Midreshet Amit


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Conflict and Resolution

By: Rabbi Aaron Rosenberg

Parshat Vayetze begins with Ya'akov fleeing for his life from his brother Eisav. He stops to rest and places stones around his head as a makeshift pillow and out of fear from dangerous animals. And then, the stones begin to fight! "I want this righteous guy to rest on me". "No, I want this righteous guy to rest on me!". Hashem therefore made them all into one stone - and everyone was happy.
Question - when does conflict ever end like this? When people are fighting together, they usually become more distant, more apart. Sometimes people are able to work through things, agree to disagree. But when does it happen where all parties unite, become one and live happily ever after? What was the secret of these stones to be able solve their problems so smoothly?
The answer - they were just stones. Not people. No egos. No overstated self interest. No craving for power, righteous indignation or any of that. They just wanted to be connected to a holy person. Once they found a solution that worked for them and everyone else, they were able to simply accept that and live happily ever after.
When faced with conflict, consider how we would deal with this if we were stones. If we had no self-interest or ego. And just wanted a solution that would work for everyone. And in the merit of the removal of our own ego, may we all live happily ever after too.