But the place where we can exert the most influence is in our own homes.

The Sages have taught (Tanne De’Vei Eliyahu Zootha, end of 9the perek):

When there is controversy in the home, the end is destruction.

Shalom Bayit – peace of the home – is the most important for a blessed marriage.

Shalom Bayit is so enormously important that the Torah spares no expense to achieve it between husband and wife. After all, how careful should we be not to use G-d’s Name in vain, neither in words nor in writing, how careful should we be not to erase Holy Names, but the Torah teaches that G-d’s Name itself may be erased – in bitter water – if it leads to reconciliation between husband and wife and thus to Shalom Bayit.

For a house in harmony is the foundation for a healthy society, one in which courts will no longer be needed.

By Angelique Sijbolts

Sources: Sefer Shemirat HaLashon by Chafetz Chayim, Numeria 5:11-30

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