It’s quite amazing that even after the absolute destruction caused by the Flood, as detailed in this week’s parshah, the people were able to band together to rebel, as we see from the story of מגדל בבל.
"ויאמר ה‘ הן עם אחד ושפה אחת לכלם - And Hashem said, ‘Behold, they are one people with one language for all of them …’”
According to this posuk, the greatest advantage of the people in the דור הפלגה lay in their unity and ability to communicate. The Sforno explains that “nothing would have prevented them from completing whatever they intended to do, everyone acting upon their united decision. Not one of them would turn aside to recognize Hashem or to understand that He was the Creator of all.”
The Chofetz Chaim sees in this the great power of unity and sholom. Because they were together, nothing could stop them from doing whatever they wished to do. Because they were one nation with one language, nothing could have stopped their rebellion, were it not for Hashem “stepping in.”
We know that any attribute used for good is more powerful than when used for evil, as חז“ל tell us: מידה טובה מרובה ממדת פורענות. The Chofetz Chaim points out that it’s impossible to imagine what we could achieve in עבודת ה‘ if the entire nation were united “with one mind” and willing to serve Hashem!
On a less grand scale, imagine what we could achieve in PHDS/NEAT if there were complete harmony among the children. That sense of אחדות can be achieved if we impress upon our children the need to be compassionate, caring, and to see only the good in their chaverim. Our children also experience tremendous growth when there is unity and harmony between husband and wife in their approach to chinuch. And imagine how great the impact is on our children as we continue to forge a strong partnership in chinuch with the school within the community so that we speak and act “with one mind.” Just think what we could accomplish if we would do it together!
Rabbi Gidon Goldberg
Head of School