Rav Avigdor Miller on Let’s Stop Fighting

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Q:
What’s the cause of the friction between various Orthodox groups and how are we to overcome this problem?


A:
Why ask about between Orthodox groups?! Ask what’s the cause of the friction between a man and his wife! What’s the cause of any friction? It’s going on all the time. I know just well. I’m getting phone calls all the time.

And the answer is: human nature. People have various attributes of character within themselves, and no one is like anyone else. And that’s not an accident of nature! Hakodosh Boruch Hu intentionally made people different in order to perfect them in learning how to deal with others.

That’s why it’s so important to be married. A man and a woman are two different nationalities. נשים עם בפני עצמן הן – “Women are a nation of their own” (Shabbos 62a). A men are their own separate nation. When you get married and soon after the chuppah you realize that you are very different from your spouse, don’t think that it’s a mistake. Hashem made you different on purpose. That’s why you got married. You have to learn how to get along with your wife. And a wife must learn how to get along with her husband. And they perfect themselves as the years go by; they become better and better.

But anyone who is careless, will tend to cause friction. When two bodies rub together, there’s going to be friction. And friction causes heat, and heat causes irritation. And therefore, it’s only when people learn to lubricate themselves with kindness and patience, with יראת השם, and when they follow דעת תורה of how to behave, that’s when there won’t be any friction. So how can you ask me a question of how there can be friction? Friction between people is nothing but the Yetzer Hara!

We are in this world chiefly to get along with other people. Because when Hillel was asked by a potential convert, “Teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot,” Hillel told him, “Pick up your foot and let’s get going. I’ll teach you the Torah.” And what did Hillel teach him? He told him דעלך סני לחברך לא תעביד זו היא כל התורה כולה ואידך פירושה הוא – “What you don’t want people to do to you, don’t do to them. That’s the whole Torah. The rest is just the details” (Shabbos 31a). And Rashi says that רוב המצוות, most of the Torah is mitzvos between a man and his fellow. Most of the service of Hashem is measured by your contact with other people; how you interact with other people. And your contacts with your wife are more frequent than with strangers. A wife is like a hundred people or like a thousand people, because the interactions with your wife are much more frequent than with anyone else. And therefore, you’re going to have to learn how to get along.

The reason why there’s friction among Orthodox Jewish groups is the same reason that’s there’s friction between you and your wife. It’s the same reason why there’s friction between you and your neighbor. It’s the same reason why there’s friction with your own self. Very many people can’t get along with themselves either. They are angry at themselves, disappointed with themselves, and they fall into a mood of melancholy and even depression. So you have to learn, first of all, how to get along with yourself. And then how to get along with others.

And therefore, in answer to your question, the reason for the friction is that it’s a test for mankind. And we’re in this world mostly to succeed at this test.

TAPE # 834