What should be our reaction when we hear about wars and other upheavals that are happening in other parts of the world?
When you see trouble among, let’s say, in Africa, in the Congo, and they are massacring entire tribes or massacring each other, or if you hear that the brown peoples in Vietnam are trying to destroy each other, or in Korea, North Korea and South Korea they’re warring with each other, or in China, the nationalists and the communists are fighting against each other, all these phenomena shouldn’t be lost upon us.
And one of the purposes is to make us think, “Suppose we lived there; can you imagine what suffering we would undergo.” It’s a very great suffering to live in Vietnam. People are constantly in terror, in commotion. Their lives are ruined. And how many of them have been destroyed? How many have been maimed, orphaned, widowed? How many are refugees? They’re afraid to sleep at night.
If we can live in peace, if we can get up in the morning after a good night’s sleep – you know what it means to sleep in peace? We don’t even think twice about it. Maybe some people are worried, so you check to see that the doors are locked at night, the windows are closed. Very good. But then you go to sleep in peace. Do you know what a luxury it is to go to sleep in peace? To be able to put your head on your pillow without any fear and to fall asleep peacefully is a very great bracha.
We’re not afraid that somebody will shoot machine guns through our window or burn down the house. We’re not afraid that all of a sudden at night, there’ll be an invasion. When you go to sleep in America, you know that nobody is going to wake you up. Nobody will bother you. You’re sleeping in peace.
Sleeping peacefully is a precious commodity. So tonight when you say השכבנו think about that. השכבנו ה’ אלקינו לשלום – let us lie down in peace. Appreciate that! If you just came here to learn that, it’s worthwhile. השכבנו ה’ אלקינו לשלום – we should be able to sleep in peace. It’s a big bracha!
Now this is such a precious commodity that we have to pay for it. And the minimum payment is gratitude to Hakodosh Boruch Hu. That should be our minimum reaction to the news of upheavals in the world.
TAPE # 2 (October 1973)