To be honest, I never would have thought I would write an article entitled “The Blessing of Peace.” Peace? Blessing? Wishy-washy words, a cop-out, not really in the vernacular of my strident feminist, social activist, pre-Chassidut persona.

But through my life experience, my work as a psychiatrist, and the privilege of beginning to learn the deeper levels of the Torah, I now know that these two words, blessing and peace, are potent, focused tools. Tools we can all access, tools that transform this muddled and confusing world to one of truth, light and unity. All within the power of each one of us at each moment.

How so?

Word Building/World Building

According to Chassidic thought, we create worlds through our words. G‑d created the world through 10 utterances, and likewise, each word we utter has the power to create a new reality.

How we think about something and speak about it creates what happens next. When we speak about someone’s positive potential, we introduce the possibility for that potential to be actualized, while negative words close off that possibility.

So let’s look at these two simple words, blessing and peace . . .


G‑d told Abraham, “Until now, all blessings were in My hand. I would bless whomever I pleased, as I blessed Adam and Noah. But from now on, all blessings are given to you, and you will be able to bless whomever you please . . .”1 And the Tanya teaches that we all have a spark of our patriarchs within us. We all have the power to bless.

What a world we would live in if we utilized our power, blessing others to become the people they are meant to be and to fulfill their unique role in the healing and transformation of the world.

“But I’m not so holy,” I can hear you saying. Actually you are. We all are. “But people will think I’m crazy if I start talking like that.” So what? Try it anyway. You might be surprised by the result.


How do we define peace? It is certainly more than just the absence of strife. Perhaps true peace might come from deep understanding, not just of the complexities of this world, but of the very purpose of creation and our soul’s descent into this world.

At this level of awareness, all contradictions and discord are automatically nullified by a deeper understanding of the fundamental unity between our Creator, ourselves and our world.

Using the Blessing of Peace

In my own life and in my therapeutic work, I for some time have encouraged the giving of blessings to change the dynamic of an interaction. For example, if a spouse is feeling misunderstood, he or she could say to the other, “You should have a blessing to see who I really am.”

This often works quite well. More recently, however, I have come to understand that this still implies a degree of separation. You have to understand me. In certain situations, this is a necessity, but it is still coming from a conceptual framework of separation.

Recently, I have been suggesting a different blessing in times of potential or actual conflict: “We should have a blessing to fully understand each other.” I want to understand you too. There is a possibility here for deeper understanding if we can access it. There is the One beyond us who bestows blessings and can bless us to understand each other even if we are coming from completely different places.*

The resulting communication for a number of couples has been at a completely different level of closeness, understanding and unity. This is something we could all try in situations of misunderstanding or conflict, even if we don’t actually say this blessing in front of the other person, but say it quietly to ourselves. And G‑d will surely say Amen.

Torah’s wisdom teaches us that to fully understand others, we have to first try to see things from their standpoint. Not just their current situations, backgrounds, formative experiences, family and individual values, health and socioeconomic statuses, the challenges they have faced and are facing, but also their spiritual makeup—the source and root of their souls, their souls’ descent through the spiritual worlds to this world, their intellectual and emotional attributes, and the particular mission their souls have in coming down to this world.

As you can see, there are so many factors that contribute to a person’s mental, emotional, and spiritual makeup that it is totally impossible for us to understand anyone without the blessings and help of our Creator.

With a willingness to understand the viewpoint of another, and by utilizing our power to bestow blessings in order to actualize positive potential, we can create beautiful new realities in our lives.

May we all be blessed with true peace, recognizing that our souls are all one, that we all have one Father, and that it is only our bodies that separate us.

*This does not apply to abusive situations where safety issues are our primary concern.