By Five Towns Marriage Initiative
In this week’s parashah, we are told of the death of Aharon and how the nation mourned him. “Vayivku es Aharon shloshim yom kol beis Yisrael,”—“And they wept for Aharon 30 days, the entire House of Israel.” Rashi here explains that Aharon was mourned by both the men and women of the nation of Israel, as opposed to Moshe whose death was mourned by only the men. Rashi explains the reason: Aharon would increase love between people who were fighting. Our Sages describe how out of gratitude for his help many of the couples whose marriage Aharon had strengthened named their next son after him. At his funeral there were 80,000 other Aharons walking after the deceased!
How was Aharon able to bring peace between people? The secret lies in the technique he used. Our Sages describe how when Aharon saw two people who were in an argument, he would go over to each side separately and say (untruthfully, for the sake of peace) that he heard from the other that they were sorry and wanted peace. This worked because it did not make the person feel attacked or judged. When a person feels attacked, the natural response is to counterattack; when a person feels judged, the response tends to be acting judgmentally. In a different vein, though, when a person hears the other admitting he was wrong, it creates an opportunity for him to objectively examine his role in the situation and come to the realization that he also did not act properly.
If we try at the time of an argument to use the “Aharon technique” and come to our spouse with acknowledgment of and remorse for our portion of the wrong, we will be amazed to see how most often he/she will respond in kind with remorse and acknowledgment of the wrong committed by him/her. At this point, further argument will be avoided and peace will be created. Let us follow the technique taught by Aharon and work on acknowledging to ourselves and expressing to our spouse the role we played in an argument, instead of attacking the other for his/her part of the argument. Our Sages teach us that peace is a vessel for blessing, so may we merit experiencing the many blessings that come when there is peace. v
Five Towns Marriage Initiative provides educational programs, workshops, and referrals to top marriage therapists. FTMI will help offset counseling costs when necessary and also runs an anonymous shalom bayis hotline for the entire community Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, 10:00–11:00 p.m. For the hotline or for more information, call 516-430-5280 or e‑mail firstname.lastname@example.org.