Be Direct: Understand your own intentions

The Maharal writes that the disease of the dor of Moshiach will be machloket, which is also connected with the month of Tamuz. That puts us in great danger right now, of being in a place where we really don’t want to be. Before I start to depress you, let me preface the refuah before the makkah: We women have the koach to neutralize the unrest, to bring about peace in every space. As evidence, all we need to do is take a look at the wife of On ben Pelet, who, in this week’s parshah, brought peace upon her home in the most volatile of times. There was a war raging right outside her tent, threatening to engulf her home in the flames of animosity and destruction, but she wouldn’t let it in. And so, she saved her husband and her family for eternity.
Why is the woman the medication to the disease of machloket? Chazal tell us that in our essence we crave peace. We simply can’t handle unrest. When the kids fight, we just want to pass out. When this rare occurrence happens around here, my husband always says to me, “Everything is okay. They’re just kids being kids. Kids fight.” But I simply cannot handle it.
When a woman is in conflict with her husband, they exchange hurtful words or she feels distant; she’s always the one to feel broken first. She promised herself she wouldn’t speak to him for months, but she’s the first one to break the silence because she just can’t go on this way. “Moishy, can you please take out the garbage?” The can is empty, but she had to say something. Because her essence can’t tolerate machloket. Why is that?
Rav Mordechai Eliyahu explains this beautifully. He writes: “Many women err in thinking that Judaism relates to them in a condescending manner. What do they base this fallacy on? From the nusach of the brachah they say every morning, ‘she’asani kirtzono.’ But, if women would recognize the value in these words, they would pay a great deal of money just to be able to say it. Why? Because while the nusach for men is negative, ‘that I wasn’t created as a woman,’ the nusach for women is positive, ‘that I was made according to His will.’ That’s because when man was created, Hakadosh Baruch Hu consulted with the malachim, who first tried to persuade Him, kiveyachol, not to create man. But when Hakadosh Baruch Hu created woman, he did not consult with anyone. There was no conflict involved in her creation.”
There was no conflict involved in our creation, dear women. We were created from a place of peace, which is what we yearn for all our lives, and which is why we’re so sensitive when it’s lacking.
So then why do we find ourselves getting into conflict? If we’re so sensitive to fighting, if we can’t handle when our children engage in it, how does it happen that we fall into this trap in our own relationships? Let’s look at Korach’s wife to glean understanding. Did eishet Korach want to destroy her home? Did she intend for her husband to be swallowed up by the earth? Of course not. She just wanted to be happy. But, instead of saying, “You know, I would really appreciate if you would buy me a nice ring,” Rav Mordechai Eliyahu says in the name of the Ben Ish Chai that she said to her husband, “Why does Tziporah have a ring like that? From where did Moshe get all that money?” It was her subtle speech that brought her and her family’s downfall.
And from that time, we’ve been learning the famous verse “Chachmot nashim bantah veitah, v’ivelet b’yadeha tehersenu.” The wisdom of a woman, which refers to the wife of On ben Pelet, builds her home; but a woman like Korach’s wife destroys her home with her own hands. At their core, they both wanted one thing: for peace to reign in their home. For Korach’s wife, that ring symbolized shalom bayit. That’s what she wanted. She was under the wrong impression that if her husband had more power, if he’d feel better about himself, he would be happier, and a happier husband would mean a happier home. But, that was not what she expressed.

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