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At the end of a full(er) Kaddish, and at the end of shmoneh esrei there is a line "oseh shalom bimromav". The meaning seems to be an invocation of Hashem as the one who makes peace in his high places.

Rashi and the Malbim on Iyov 25:2 point to "peace" in the sky (the ascension of the constellations and the power of natural forces) but is the sky, home to the stars and sun the "marom" in which Hashem makes peace?

The constellations have order imposed on them, not really "peace" and the idea that the natural forces have independent wills that would otherwise not work in harmony with each other and therefore need to be kept at peace seems strange.

Are there other explanations as to what peace Hashem has to (present tense) continually make bimromav, in His high places? [and is there a specific peace, HAshalom, that has to be made during the 10 days of T'shuva according to those opinions which recommend this change?]

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    If one instead translates "שלום" as "harmony", does that answer the question?
    – Loewian
    Oct 17, 2021 at 14:22
  • I'm not sure what "harmony" is, then, and whether that translation is transferrable to other uses of the word
    – rosends
    Oct 17, 2021 at 14:47
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    ie everyone/everything working together toward one one unified purpose forming one unified whole (as in shalem), rather than against each other
    – Loewian
    Oct 17, 2021 at 16:24
  • (like a symphony, where all the different instruments work together to create something greater than the sum of the parts; as opposed to a cacophony.)
    – Loewian
    Oct 17, 2021 at 16:27
  • גדול השלום שדרי עליונים צריכים שלום שנאמר עושה שלום במרומיו, והרי הדברים ק"ו ומה אם במקום שאין איבה ושנאה צריכים שלום ק"ו למקום שיש בו כל המדות הללו
    – Loewian
    Oct 17, 2021 at 16:29

4 Answers 4

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(I heard the following wonderful explanation like 10 years ago which really touched me, but I unfortunately cannot find the source for this anymore. This has become one of my all-time favorite explanations, so I am very glad to see this question being asked. It was on some website that collected various explanations for the Friday Night prayer, if I am not mistaken.)

Every star on the sky has its exact place. When the Sun is shining and we don't see them, they are "reaching their places". During this process, they are not envy about each other, because they don't see each other.

So too, we pray, should be, with the human beings. We should also know that Hashem has in mind for each and every one of us a special place to "shine", to fulfill our potential. Just that we have a hard time to make peace, since we see others "rising", and this creates jealousy. Therefore we wish that we should be able to rise like stars, confident of our own orbit or rising, and not envy about others.

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A lot of ideas have already been mentioned, I will just add the Gemara in Rosh Hashanah 23b which writes:

דְּאָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן מַאי דִּכְתִיב הַמְשֵׁל וָפַחַד עִמּוֹ עוֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו מֵעוֹלָם לֹא רָאֲתָה חַמָּה פְּגִימָתָהּ שֶׁל לְבָנָה וְלֹא פְּגִימָתָהּ שֶׁל קֶשֶׁת פְּגִימָתָהּ שֶׁל לְבָנָה דְּחָלְשָׁה דַּעְתַּהּ פְּגִימָתָהּ שֶׁל קֶשֶׁת דְּלָא לֵימְרוּ עוֹבְדֵי הַחַמָּה

As Rabbi Yoḥanan said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Dominion and fear are with Him, He makes peace in His high places” (Job 25:2)? It means that the sun has never seen the concave side of the new moon, nor has it ever seen the concave side of a rainbow, both of which always face away from the sun. It has never seen the concave side of the moon, as the moon would be distressed by a sense of inadequacy if its concave side faced the sun. Therefore the sun sees only the full roundness of its convex side. In this way He makes peace in His high places between the sun and the moon. Furthermore, the sun has never seen the concave side of a rainbow, so that the worshippers of the sun not say, as though the sun is a god... (Sefaria translation & notation)

So the idea is that Hashem created the celestial bodies in a way that neither would feel outdone or overawed by the other. Hashem's place on high is one in which peace is the overarching order of the day.

The Akeidas Yitzchak 87 explains the mechanics of this chazal:

ומאמר זה הוא נפלא מאד אל כוונתינו כי הנה באמת הבלתי אפשרות והנמנע הקיים שיפול בשתרא' החמה פגימתה של לבנה בשום צד הוא עצמו ענין השלום וההסכמה המחוייבת לקיום מציאותם שאם תראה החמה פגימת הלבנה הנה תבטל החמה מטבעה ויפסד כחה אשר הוא להאיר אל עבר פניה ושלא יראה לפניו דבר סמוך ועל זה הענין נמצא ג"כ (במדרש ד"ר פ' ה') אמר רבי לוי אין אחד מהמזלות הללו שהם מהלכים ברקיע שרואה מה שלפניו אלא מה שאחריו כאדם שעולה בסולם ופניו לאחוריו שיהא כל מזל ומזל אומר אני ראשון הוי עושה שלום במרומיו הנה שקראו שלום אל תכלית יושר סדרן ותיכן מצבן עד שאי אפשר ליפול שום שבוש ובלבול בשום מעשה ממעשיהם

And this piece (i.e. Rosh Hashanah 23b) is a great wonder to us, since it is truly impossible and implausible that the sun might come to see the defect of the moon on either side and this is a matter of peace? And the accepted view to the existence of their reality, that if the sun sees the defect of the moon it will cancel out its natural heat and deplete its power which illuminates from itself, or that it can't see something so close? And this matter we find also in the Midrash, Devarim Rabbah chapt. 5 - Rabbi Levi said there is not one of the constellations that does not go in the sky that sees what is before it, but rather only that which is behind it. It is like a man ascending a ladder, facing behind him, so that each and every constellation will say I am first thereby making peace in His heights." So here they called "peace" for the purpose of orderly honesty, and there is a situation where it is impossible to fall into any disorder and confusion in any of their deeds.

Alternatively, the Maharal in Derech Hashem understands the word "shalom" in the context of "bimromav" to mean a sense of completeness. It is this completeness which lend a state of harmony in the creation of G-d's world. The fact that the celestial bodies do not change as they were made perfect by Hashem means there is no need for any strife in the Heavenly realm.

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Rashi Iyov 25:2 has another explanation, that fire and water are intermingled and the water doesn't douse the fire.

לשון אחר עושה שלום במרומיו - אש ומים בלולין , ואין מים מכבין את האש. כך שמעתי

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    yes, this reflects the idea in the medrash (דָּבָר אַחֵר, עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו, אָמַר רֵישׁ לָקִישׁ מִיכָאֵל כֻּלּוֹ שֶׁלֶג, וְגַבְרִיאֵל כֻּלּוֹ אֵשׁ, וְעוֹמְדִין זֶה אֵצֶל זֶה וְאֵינָם מַזִּיקִים זֶה אֶת זֶה) but strangely, that same medrash has these 2 sentences: כְּדֵי שֶׁיְהֵא כָּל מַזָּל וּמַזָּל אוֹמֵר אֲנִי הוּא הָרִאשׁוֹן, הֱוֵי עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו vs. וּמָה אִם הָעֶלְיוֹנִים שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶם לֹא קִנְאָה וְלֹא שִׂנְאָה וְלֹא תַחֲרוּת which appear to contradict each other.
    – rosends
    Oct 17, 2021 at 21:32
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In the Siddur Hameforash, the author brings the Shelah's explanation (which probably follows Rashi's explanation brought in one of the other answers) that the shalom is between the angels. Some angels are "fire" angels and some are "water" angels. Even though water naturally overpowers fire, Hashem makes peace in heavens which allows the angels to "live" peacefully together. I haven't yet found the exact location of this in the original Shela"h text.

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