Thoughts on Peace from Numbers Rabbah

Great is peace, for the prophets have taught all people to care for nothing so much as peace….

Great is peace, for it was given to the meek; as it says: But the lowly shall inherit the land, and delight themselves in abundance of peace” (Psalms 37:11).

Great is peace, for it outweighs everything. We say in the morning prayers: “He makes peace and creates everything.” Without peace, there is nothing.

Even if Israel serves idols and peace reigns among them, the Holy One, blessed be He, as it were, says: “Satan shall not touch them.”…

Peace is a grand thing and quarrelsomeness is hateful. Peace is a great thing, for even during war peace is necessary; as it says: “When you approach a town to attack it, you shall offer it in terms of peace” (Deuteronomy 20:10).…

Great is peace, for even the dying need peace; as it says: “You shall go to your fathers in peace” (Genesis 15:15), and it says: “You shall die in peace” (Jeremiah 34:5).…

Great is peace, for the Holy One has created no finer attribute than peace, and it has been given to the righteous. When a righteous man departs from the world three groups of ministering angels welcome him, each with a greeting of peace. The first says: “Yet he shall come in peace”; the second: “He shall have rest on his couch”; and the third, “So it is for each one who walked straightforward” (Isaiah 57:2).

Great is peace, for God is called Peace, as it says: “And he called the altar ‘The Lord is Peace'” (Judges 6:24).

Great is peace, for even the angels in heaven need peace, as it says: “He makes peace in his high places” (Job 25:2). Now, can we not reason from the less important to the more important? If peace is necessary in heaven, a place where there is no hatred or enmity, how much more so is it necessary on earth, where so many conflicts are found!

(Numbers Rabbah, chapter 2, section 7)

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