Butchering Peace


‎Reb Chanina said: If one sees a well in a dream, he will behold peace.‎
Reb Chanan said: There are three dreams that signify peace, namely, a river, a bird, and a pot. (Berochos ‎‎56b)‎

Water is symbolic of peace. Two droplets fuse together, intermingling with one another to combine into a ‎single drop. Their previous identity is forgotten as they join together to form one united body. To enact ‎this transformation there is an exchange between the two. The drops engage in a session of give-and-take ‎until they blend. If each droplet were to stand its ground, no mixing would take place, but the nature of ‎water is to permit others to encroach on its turf. ‎

The test of a strong relationship is how well it functions when differences arise. People who can cooperate ‎and contain themselves in favor of the relationship, will find a workable solution. Those who place their ‎own wants front and foremost will likely fail. ‎

If true peace is to take root it is necessary for the parties to exercise restraint. Compromise of one’s ‎desires is the starting point of a successful union. From this core, partnerships will flourish and their ‎synergy will produce results greater than the sum of their parts. But, this is only possible if they begin by ‎limiting the self and sharing the stage. ‎

There are four main categories of Sacrifices: Sin, Guilt, Burnt and Peace. The Burnt Offering is consumed by ‎the Altar in its entirety. The Sin and Guilt Offerings are shared between the Altar and the Priests. The Peace ‎Offering is eaten by the owners, priests and the Altar, each group receives a share. In fact, it is due to its ‎wide distribution that it is named Peace Offering.‎

They are called Shlomim because they bring about harmony (Sholom), some portions of the sacrifice go to ‎the Altar, to the Kohanim, and to the owner. (Toras Kohanim 3:156)

When the Torah introduces the Peace Offering there is a subtle departure from the standard expression: ‎

‎“If his offering is a peace zevach” (Vayikra 3:1)

No other Korban is called zevach – a slaughtered animal, only the Peace Offering is referred to as a ‎butchered item. Slaughter is synonymous with the sacrificial Peace Offering (Shemos 18:12, 24:5). ‎Similarly, when Yaakov and Lavan made peace they celebrated by eating ‘slaughter’; once again this word ‎features in the context of reconciliation and creating friendship. ‎

Peace can begin if each party is prepared to slaughter i.e. people are ready to restrict and constrain ‎themselves. When their counterparts are given freedom to express their inner selves it will be possible to ‎harmonize with one another. ‎

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