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    Knowledge means peace – Va’et’channan

    “Teach them (the words of the Torah) diligently to your children” (Deut. 6:7) is not only for parents.

    Rashi explains, “Pupils are called children; the teacher of Torah is called a father”. The relationship of teacher and pupil is as holy as that of parent and child.

    Pupils and teachers are referred to in a Talmudic passage (Ber. 64a) quoted in the Siddur: “Torah scholars increase peace in the world, as it is said, ‘And all your children (pupils) shall be taught of HaShem, and great shall be the peace of your children’ (Isa. 54:13). Do not call them banayich but bonayich.”

    The banayichbonayich play on words is usually explained as “Do not call them your children but your builders”, because boneh is a builder.

    Alfasi, however, derives bonayich from a root than means “to understand”, and suggests the sages were saying that peace comes from being a person of understanding, i.e. a scholar.

    How do scholars bring peace? When you study Torah you learn the will of God, and you build the world according to His rules; you discover His ethical qualities and you follow them wherever you go.

    That is the key to harmony and stability in society.

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