The Primary Shul Policy – Minimizing Machlokes

As we’ve been discussing over the past few weeks, Hashem wants us to achieve some very specific things, one of which is “walking in his ways”. The Ramchal explains, based on Mishna 2.1 in Avos, that our actions should lead to true good, namely, strengthening of Torah and the advancement of friendship. Anything that connects people is good and anything that separates people is bad. This leads to the primary Shul policy, which is minimizing machlokes.

The minimizing machlokes policy is not obvious or simple. My Rav, Rabbi Welcher, lives by it and his guidance in Shul matters always has this principle at its root.

I remember one issue many years ago when two people in the Shul were having a disagreement. It was clear that one party was much more in the right. However the other party was significantly upset about the matter, so my marching orders was to try and appease that person.

Hashem wants us to connect. Hashem wants us to be unitied. This is why minimizing the divisive effects of machlokes is the primary Shul Principle.

One last point to note is that sometimes an unavoidable decision must be made which will upset a person, creating a slight machlokes. However we must still strive to minimize the occurrence and degree of any machlokes. It’s not always easy because emotions often come into play, but the more we can internalize the principle the better chance we will have of implementing it and fulfilling Hashem’s directive.