The Miracle Of Peace


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    The Miracle Of Peace

    Shira and Zahava were nice to most people. They raised wonderful children, said please and thank you, and would give the mailman a cold glass of water on hot summer days. The only people they fought with were each other. Ever since they were little girls in gan, they just couldn’t get along • By Baila BrikmanBeis Moshiach Magazine • Full Story

    By Baila Brikman, Beis Moshiach

    Shira and Zahava were nice to most people. They raised wonderful children, said please and thank you, and would give the mailman a cold glass of water on hot summer days.

    The only people they fought with were each other. Ever since they were little girls in gan, they just couldn’t get along. In first grade, they pulled each other’s hair. In third grade, Shira shared her snack with everyone except for Zahava. In fifth grade, Zahava didn’t give Shira mishloach manos. In high school, they wouldn’t even look at each other.

    This is how the years passed. They fought and fought, and nobody knew why.

    Eventually, they each got married. They sent their kids to school, made Bar Mitzvas and other simchas, and grew older and more mature—but they still didn’t like each other. They simply couldn’t make peace. Every time they saw each other, they continued to fight.


    One Shabbos morning, everything changed.

    Zahava was sitting on the couch, reading a dvar Torah about Ahavas Yisrael. Suddenly, she jumped up. “Enough!” She cried. “This fight has gone on for too many years! I don’t even know why I’m fighting with Shira! It has to stop.”

    She paced back and forth, her hands shaking. How could she make peace with Shira after fighting for almost 40 years?

    Suddenly, she had an idea. She knew just the right way to make peace.

    For the rest of Shabbos, Zahava was a nervous wreck. She kept thinking about how her conversation with Shira would go. Would Shira laugh at her idea and hang up? Or would she agree to make peace and end all the silly fighting? She imagined each option in her head until she got a massive headache.

    Right after Havdala, Zahava picked up the phone. Her hands were trembling so much, she dialed the wrong number! She took a deep breath and tried again.

    Rrrringggg! Rrrringggg!

    Zahava bit her lip.


    Hearing Shira’s voice made Zahava freeze. She tried to talk, but she couldn’t. She was way too nervous!

    “Hello?” Shira said again.

    “Hi, Shira,” Zahava said lightly, trying to pretend that it was totally normal for her to be calling. “It’s Zahava.”

    “Um… Zahava?” Shira asked, taken aback. “Did—did you really call me? Is everything okay?”

    “Yes,” Zahava said. “Everything is more than okay. I’m calling because… I think it’s time for us to make peace. I don’t think we should fight anymore.”


    “Uh, Shira? Are you still there?” Zahava stammered.

    Shira didn’t respond.

    Suddenly, Zahava heard a strange sound coming through the phone. It sounded like sniffling. Was Shira crying?

    Suddenly, Zahava felt tears falling down her own cheeks as well. They were both crying!

    “Thank you for calling!” Shira sniffled through the phone. “Yes, let’s make peace. I always hated fighting, but I never knew how to stop!”

    “Me too,” Zahava agreed. “I’m sick of fighting. Let’s be friends. I even thought of an amazing way to show everyone that we made peace!”

    “What’s your idea?” Shira asked.

    “Simple,” Zahava said. “My son is getting married in two months. You will come to the wedding and sit with me at the head table! Everyone will see us together and realize that we’re friends. Our fight will officially be over!”

    Shira thought it was a wonderful idea. She said goodbye to her new friend and went to write down the date of the wedding in her calendar.


    Uh oh!

    Shira’s mouth fell open in horror. How could it be? On the exact day of the wedding, she had an important doctor’s appointment!

    She held her head in her hands. Out of all the days in her calendar, why did it have to be on that day? After all these years of fighting, Zahava had called to make peace and invite her to the wedding. And now, she wouldn’t even be able to come!

    She picked up the phone. There was no use pushing off the bad news. She had to tell Zahava.


    “Um, Zahava,” she said nervously, “I’ve got a problem. A real problem.”

    “What do you mean?” Zahava asked.

    “You see,” Shira said slowly, “I have a doctor’s appointment on the same night as your son’s wedding. I’ve been waiting six months for it, and if I cancel, I’ll have to wait another few months.”

    Shira took a deep breath. “It’s a very important doctor’s appointment, and it’s not a good idea for me to cancel it,” she explained. “I’m so sorry Zahava, but I won’t be able to come to your son’s wedding that night.”

    Zahava understood.

    They agreed to think of another plan, but they knew that it just wouldn’t be the same. The excitement of making peace was gone, now that Shira couldn’t come to the wedding.


    The next day, Zahava told her Rav the entire story. “I just don’t know what to do!” she cried. “We just can’t miss this opportunity to make peace. You have no idea what a huge fight we were in! Now that we have this chance to be friends, I just can’t let it slip away!”

    The Rav nodded thoughtfully. He searched through the piles of sefarim on his desk until he found what he was looking for: a box of tissues.

    “Thank you,” she sniffled, taking a tissue to wipe away her tears. She sighed deeply.

    “I have an idea,” the Rav said. “Why don’t you call up the hall and ask if they could switch the wedding to another day?”

    Zahava was shocked. Change the date of the wedding? How could she do that? Everything was already booked! The makeup, the caterer, the band, the photographer…

    She thought about the idea and came to a decision: Making shalom and ending her fight was the most important thing. She would ask the hall if she could change the wedding date. After all, her friendship with Shira depended on it!


    Nervously, Zahava went to speak to the manager of the hall. In his office, she told him everything that happened. “So,” she asked in a small voice, “is it possible to change the date of the wedding?”

    The manager nodded kindly and looked at his calendar. “You’re in luck,” he told Zahava. “Someone canceled their reservation for a week after your son’s wedding. Would you like to switch it to that date?”

    Zahava almost danced for joy. “Yes!” she shouted happily. “You have no idea how much this means to me! Can I please call my friend Shira to tell her the good news?”

    “Go right ahead,” the manager said, writing down Zahava’s new details in his calendar.

    Zahava dialed Shira’s number. “Guess what?!” she exclaimed. “I just spoke with the manager of the hall. He agreed to switch the date of the wedding! It will be a week later than we planned”

    “What?” Shira asked, stunned. “You changed the date of the wedding just so I would be able to come?”

    “Of course!” Zahava said. “I would do anything for us to be friends! Shalom and ahavas yisrael are more important than anything!”

    Shira was touched by Zahava’s kindness. She had truly gone out of her way for their friendship. She marked down the new date in her calendar with a smile on her face. It felt so good to be finished fighting and finally be friends!

    The two friends counted down the days until the wedding.



    A week before the wedding, on the evening of May 24, 2001, there was a terrible disaster in Yerushalayim. The third floor of the Versailles wedding hall collapsed!

    Unfortunately, the floors weren’t built strongly enough to hold so many people. While the guests at that night’s wedding were dancing, the dance floor caved in and split open!

    23 people fell and were killed, and 380 people got hurt. It was a big tragedy. Everyone in Eretz Yisrael was very shocked and sad.

    When Zahava heard the news, her face turned white. You see, that was the night her son was supposed to have gotten married! But because she had wanted to make shalom so badly, she had changed the date to a week later at the same hall!

    She couldn’t believe it. If she hadn’t changed the date, all of her family and friends would have been in the hall when it collapsed! Who knows what would have happened to them?

    The power of shalom and ahavas yisrael saved their lives.


    On Chof Ches Nissan, the Rebbe demanded: “Do all that you can to bring Moshiach!”

    The second Beis HaMikdash was destroyed and we were sent into galus because the Yidden didn’t have ahavas yisrael. The talmidim of Rabbi Akiva passed away during the days of Sefira because they didn’t treat each other with respect.

    This shows us how important it is for us to have ahavas yisrael. Hashem isn’t happy when we fight. When we are nice to each other, Hashem gives us amazing brachos.

    In honor of Chof Ches Nissan, let’s think about one person who we could have even more ahavas yisrael with. Is there someone in your class who you could act nicer to? Is there a favor you can do for one of your siblings?

    If we all decide to be nice to each other, the world will be a much better place. Let’s do all we can to bring Moshiach now, just as the Rebbe told us to!

    * Names have been changed

    As heard from Rav Moshe Zoren, and adapted with permission from Rabbi Nachman Seltzer.


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