The dove of peace
The dove of peacescreenshot

We read in our Parasha of the different types of offerings brought on the altar, the final one being the שלמים: the peace-offering, the Torah stating:(7:11)’This is the law of the peace offering that one will offer to Hashem..(7:30)With his own hands shall he bring’ it.

Similarly, at the conclusion of the Parasha of the offerings, it is the final one mentioned, the Torah stating (7:37-38):’This is the law of the burnt-offering, the meal-offering, the sin-offering, and the guilt-offerings, and the peace-offering which Hashem commanded Moshe on Har Sinai’.

Rav Aryeh Leib Eiger comments:”Our Sages teach that the peace-offering is the most beloved of all the offerings, and therefore written last both in the body of the Parasha, and at its conclusion, because it ‘makes peace’ between the altar, the Kohanim and the people.”

The Midrash Tanchuma elaborates HOW the peace-offering ‘makes peace between the altar, the Kohanim and the people:’Come and see: the burnt-offering is wholly consumed on the altar, the sin-offering, its fats and its innards are consumed on the altar, and its skin and its meat goes to the Kohanim, and no part goes to the people, and so too the guilt-offering; but the peace-offering, whilst its blood and innards are offered on the altar, and its breast and its thigh given to the Kohanim, its skin and its meat belong to the people. We therefore find that it makes peace between the altar, the Kohanim and the people, and this is why it is called the ‘peace offering’, because it makes peace between all’.

Rabbi Moshe Rom, notes that Rashi, on the words ‘It is a ram of perfection’ (Shemot 29:22), comments:”Shlamim: is an expression denoting perfection i.e. complete in everything. Scripture informs us that this ‘perfection offering’ is a ‘peace offering’, because it makes peace for the altar, for the one who performs the service, and for the owner.

Adds Rabbi Rom:”In truth, every peace includes completeness, as there is no division or strife between the parts, as peace unites, and it is therefore שלם: complete.

“We therefore find that these three things: peace, completeness and shlamim, have a common foundation: ‘completeness’ describes a state where nothing is lacking, ‘peace’ a state that no-one sees a lack in others, and shlamim- the peace offerings - that ‘makes peace’ for the altar, for its servants and those who bring the offering.”

The Kli Yakar notes that the Torah refers to the peace-offering, as ‘an offering to Hashem’, which is not said with regard to the other types of offerings.

He expounds:”This is because they alone among the offerings, are not brought to expiate for a transgression, and are therefore ‘closer’ to Hashem than those brought as a result of a transgression.

“This, too, is why only in regard to them, is the offeror to bring them ‘with his own hands’, and why they are they called ‘the fire-offerings of Hashem’. The reason is that, those with whom the King is angry, and who seek to be forgiven by him, and to appease him, send an offering by the hands of an emissary, not daring to come in person, before his anger has been appeased- only then, do they dare to appear in person before him.

“But those who bring an offering to honor the King, bring it in person, and not through an emissary.

“This is the difference between the offerings brought to expiate and atone for transgressions against Hashem, where it would appear as an affront to Him, if they were brought in person, and they are therefore brought by the agency of the Kohanim, AND the peace-offerings, which are a gift and offering to Hashem, ‘with his own hands’ he shall bring them.”

The Netivot Shalom offers a beautiful insight as to why the peace-offering is the most beloved among the offerings, and why it is said to bring peace between Israel and our Heavenly Father.

Expounds the Rav:”There are two ways to serve Hashem, as we say in our Yamim Norayim prayers, כעבדים או כבנים: either as servants or as sons. The servant does only what his master commands him to do, since he does not act out of love for his master, but only out of fear of punishment should he disobey.

“The son, on the other hand, yearns to give pleasure to his father, and does all he can to this end, even without being commanded.

“This is the special attribute of the peace-offering over the other offerings, that all the other ones fall in the category of being offered by servants, whereas it is by, כביכול, sons, as while the others are to expiate sins, it is to give נחת אוח: pleasure, to Hashem.

“We can now also understand why the offerors of the peace-offerings partake in it: because whereas servants do not eat at their master’s table, the sons of the King, do.

“This, too, is why the peace-offering reflect the love between Israel and our Heavenly Father, because, in its merit, we are seen as the ‘sons of Hashem’.”

Adds the S’fat Emet:”The peace-offerings may be likened to the King giving part of the food in his mouth, to his children, that part being as from the Heavenly Table, and they are therefore sanctified by partaking of the peace-offering.”

Seder Eliyahu Rabba, a concluding thought:’ Why does it say (7:11): ‘And this is the law of the feast peace-offering’,- with the ‘and’? So said Hashen to them: perform good deeds, and bring peace-offerings from which you also partake, and only part of which is consumed on the altarm and I will rejoice with you always; therefore it says ‘AND this is...’.

לרפואת נועם עליזה בת זהבה רבקה ונחום אלימלך רפאל בן זהבה רבקה, בתוך שאר חולי עמנו.