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    Promoting peace – B’ha’alot’cha

    There were times when Chassidic groups fought battles in New York that ended up with pulling out or cutting off the others’ beards. In Jerusalem there are bouts of stonethrowing at the non-orthodox. Verbal violence is not uncommon between one group and another.

    These are all people who praise God as the Giver of Peace and know that Shalom is one of the Divine names.

    When you turn to other religions you see so many violent acts carried out and justified in the name of the Deity. True, their record is worse than ours, but that’s not the point. We are not measuring who does more terrible things, but asking how any religious people can promote peace by unpeaceful methods.

    Look at the conclusion of this week’s haftarah – “Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, says the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 4:6). Anything else gives religion a terribly bad name.

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