In שים שלום we ask “please give us ברכינו באור פניך וכו’ bec. in the past you gave us through אור פניך a different list of good things e.g. תורת חיים ואהבת חסד. What happened to the original request טובה וברכה וכו’? What’s the המשך? Why aren’t we asking for תורת חיים and אהבת חסד? Why is the fact that it was used in the past grounds for granting it in the future?
The opening of Sim Shalom is asking God to give each person the blessings that are need to recognize Him and to internalize the knowledge that God loves each and every one of us.
In the words of one of the commentators, the opening words of Sim Shalom are a balm to the soul. However, the rest of the prayer is a plea to Hashem that we are not satisfied with only personal serenity, rather, we ask for peace for our loved ones and for the entirety of the Jewish nation.
The essence of the prayer is that we should all be able to coexist in harmony together.
Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team