Hallel: From Thanks To Peace
“Nedaray Ashalem”, “My vows I will pay” (Hallel). Which vows is the verse referring to? When King David was fleeing and wandering in exile, he vowed that if God would return
him safely, he would render thanksgiving offerings to His Name (Radak).
The expression “ashalem”, “I will pay” comes from the root “shalem”, complete, or “shalom” peace.
In other words, my vows of thanksgiving will help to make me complete, or will lead me to the state of peace. One can only achieve a level of “shleimut”, perfection, after one acknowledges the gifts God bestows on us. In the same manner, true inner peace can only be experienced when we appreciate the blessings in our lives and express our gratitude for all that God does for us.
This is why, in the Amidah, “Modim” -the blessing of thanksgiving- precedes “Sim Shalom” -the blessing of peace.