1. In 1901, when Reb Moshe Feinstein was 6 years old, a pogrom forced Reb David, his family, and the other Jews of Uzda to run for their lives. When the Rav and his family returned six weeks later, they found that a talmid chacham who had come to the town in the interim had declared himself Rav and was occupying the Rav‘s seat in the main beis midrash. Reb David absolutely refused to involve himself in anything that smacked of machlokes. While the townspeople continued to recognize him as their Rav and he still maintained the Rav’s yeast business, from then on Reb David and his sons davened in the town’s chassidic shul. Thus, at a very young age, Reb Moshe learned to flee from strife and to get along with those whose background and customs differed from his own.“ (Reb Moshe, Expanded Edition) (machlokes, shalom)
  1. One night during the days of Selichos, the Manchester Rosh Yeshivah found himself deeply involved in resolving a marital dispute. As the matter dragged on with no end in sight, it became apparent that the Rosh Yeshivah might be up the entire night. When someone mentioned this, the Rosh Yeshivah replied, “The matter in which I am now involved is my overriding priority at this moment. If necessary, I will not say Selichos this morning.” (shalom) (The Manchester Rosh Yeshiva)
  1. Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler had once succeeded in obtaining for his Gateshead Kollel what was then a very large contribution of £400. Subsequently a representative of Gateshead Yeshiva solicited a contribution from the same benefactor, who responded that he had already given to the Kollel. Since there was always some fear on the part of the Yeshiva that the Kollel would draw away money from the Yeshiva, the matter created some tension. The Vaad of the Kollel voted not to return the gift on the grounds that it had been given personally to Rabbi Dessler. But Rabbi Dessler felt that the principle of avoiding any trace of machlokes (dispute) with the Yeshiva was more important than the money. He then insisted that the gift that he solicited for his Kollel be handed over to the Yeshiva. The Vaad of the Kollel complied. Rav Dessler, By Rabbi Yonason Rosenblum, Published by Artscroll Mesorah, page 209
  1. Helping a shidduch happen is one thing; helping it succeed is another. And “here is another place where Rav Nossen Tzvi Finkel strained himself to do whatever he could. If he learned of a shalom bayis issue facing an avreich in the yeshivah, he would make it his business to set up a chevrusa with him. Once this was in place, he would call the house, state who was calling, and ask the woman who answered if he could speak with her husband. Invariably, this would elevate the man’s image at home. For the Love of Torah, By Hanoch Teller, Published by Feldheim page 272 (make peace)
  1. ln the early years of this century, there lived a young couple in Jerusalem who were married for a number of years and did not have children. Both husband and wife prayed fervently that this blessing be granted them. ln those days, the only way to do laundry was by hand. After each article had been thoroughly washed and wrung out, it would be hung on an outdoor line to dry. One day, this young woman washed her laundry and, as usual, hung the items on her line outside. After she went inside, a hot-tempered woman, who lived in a neighboring apartment entered the courtyard as she returned home. As she walked, she momentarily became entangled in the laundry which hung on the line. Perhaps the laundry was hanging lower than it should have been; or it may have been that the woman was engrossed in her thoughts and simply was not looking where she was walking. Whatever the case, her reaction was inexcusable. ln a rage, she rushed to her apartment and returned to the courtyard with a pair of scissors. Without a moment’s thought, she cut the clothesline and all the laundry fell to the dirt. A few minutes later, the first woman went outside to see if her laundry was dry. For a few moments she stared openmouthed in disbelief. When she noticed how the rope had obviously been cut, tears welled up in her eyes. Silently, she gathered up her laundry and brought it inside. As she began her second wash of the day, she vowed to herself not to tell her husband what had happened. Were he to find out, he would surely be distressed, and out of concern for his wife might seek to discover the identity of the perpetrator. Strife is like fire; one must do everything in one’s power to avert it. And so. when her husband came home from the beis midrash that evening, she said not a word. But there was commotion in another home that night. A young child of the hot-tempered woman suddenly developed a high fever and his condition seemed serious. A doctor was summoned and the boy’s father paid a visit to the city’s Rav, Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, in search of his blessing for the child’s recovery. Hearing of the suddenness with which the child fell ill, R’ Yosef Chaim asked if anything unusual had occurred at home in the hours beforehand. The husband did not know of anything. but said that he would ask his wife. Shamefacedly, the woman told her husband of her terrible act. Soon, both husband and wife were standing before R‘ Yosef Chaim. Upon hearing what had transpired, the Rav quickly donned his hat and coat. “Come,” he beckoned to them “we have no time to lose. You must beg forgiveness immediately.” He accompanied them to the woman’s home. There, the woman who had cut the clothesline broke down and cried as she admitted her guilt to her neighbor. She said that Hashem had already punished her by afflicting her child with illness. Humbly, she begged forgiveness. The other woman accepted her apology and said that she forgave her with a full heart. The child’s fever soon subsided. While all this was going on, R’ Yosef Chaim became aware that the husband of the woman who had hung out the laundry was totally baffled by what was taking place. “You mean to say that your wife did not inform you of what had transpired?” the Rav asked. “That is correct. This is the first that l am hearing about it.” lt became clear to R‘ Yosef Chaim that it was the woman’s righteousness which had prevented her from making mention of the incident. Deeply moved, he said, “ln merit of your silence, may you be blessed with a son.” One year later, the woman gave birth to a boy, whom they named Yosef Sholom. He is Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashev, the renowned posek of Jerusalem. (Shabbos Stories 1) (machlokes)
  1. The Bobover Rebbe’s revulsion for machlokcs and strife was to the extreme. He remarked on numerous occasions that he believed that a contribut- ing cause of the Holocaust was the internecine fighting that took place in prewar Europe between different factions of the religious community. He would go to the furthest lengths to avoid even the hint of acrimony. It happened that some irresponsible Clmssfdim once circulated a defamatory leaflet maligning the Rnv. At the Melave Malkn that week, the Rnv made the following statement: ”As you know, a scurrilous leaflet about me was distributed this week. I fully forgive those who wrote the leatlet. I want to make it clear, however, that if there be any among you who will seek to defend my honor and respond in any shape, form, or manner, I tell you now that I will not forgive you.” And then, after a pause, he added, “L0 lmzelv velo helm (Neither in this world nor in the world to come)/’ With such an admonition, the issue came to rest. (Torah Leaders) (machlokes)
  1. R’ Aryeh was penniless at the time of his marriage. His parents were overseas and unable to help out financially, and as a new immigrant, he had not yet found a source of livelihood. Although they had the simplest of weddings (the impoverished Jews of Yerushalayim were hard-pressed to survive; they certainly didn’t aspire to pretentious standards), it was still customary for the chassan to present his kallah with a small gift in the yichud room. R’ Aryeh, however, lacked the wherewithal to purchase even a nominal present for his bride. So he made a unique offer instead. “Any time we have even the smallest disagreement,” R’ Aryeh declared, “I will yield to you.” His kallah was so touched by his proposition that she promised R’ Aryeh that she, in return, would do the same for him! (love wife, machlokes) (Rebetzin Kanievsky)
  1. A man was fired from his job after having served loyally in his position for many years. One day, he phoned the Rosh Yeshivah to seek his advice regarding a job offer. The opportunity seemed promising, but his pursuit of it was likely to lead to squabbling among a number of parties. The Rosh Yeshivah advised against pursuing the offer. The man was upset. ”But I have no job …” he moaned. The Rosh Yeshivah encouraged the man to place his trust in Hashem, and conferred his blessings. Soon after, the business in which the man had been offered a position collapsed, while he be- came a partner in a successful carpet business. One day, the man was escorting the Rosh Yeshivah somewhere when they passed by a hotel. The sidewalk was piled high with worn carpets which had obviously just been replaced. ”Oy!” the man exclaimed. “New carpets for a hotel! Another order that did n’t come my way!” The Rosh Yeshivah was not pleased with the remark. ”Where is your bitachon?” he demanded. ”Whatever earn- ings Heaven has decreed for you will surely come your way. And what right do you have to complain? You have a son and sons-in- F law who have all dedicated themselves to the study of Torah. What more could a person want?” A stranger nearby overheard this conversation. He approached them and introduced himself as a real estate investor whose en- terprises sometimes required the purchase and installation of carpets. The Rosh Yeshivah’s companion gave the-man his busi- ness card. Eight months later the investor called to say that he had purchased a huge tract of land near a train station and would be needing carpeting for the many stores and offices which he planned to build there. (feud) (The Manchester Rosh Yeshiva)
  1. The only thing that worried Rav Tendler was machlokes, dispute. One of the gedolim in America asked Rav Tendler to become involved in a machlokes, but he refused. Despite ,his refusal, the rav sent a package with the proof that one side was correct; whe11 it arrived Rav Tendler dropped it in the trash bin without opening it. “But it is from … ” his son, Eliyahu, protested. “If he is spreading machlokes, I don’t have to follow his guidance.” . I Am Your Servant, By Rabbi Akiva Tendler, Published By Artscroll Mesorah  page 340 (machlokes)
  1. Rav Meir used to deliver a lecture every  Friday evening. One week his lecture was  especially long, and a certain woman who  went to the lecture every week arrived  home after the candles had already burnt  out. Her husband inquired as to her whereabouts, and she told him that she had been  listening to a lecture in the beis midrash.  Her husband said, “You may not enter the  house until you go and spit in the face of  the lecturer.” When R’ Meir heard about  it, he pretended that his eye hurt and he  needed the incantation of a person spitting  into it.  The lady reluctantly approached R’  Meir, and R’ Meir persuaded her to spit in  his face seven times to cure his eye. After  the woman did so, R’ Meir said to her, “Go,  my daughter, and tell your husband that you only told me to spit once, and I spat  seven times.” When R’ Meir’s students  asked him, “Rebbi, is this how you shame  the Torah?” he responded, “Is it not enough  for the honor of R’ Meir to be like the  honor of his Creator? For R’ Yishmael  taught: Great is peace that even to Holy  Name of God, which is written in sanctity,  the Holy One, blessed is He, has said, ‘Let  it be erased in water for the purpose of  making peace between husband and wife  is it not even more so with the honor  of Meir?” (JT Sot. 1:4). shalom, humility
  1. It was not unusual for those waiting to speak to the Skverer Rebbe to be standing in line in his home at 2 a.m. People came to ask questions or receive advice about their children, businesses. and other matters. This particular time, the line included a young man named Yoni. He was about 18 years old and was dressed in jeans and a very nice three-button shirt: standard fare for someone dressing nicely on a Saturday night, but not exactly standard dress for those coming to see the Rebbe. Yoni‘s clothing and white-crocheted yarmulke drew more than a few glances from the others — mostly dressed in shtriemlach and long coats — as they all waited patiently for their turn. Finally, it was Yoni‘s turn. He walked into the Rebbe’s inner chamber with some trepidation. Gathering his courage, he looked at the Rebbe and asked him for a berachah for a refuah sheleimah for Yerachmiel ben Baila. The Rebbe looked up, and then closed his eyes, and repeated with great concentration, “Yerachmiel ben Baila zol hubben ah refuah sheIeimah.” As he was about to leave, one of the Rebbe‘s gabbaim grabbed Yoni by the arm and asked excitedly, “From where do you know the name Yerachmiel ben Baila?” Yoni explained that he worked in the summer in a camp called HASC (Hebrew Academy for Special Children). “A|l types of children, from all difierent backgrounds, come to HASC. Well, Yerachmiel ben Baila is my camper. I spent every day with him the first half of the summer. I dressed him in the morning and played with him and fed him and even put him to bed at night.” The man listened carefully. As Yoni continued speaking, he couldn’t help but wonder why the man was so interested. “Today is YerachmieI’s birthday. I wanted to buy him a birthday present. but I could not figure out what to get him. He would not be able to play with a video game or even a ball. So I decided to come to Skver, since the boy is a Skverer chassid. I figured that the best birthday present I could get him would be a berachah from his Rebbe So that’s why I came here tonight.” Yoni was surprised to find that the man to whom he had been speaking was crying. “I’m sorry. Did I say something wrong?” “No, not at all I just want to thank you. You see  Yerachmiel ben Baila is my son.”    (shalom, ahavas Yisrael) (Touched By Their Tears)
  1. Yossel Hirsch arrived in New York in the late 1940’s with nothing more than the shirt on his back. A survivor of World War II, Yossel nevertheless managed to always be cheerful and content, despite the hardships he had lived through. Yossel always had a nice word to say to everyone, and he went out of his way to help and inspire others. Like all new immigrants, Yossel needed to find a way to support his family. Fortunately, it wasn’t long before he found a job working in a bakery. Yossel worked hard. Best of all, he was efficient and honest. He was well liked by both the customers and his employers. Even the vendors who did business with the bakery found Yossel a pleasure to work with. One day Moshe Kantesky”, one of the vendors, made his usual delivery. I-le came into the bakery and lingered until Yossel turned to him with a smile. “Can I talk to you for a minute, Yossel?” he asked seriously. ”Sure, what is it?” “I have a suggestion for you. Why don’t you go into business for yourself, and open a bakery of your own? You’re efficient, and you have a great personality. I’m sure you’d be very successful.” Yossel thanked him warmly. ”It’s nice of you to say so. In fact, I’ve considered opening my own business. But there’s really no way I can manage it. I came to this country without any money, and I simply don’t have the capital to open my own business.” “That’s true,” Moshe acknowledged. “But I’m so convinced that you’ll be a success that I’m prepared to lend you the money. When you make the money back, yo” can repay me.” Yossel was taken by surprise. What an incredible opportunity! He accepted the loan of nearly twenty thousand dollars, which, at that time, was an enormous amount of money, and opened his own bakery in a different neighborhood. Moshe Kantesky proved to be right. Yossel really had the perfect personality for this type of business, and his customers always enjoyed speaking with him as they did their shopping. There were others who had a hard time paying, and he often let them shop for free. Yossel’s store became very popular, and before long his business was very successful. Eventually, Yossel made enough money to pay back Moshe, which he did with many heartfelt thanks. Years went by. An aged Moshe Kantesky passed away from this world, and Yossel wished his good friend a tearful farewell. One evening, Yossel returned from a hard day’s work and fell into a deep sleep. In his dream, Moshe Kantesky was once again standing before him. ”Moshe, what are you doing here? You’ve already left this world.” “You’re right, Yossel, but I need to speak with you. Remember that big favor I did for you, when I lent you the money for the bakery?” “Of course I remember. How could I ever forget?” “Well, now I’m the one asking for a favor. Ineed your help.”    “What can I do for you now?” Yossel asked in bewilderment. “It’s my children,” Moshe explained. “I left my business to my two sons. Unfortunately, after I died, my business suffered some losses. The two of them did not see eye to eye on many issues, and they began to argue with each other. One thing led to another, and now the families will not speak to one another. “One of my sons is making a bar mitzva, and he didn’t invite his brother to attend. I can’t begin to tell you how much pain my soul is suffering from this. I have no rest here in the next world. Ibeg you to help me!” With that, Moshe disappeared. Yossel woke in the morning feeling ill at ease. Should he take the dream seriously? Perhaps he should first check to see if there really was bad blood between Moshe’s two sons. Yossel began making inquiries, and he soon discovered that his dream had indeed been accurate. Clearly, there was a lot of work to be done before the whole situation could be sorted out. Yossel began by calling Moshe’s older son and reminiscing about the old times, his father and the business. “Don’t talk to me about the business,” the son sighed. “All that work my father put into building it up was completely wasted. Thanks to my brother, we nearly lost the whole thing.” “I’m sorry to hear that,” Yossel said carefully. “Yes, well,” the son sounded uncomfortable, ”I suppose I shouldn’t blame my brother completely. These things can happen, I guess. But the whole thing ended up causing a lot of arguments and bad feelings, and today our families aren’t on speaking terms. “But let’s talk about more cheerful things. Did you know that I’m making a bar mitzva soon? My oldest son!”    ”Mazel Tov, Yossel congratulated him. “You know, a simcha is a perfect time to make amends. Why not take this opportunity to invite your brother and his family?” ”Oh, I couldn’t!” was the instant response. ”My brother would never agree to come. He’s still too upset with me.” Taking a tip from Aharon Hakohen, who was well known for his peace making abilities, Yossel said, “On the contrary! I already spoke to your brother, and he really would like to make amends. He’s distressed that the feud is still going on, and he really wishes the families would reunite.” “Really?” the older brother said thoughtfully. ”I didn’t know that. Well, I’ll consider it.” Yossel hung up and then immediately called the younger brother. The conversation followed similar lines, until Yossel brought up the subject of the bar mitzva. “Why don’t you go to the simcluz?” he asked. “I can’t have anything to do with that bar mitzzm,” the younger brother said dispiritedly. ”I didn’t even get an invitation.” “But I spoke to your brother, and he really wishes you would come,” Yossel urged. “He didn’t send you an invitation because he thought you would never agree to come. But he really would like you to be there.” “My brother said that?” the younger brother said thoughtfully. “Well, I’ll consider it.” When the bar mitzva night arrived, both brothers arrived at the hall and fell into each other’s arms. Finally the families enjoyed a true simchn, unmarred by conflict and bad feelings. And Yossel knew that the ultimate simclm was taking place in Heaven, as their father watched his two sons, and their families, reunited in complete harmony.    .    (Visions of Greatness 3) (make shaolom)
  1. The Bilgorayer Rav. Reb Mordechai. walked slowly . and thoughtfully along the wide sidewalks of Tel inspiring awe in the passersby that glanced at his shining face.suddenly, uncharacteristically, he turned to his gabbai and told him that he wanted to enter the jewelry store they had just passed. As the astonished gabbai watched. the Rav asked the proprietor to help hirn select a nice watch, a gift for his wife. The fellow displayed several samples, but the Rav wasn’t impressed. “Are these the watches that you consider nice?” he asked. “For if they are‘ then you really don’t understand  fine watches.” Finally, the Rav asked the proprietor if there was anyone else in the store who could help. The owner called his wife from the back. She brought over a different-style watch, and the Rav smiled broadly. “Tbis is an exquisite watch!” he exulted. “It is refined, tasteful. and sophisticated.” He turned to the gabbai and commented‘ “This saleswoman appreciates quality and craftsmanship.” He asked how much the watch cost. The owner named an astronomical figure, far more than the rav could afford, but the rav paid for the watch. It took the gabbai several months. but he finally summoned up the courage to ask the Rav for an explanation of the bizarre incident. The Rav was surprised. “Didn’t you hear? As we walked by that shop. the owner was shouting at his wife in a loud voice, telling her that she knew nothing about watches and had best remain in the back. where she wouldn’t do any harm. “Is any price too much to restore the respect of a Yiddisbe tocbter?”    (Warmed By Their Fire) (shalom bayis)
  1. It was that splendid night. perhaps the most splendid night of the year, Leil baSeder. The throngs of people spilling out of the great Bobover beis medrasb that evening exulted in the sense of freedom and joy, and with souls aflame, prepared to go home and inject the spiritual power of the night into their families, supplying them with the resources of emunab to confront the year ahead. The buoyant notes of the Hallel resounded in their ears as they headed home; the massive beis medrasb slowly emptied. The last of the chassidim left as young Mordechai walked past the building. on his way home to his parents radar. Though not a Bobover chassid. he immediately recognized the lone figure who had just exited the sbul, It was Reb Naftulche. the oldest son of the Bohoyer Rebbe. a beloved and respected figure in Bobov. Reb Naftulche scrutinized the nearly deserted street. and quickly summoned over young Mordechai. He looked at him and asked him if he knew his way around Boro Park. \Vhen the bacbur confirmed that he did. Reb Naftulche told him that he needed a favor. He removed a package from his pocket. and prepared to hand it to the bacbur, when he suddenly stopped as footsteps approached. They looked up to see a Bobover bacbur hurrying up, apologizing breathlessly. Reb Naftulche turned to young Mordechai and told him that he could go. that this other bacbur would handle the matter, as “he is already familiar with the situation.” Mordechai headed home. but his curiosity was piqued, and for the rest of Yom Tov. he could not put the incident out of his mind. After Yom Tov. he sought out the Bobover bacbur. and asked him to tell him the story. The bac/our replied that he could not. as it Was a secret. Mordechai pleaded relentlessly. until finally the bacbur relented. In Boro Park, there was a couple who unfortunately suffered from a lack of marital bliss. They were not Bobover chassidim, but somehow, knowledge of their unhappy plight had touched the sensitive and perceptive heart of Reb Naftulche. This night. the seder night. one so fundamental and basic to the cbinucb of]ewish children. it was particularly important that harmony reign in their home. Reb Naftulche was determined to provide the children of that family with a happy home for the reder night. And that was the secret of the package. It contained a beautiful, leather-bound Haggadab, engraved with the name of that woman, a gift for the husband to present to her before the seder. Why was it so important that it be delivered then, after Maariv? Because Reb Naftulche well understood the dynamics of the home, and knew that to give the gift too early would be pointless. as there might still be strife before the seder. Now, in these precious few moments. was the time to present the gift. Lekavod Yom Tov. (Warmed By Their Fire) (shalom bayis, pesach)
  1. There were times when Rav Elyashiv’s public policy decisions bordered on prescience. When United States President George W. Bush visited Israel, R’ Uri Lupolianski, who was Mayor of Yerushalayirn at the time, asked Rav Elyashiv what issues he should discuss with the president. Rav Elyashiv instructed him to speak about the importance of peaceful‘ relations with Israel’s neighbors, and especially the importance of the peace treaty with Egypt. It seemed surprising, even strange, that Rav Elyashiv would advise him to discuss a treaty — even one as strategically critical as this one — that had been in effect for close to 30 years with a country that seemed very stable. Moreover, R’ Lupolianski explained to Rav Elyashiv that international relations were beyond his purview as mayor of Yerushalayim, and he was afraid that the upper echelons of the Israeli government would be angry with him for mixing into foreign policy. But Rav Elyashiv insisted that this was _an issue of pikuach nefesh, and Rabbi Lupolianski must therefore raise the issue during his audience with the president. Several years later, however, Egypt was thrown‘ into turmoil; its president was overthrown and the radical Muslim Brotherhood came to power. Then, the need to ensure the stability of that treaty became more apparent then ever before.“    Rav Elyashiv, By Yehuda and Malky Heimowitz, Published By Artscroll Mesorah (peace)
  1. Rav Avraham Niznik presided over much more than a beis din: his influence extended to all sectors of the city. He was an astute politician, yet at the same time totally devoid of wiliness. He viewed politics. macblokes. and disagreements that were part and parcel of his job as an cw beis din with a certain appreciation. He shared a personal incident that underscored this sentiment. He once traveled to Eretz Yisrael to consult with the Chazon Ish regarding a decision that was troubling him. As he entered the room of the Chazon Ish, a delegation from a certain city was on the way out. They had come to consult with Chazon Ish about a macblokes that they were embroiled in regarding the city’s Rabbanus. When Rav Niznik introduced himself. the Chazon Ish understood that he had likewise corne in connection with the dispute. The Chazon Ish sighed and looked at him. “Machlokes is a difficult thing, but the truth is. it’s healthy. A city without machlokes is a city where the people don’t care.” These words guided the Rav as he led a city many decades later. With a generous dose of optimism he would smile during times of turmoil. “It means that the people care.” (Warmed By Their Fire) (machlokes)
  1. The Manchester Rosh Yeshivah, Rabbi Yehudah Zev Segal, would relate a story that he had heard as a bachur. Rav Segal’s grandfather, a textile manufacturer in Brisk, was known for his honesty. He ran a successful business and had many satisfied customers. His competitor was jealous and was openly hostile to Rabbi Segal’s grandfather. A Russian soldier once came to the competitor’s store to buy fabric, and was inadvertently short ·changed. Furious, he informed the authorities, who promptly sent an inspector to the store to check the weights. Through various connections, Rabbi Segal’s grandfather became aware of what was happening. Although there was’ no reason to suspect that his competitor was actually using incorrectly balanced scales, he acted swiftly. Without hesitation, he grabbed his own scales, which he knew were impeccably accurate, and rushed them to his competitor’s store, to insure that he would not be punished! This is the way someone behaves when he understands the catastrophe of machlokes. I Am Your Servant, By Rabbi Akiva Tendler, Published By Artscroll Mesorah  page 341(machlokes)