In this week’s parshah—Bechukotai—we learn of God’s promise to “offer peace in the land so you shall rest without fear.” From this, we derive the middah: “Feel peaceful and help others feel peaceful.” This is one of those middot that challenge us to create a feeling, both in ourselves and others.
Can we create a feeling? Often, we think of feelings as things we cannot control. Feelings happen to us, we don’t create them. But feeling peaceful is indeed something we can practice.
At Heschel, we use mindfulness techniques such as breathing, meditative tefillah, and visualizations to help create a sense of calm in ourselves. Our teachers strive to create calm, visually uncluttered environments to help children feel peaceful. And our students are learning techniques for calming themselves. We learn that peace is not a state, but a practice.
This Shabbat, may we all practice feeling peaceful and helping others feel peaceful.