Picture of the author
Picture of the author
War bannerWar banner

The Tragedy of Strife

How Fighting Destroys Families, Communities and Nations

39 min

Class Summary:

"If a matter eludes you in judgment, between blood and blood, between judgment and judgment, or between lesion and lesion, words of dispute in your cities, then you shall rise and go up to the place the Lord, your G-d, chooses,” states the Torah in the portion of Shoftim.

The greatest Kabbalist in Jewish history, Rabbi Isaac Luria (16th century), interprets this verse to be addressing the historical enigma of the disproportionate suffering of the Jewish people; suffering which seems to be in complete contrast to the systems of justice G-d Himself established in the Torah! He explains that this is all caused by the quarrels, strife, and dissension among Jews themselves.

This class explores the tragedy of strife and explains the extraordinary blessing when there is unity and love.

The Midrash makes a powerful contrast between two biblical generations of Jews, one pagan and the other monotheistic. The generation living during the reign of the evil King Achav was full of pagan idol worshippers. Yet, these sinful Jews were victorious in their wars against their enemies. Why? Because of their mutual accord and respect; they learned to like each other and get along.

On the other hand, the generation of Jews living during the reign of King David was very religious and observant, clinging ferociously to the Jewish faith in a single universal G-d. Yet they died in war. Why? The sages say, because they despised and informed upon each other.

The ultimate test for the integrity and spirituality of a human being in Judaism is not in one’s scholarship, faith or religious observance, but in our capacity to love the stranger, to transcend the ego, and to escape the traps of divisiveness and hate.

Please leave your comment below!

  • יש

    ישראל ש -1 year ago

    Thank you for the wonderful classes 

    Do you remember where the sfas emes you mentioned in middle of the shiur is

    It is 21 minutes towards the end of the shiur

    Thank you 

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

  • C

    Chanie -6 years ago


    Exile of 10 tribes - see נבואת עמוס for cause

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

  • Y

    Yehuda -10 years ago

    What is the meaning of the last words of the Arizal that it is through Torah? This seems to imply that if true peice can only be while following the torah?

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

  • S

    Susana -11 years ago

    Muy interesante!
    Muy cierto todo lo enseñado por el Rabino Jacobson!

    Muchas gracias, por hacer posible la difusión en Español.


    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

  • L

    leonel -11 years ago

    los felicito

    Reply to this comment.Flag this comment.

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • August 9, 2010
  • |
  • 29 Av 5770
  • |

Dedicated by David and Eda Schottenstein in the loving memory of Alta Shula Swerdlov And in merit of Yetta Alta Alta Shula, "Aliya," Schootenstein

Related Classes

Please help us continue our work
Sign up to receive latest content by Rabbi YY

Join our WhatsApp Community

Join our WhatsApp Community

Ways to get content by Rabbi YY Jacobson
Connect now
Picture of the authorPicture of the author