Mishum Eivah and Darkhei Shalom

If your background is anything like mine, you were taught that there were two halachic principles that were pragmatic. For example, I was taught that when we permit a doctor to violate Shabbos to save a non-Jew “mishum Eivah — because of animosity”, it was simply that the future danger to Jews that would ensue from building animosity from non-Jews trumps Shabbos. (AZ 6b). Or, that we support non-Jews with our charities “mipenei darkhei shalom — for the purpose of the ways of peace”, getting along with our neighbors is a charitable cause.

But Rav Aharon Lichtenstein zt”l proved that the common knowledge is simply wrong.

For example, mishum eivah is also why there cannot be two kohanim gedolim at the same time. (Megillah 9b) And the expression also comes up in a discussion of the father owning what his dependent daughter finds. (Kesuvos 46b-47a) The idiom is used in contexts that have nothing to do with antisemitism.

Mishum eivah is “merely” the importance of keeping hatred out of the world.

Whereas darkei Shalom is the ultimate – to walk in Hashem’s and His Torah’s ways.

See this quote from the Rambam. The reason for darkei Shalom is “tov Hashem lakol – Hashem is Good to all” and “vekhol nesivoseha shalom — and all [the Torah’s] ways are peace”. (I even capitalize the “S” in “Shalom” because the quote from Tehillim makes me suspect it is there as Hashen’s name.)

… אֲפִלּוּ הָעַכּוּ”ם צִוּוּ חֲכָמִים לְבַקֵּר חוֹלֵיהֶם וְלִקְבֹּר מֵתֵיהֶם עִם מֵתֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּלְפַרְנֵס עֲנִיֵּיהֶם בִּכְלַל עֲנִיֵּי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִפְּנֵי דַּרְכֵי שָׁלוֹם. הֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר (תהילים קמה, ט) “טוֹב ה’ לַכּל וְרַחֲמָיו עַל כָּל מַעֲשָׂיו”. וְנֶאֱמַר (משלי ג, יז) “דְּרָכֶיהָ דַרְכֵי נֹעַם וְכָל נְתִיבוֹתֶיהָ שָׁלוֹם”:..

Even with regard to idolaters, at our Sages have commanded us to visit their sick and bury their dead along with Jewish dead, and sustain their poor along with the poor of Israel is for the “sake of peace”, since it says, “G-d is good to all, and His mercies extend upon all his works” (Psalms 145:9) and it says, “her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace” (Proverbs 3:17).

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