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Conflict Resolution

Wednesday, 13 July, 2011 - 11:00 am


Working out differences is an art. Some call it the art of negotiation, others conflict resolution. When the dust settles after such a disagreement, do both parties feel like they got what they wanted?


Agreement can happen in 3 ways: force, enlightenment or unity.


  1. One party forces the other since they have the “power” to get their way,
  2. One party enlightens the other why their way is right

  4. Both parties realize that essentially the goal is not their personal gain but their unanimity and friendship/business etc. and they each do what they can to achieve this unity.

We see the third way in this week’s Torah portion. Pinchas witnesses an act that challenges the purity of the Jewish people and realizes that this needs to be stopped to ensure their continuation.  Just as when one sees a child about to run into the street, we grab him and hold him back without wasting time to find out who the parent is, similarly, Pinchas immediately did what he had to in order to safeguard the continuation of the Jewish people. Pinchas did not impose his view on others, did not try to explain his actions, he just did what needed to be done to stop what was going on.

After this story, the Torah continues talking about settling the Jewish land of Israel. For when true redemption comes all conflict will be resolved by seeing how essentially we are all one. 

Have a Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman


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