continuing in the ways of shalom; are you in or just on your way?

It seems that a lot of people are interested in this subject of b’ or l’shalom, as I see how many people fall continually onto this entry.  I have been continuing to think about it.  Last week, actually, ISHI and I had a lengthy discussion about it, actually.  What often happens during these lengthy discussions is that we’re not totally tuned in to what the other person is saying, and we’re going to the assumptions, rather than listening to the actual words.

I got reconnected with the subject when dovening Ma’ariv (yes, that’s not something I do that often) for Simchat Torah using the Koren siddur.  I know people have mixed feelings about it (the siddur, not Ma’ariv), but I love it, not just because it’s not Artscroll.  But I love having a new perspective and I do try to read Sir Jonathan’s commentary as much as I can at shul.  So lo and behold, for the Hashkiveinu prayer,

 הַשְׁכִּיבֵנו  הַ’ אֱ-לֵֹינוּ לְשָׁלוֹם, וְהַעֲמִידֵנוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ לְחַיִּים 

where there’s that pesky little l’shalom thing, he translates

 in peace.


What a comrade-in-arms!

Although I definitely understand how it should be towards peace, in this circumstance; I guess it doesn’t make sense English-wise here.  So I relayed this to ISHI at dinner and he started up about Rav Kook talking all about how strongly he felt that you should say go towards peace, lech l’shalom, and not b’shalom, as the gemara and the stories all talk about, and how sad he was that people were resistant to this message, getting stuck in the present, and I kept saying, “but that’s not the point! It’s how it’s used in a letter that I object to, and look at what Sir Jonathan says, and you’re not listening to me!” 

 Which he wasn’t.

It took a really really long time for him to understand what I was referring to and then of course he said that’s not what Rav Kook was referring to; he wasn’t talking about salutations but being aware of the text.

I just want to be aware of a conversation at this point.  I realize how little we really listen to each other.  

 (I don’t know why this changes font size in the middle; it’s not to make any kind of point, but just some technical flaw and my inability to make machines do what I want, unlike the miracle in Chile that has occured over the past few days.)


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