2

The prayer "Sim Shalom", recited at the end of the morning Amidah, first says:

שִׂים שָׁלוֹם טוֹבָה וּבְרָכָה חֵן וָחֶֽסֶד וְרַחֲמִים עָלֵֽינוּ -- Grant peace, goodness and blessing, grace, lovingkindness and mercy to us...

Then adds:

תּוֹרַת חַיִּים וְאַֽהֲבַת חֶֽסֶד וּצְדָקָה וּבְרָכָה וְרַחֲמִים וְחַיִּים וְשָׁלוֹם׃ -- [You have given us] the Torah of life, and love of kindness, and righteousness and blessing and mercy and life and peace...

"Goodness" and "grace" are mentioned only in the first; "life" and "righteousness" only in the second. Why? We certainly wish to ask God for "life" and "righteousness" as well; and I am sure the Torah is considered to also teach "goodness" and "grace".

And note that "shalom" is first in the first line and last in the second. Why?

(Just poetry, forget it?)

  • IMHO Your translate is incorrect. אהבת חסד does not mean "love of kindness" It means "[You give us] love for free [because you are graceful]" and "צדקה" does not mean "righteousness" it means "charity". These goes together with "mercy and blessing" – Alaychem Remember Monica Nov 28 '19 at 9:16
  • Some do say "life" in the first grouping. – msh210 Nov 28 '19 at 11:37
1

The first phrase emphasizes placing shalom upon us in regard to that which follows.

The word, shalom means that things which are in conflict with one another, cease conflict and opposition. Yet they remain in existence as they are, as opposites.

The five categories following shalom (טוֹבָה וּבְרָכָה חֵן וָחֶֽסֶד וְרַחֲמִים) may potentially be in conflict with each other and even cancel one another out. We are asking that whatever dissonance that may be potentially, will be resolved so that all aspects are preserved in tact. No part of G-d's creation is unnecessary or a waste.

The second phrase is explaining why we should all be blessed by G-d as one. It is a consequence of G-d having given us (meaning taught us) the way of life and loving kindness, etc. What we have been taught through G-d's Torah transcends opposites. It reveals the unity in all of creation and shows that no place is devoid of Him.

  • 1
    Sources would (as always) be helpful, but great explanation – Josh K Nov 27 '19 at 21:28
  • Nice thoughts, but they do not explain why some categories are omitted in the first or the second lines. Everything you said would be true even if each line had the same 7 categories. – Maurice Mizrahi Nov 27 '19 at 22:23
  • @MauriceMizrahi The 5 categories (actually 2 groups, 1 of 3, חן חסד רחמים, and 1 of 2, טובה ברכה) only relate to the request for shalom (שלום). The second phrase in your question is dealing with a different request where there is no actual concept of ‘other’. The 2nd phrase is a higher level relating to perfection and completeness. This distinction is talked about in many Chassidic and Kabbalistic sources. – Yaacov Deane Nov 27 '19 at 23:08
  • @JoshK I considered referencing sources to this answer. But what Maurice is really asking is simply about the meaning of the words. Any good Hebrew dictionary is enough to understand this. – Yaacov Deane Nov 27 '19 at 23:12

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .