In this week’s Torah portion we read some of the laws regulating warfare. Although there is generally one Torah portion per week, we actually read a small part of the coming week’s Torah portion as well, oortion as well, on Shabbat afternoon.

While the main Torah portion speaks of war, the second speaks of the polar opposite: Peace. 

Why are these two seemingly opposite Torah portions read on the same week?

In Jewish thought ‘war’ is sometimes used as a metaphor for life. There's a lot of good in the world, but also many challenges that need to be ‘fought off’ and overcome.

The way we deal with life’s challenges is up to us. Sometimes they make us panic and feel like we’re overwhelmed.

This week's two Torah portions teach us a powerful lesson:

The first Torah portion, the one that speaks of war, teaches us that life can be challenging, and we need to muster all we have to overcome what’s thrown at us.

The second portion, which speaks of peacetime, teaches us that we should always maintain an inner sense of peace. This comes about through remembering that our world has a Creator who takes care of us and makes sure we're ok. It's that faith in G‑d that enables us to recognize that the world is really wired for peace, happiness and goodness - it's just up to us to bring it out.

Not only are life's ups and downs compatible with inner peace, but furthermore, inner peace is the best way to deal with them.

Rabbi Avrohom