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    Loving peace, pursuing peace – Naso

    The priestly blessing begins, “Thus shall you bless the Children of Israel” (Num. 6:25). It ends with the word shalom, “peace”.

    According to the blessing, it is God who grants peace.

    Not that peace descends magically upon the world, bringing a sudden mood of harmony and stability. It needs our help. If we work towards peace, God strengthens our hands.

    Aaron the first high priest should be our model. We know from Pir’kei Avot (1:12) that he was ohev shalom v’rodef shalom – he “loved peace and pursued peace”.

    Loving peace is the first step. Our philosophy must be one of peace. Peace must be our highest ideal, our chief value.

    The second step is to follow the paths of peace in whatever we do, wherever we are, whatever the circumstances.

    There was a campaign some years ago called “A Million Minutes of Peace”. It’s a good slogan. Every minute of every day must be filled with acts of peace.

    The minutes will become hours, the hours will become days, the days will become years, the years will become an eternity, and the priestly blessing will suffuse the whole of the universe and all of God’s creation.

    That’s the magic, that’s the miracle.

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