Pirkei Avot 6:9: Likkutei Eitzot: Divisiveness Print

The BreslaverSaid Rabbi Yossei the son of Kisma: Once, I was traveling and I encountered a man. He greeted me and I returned his greetings. Said he to me: "Rabbi, where are you from?" Said I to him: "From a great city of sages and scholars, am I." Said he to me: "Rabbi, would you like to dwell with us in our place? I will give you a million dinars of gold, precious stones and pearls." Said I to him: "If you were to give me all the silver, gold, precious stones and pearls in the world, I would not dwell anywhere but in a place of Torah. Indeed, so is written in the book of psalms by David the king of Israel: `I prefer the Torah of Your mouth over thousands in gold and silver' (Psalms 118:72). Furthermore, when a person passes from this world neither silver, nor gold, nor precious stones, nor pearls accompany him, only Torah and good deeds, as is stated (Proverbs 6:22): `When you go it will direct you, when you lie down it will watch over you, and when you awaken it shall be your speech.' `When you go it will direct you'---in this world; `when you lie down it will watch over you'---in the grave; `and when you awaken it shall be our speech'---in the World To Come. Also it says (Chaggai 2:8): `Mine is the silver and Mine is the gold, so says the L-rd of Hosts.' " (Avot 6:9)


The world can be attracted to the service of God, to worship Him in unity, in accordance with the peace that prevails in a generation. When people are at peace with one another, and they ponder with each other: what is the purpose of this world and all its vanities?

Plus they come to explain to each other the truth, that in the end nothing remains of man except what he prepared for himself for the world of eternity, for life after death. For man is accompanied at his death neither by silver nor by gold, nor by precious stones, but only by Torah and good deeds. Thereby will every man cast away the false idols of his money, and bestir himself to turn to God, His Torah, and His service, and to the embracing of the truth.

But if there is no peace, or worse, if there is controversy, God forbid, people do not get together and do not talk about the purpose of life; and even when they occasionally do so, the words do not penetrate into the heart because of the constant striving and quarrels and hatred and jealousy. For quarrelsomeness and the desire to triumph do not tolerate the truth.

The conclusion is, that the estrangement of most people from God comes from divisiveness. (Likkutei Eitzot; Shalom #4)