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A thought inspired by Friday’s Daf (page) in the Talmud, Gittin 59

A thought inspired by Friday’s Daf (page) in the Talmud, Gittin 59

Peace “from” vs. Peace “for”.

This post presents a philosophical idea inspired by the text of today’s Daf. The Daf is one page in the Talmud that tens of thousands of people study each day. I explain the connection to the text in a comment below. My purpose is to show that there are underlying philosophical assumptions in the Talmud that can have great significance for anybody today trying to understand our complex reality.

We all desire peace, but what exactly does the word “peace” mean?

When people use the word “peace,” in any language, potentially, there are many concepts they may have in mind.

I. Berlin, a philosopher of the 20th century, made a distinction between Freedom “from” and Freedom “to.” There is a difference between being free from slavery or imposition and having the freedom to pursue one’s own life goals. Similarly, we can differentiate between Peace “from” and Peace “for.”

Before delving into this dichotomy, it may be worthwhile to first explore the distinction between objective and subjective peace.

The presence of war or significant threats of violence represents external or objective deficiencies in peace. However, someone who experiences stress, anxiety, or psychological disruption might be externally at peace, but subjectively cannot be considered to be in a state of peace.

We can attain high levels of internal, subjective peace if our material conditions are sufficient to ensure that we and our loved ones will not lack basic necessities such as food and shelter. However, our attitude towards this reality plays a crucial role. Often, despite little justification for anxiety, we fear we will fail to meet these basic needs. Society convinces us that we need much more than necessary, leading to stress as we strive to reduce the minimal risks to our basic needs and continually pursue more possessions.

One approach to achieving peace is to restructure our mindset so that we recognize that most sources of stress or anxiety are merely over-activated instincts.

Adopting such a stoic attitude may result in complete subjective peace for our minds, but it may be criticized as a form of apathy. Do we truly want to view the suffering of others with indifference? Should it be our goal to ignore the obligations we have to fulfill?

What has been described so far can be referred to as Peace “from.” It represents freedom from stress, anxiety, and mental suffering. However, there is also a different concept, which might be called: Peace “for.”

Peace “for” is not just a state of being like peace “from,” but rather a motivation or value. We may wish for peace for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for everyone. Striving to achieve peace for others requires hard work and may lead to high levels of stress as we set goals and milestones as part of a plan to bring about peace. Peace “from” and Peace “for” naturally contain an inherent contradiction.

It is likely that we need both peace from and peace for. A good balance might help achieve both aspects of peace.

submitted by /u/eliyah23rd
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Source: Reditt

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