We'd like to share with you a few images... and then a few thoughts on where true peace begins. (Okay, and a cat. But forgive us, we're making you wait til the end today!)
The photos were from this weekend's morning walk.
We hope they bring you as much serenity as they did us when we experienced them:
• a leaf, drifting to the ground in the crisp October air
• the morning sun peeking through the trees, burning away the last wisps of fog
• a tree, resplendent with berries
• fresh pears, just harvested from our front yard
• pumpkins, resting against a tree trunk
I once heard a Rabbi say blessings are given individually instead of to many, because a blessing must be tailor-made to the recipient.
Peace is one of the most important of all blessings one can receive. But does it really make sense that this peace be given individually? After all, the opposite of peace is quarrel. And that takes two.
It takes two people to have a disagreement. It takes two factions to start a riot. And two countries to go to war.
So why would it be said that peace must be given to one, and not many?
"G-d knows where to start," said the rabbi. "He starts with the individual."
Once a person has inner peace, he can have peace with his spouse, peace with his family, his coworkers and peers... and ultimately peace with the world.
But the place where peace must begin is at Ground Zero: inside me.
Only then will I be shalom: whole and complete.
Rav. Frand, Parshat Naso
Oh, and yes, one kitty, sleeping peacefully. And for the moment, the house is at peace as well. (subject to change when he awakens)