Rabbi Apelbaum Alumni vort on Vayikra. Three types of peace in the world, and their connection to Pesach.

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וְאִם־זֶ֥בַח שְׁלָמִ֖ים קָרְבָּנ֑וֹ ויקרא ג:א

רש”י: שלמים: שמטילים שלום בעולם. דבר אחר שלמים שיש בהם שלום למזבח ולכהנים ולבעלים

The korban Shelamim got their name because they bring peace to the world. As an aside, this disproves the twisted belief that it’s cruel to slaughter or kill animals. Here the Torah is telling us that bringing a Shelamim creates peace in the world. The reason is that it creates peace between us and Hkb”h, which in turn creates peace in the world. Only Hashem is the source of peace in the world, not mankind.


Another reason why it’s called Shelamim is because it brings peace to the Mizbeach, the Kohanim, and its owner. The Shelamim brings peace in three areas. Bein adam l’chaveiro – when the Kohanim eat it, bein adam l’Makom – when it’s sacrificed on the Mizbeach, and bein adam l’atzmo – as a merit for its owner. The gemara says in Bava Kama 30a, that someone who wants to be a pious person should be careful in three areas. Not to damage others, to perfect his character traits, and to be careful with his blessings. The Maharsha explains that these three areas correspond to the three relationships a person has, between him and his friend, himself, and Hashem. This also corresponds to the three things the world stands on- Torah, avodah, and gemilas chasodim. Torah is bein adam laMakom, avoda (tefila) is bein adam l’atzmo, and gemilas chasodim is bein adam l’chaveiro.


This idea is very apropos for the Seder night. The Shalosh Regalim correspond to the three avos. Pesach corresponds to Avraham Avinu who personified chessed. Pesach which is the first Yom Tom contains in it not only the midda of chesed, but it also contains in it the ability to attain perfection in all three areas. The Matzos are called “the bread of affliction” and this symbolizes self perfection and abstaining from physical pleasures (bein adam l’atzmo). It’s also called the “לחם שעונין עליו דברים הרבה” the bread which many things are said over it (Pesachim 115b). This means that we must praise Hashem, and tell over the story of yetzias Mitzrayim on the Matzos. The  principle behind sippur yetzias Mitzrayim is hakaras hatov (bein adam laMakom). And we also say at the beginning of the Seder “כָּל דִכְפִין יֵיתֵי וְיֵיכֹל, כָּל דִצְרִיךְ יֵיתֵי וְיִפְסַח”, we invite the hungry to partake in our meal, this represents the area of bein adam l’chaveiro. We see that Pesach has a unique power of perfection, which can be why it’s the time of geula, because when man will reach perfection, that will bring the geula.


The gemara at the end of Berachos says תלמידי חכמים מרבים שלום בעולם. What is the meaning of marbim? The answer can be that through learning Torah they make peace between Hashem and mankind. It also bring peace to themselves, because Torah perfects a person. And they make peace between them and their friend by perfecting their character through the Torah. Rav Ruderman zatzal used to explain the famous gemara “אי לאו האי יומא דקא גרים כמה יוסף איכא בשוקא” (Pesachim 68b), that a person naturally has many different desires and inclinations which pull him in every which way. But when someone learns Torah, it perfects them and focuses all their facets into one task of serving Hashem. If not for the Torah there would be so many Yosefs in the marketplace! A person would be scattered around everywhere pulled in every direction! But the Torah unites all his different facets in to one goal.


The gemara at the end of Berachos continues – שלום רב לאוהבי תורתך, this represents peace with oneself. למען אחי ורעי אדברה נא שלום בך, this represents peace with one’s fellow man. ה’ יברך את עמו בשלום represents peace between Klal Yisroel and Hashem. The lesson from here is that we must strive to bring peace between everybody. On Pesach we focus on praising and thanking Hashem, but we also invite friends and strangers alike. We eat the Matzo which symbolizes chessed to Hashem, but above all, we strive to perfect ourselves on all levels. May we be zoche to perfect our relationship with ourselves, our fellow Jew, and Hashem, and may we see the final redemption speedily in our days.


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