שלום בית - Peace in the Home
In 22 BCE, Herod the Great began construction of a deep sea harbor and built storerooms, markets, wide roads, baths, temples to Rome and Augustus, and imposing public buildings. Every five years the city hosted major sports competitions, gladiator games, and theatrical productions. This city was called Cesaria.
King Herod is known for his colossal building projects in Jerusalem and other parts of the ancient world, including the rebuilding of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and, of course, Cesaria.
Herod is also known as a madman who murdered his own family! Clearly he had not learned about the mitzvah of Shalom Bayit.
We translate the words Shalom Bayit as “peace in the home,” but the words suggest more. The root of the word “shalom” is sh-l-m, meaning completeness or wholeness. Bayit literally means house or home, but can imply family, too. So when you fulfill this mitzvah, you create a home that feels complete, a family in which members are connected with one another, a home in which brokenness is made whole (shaleym) and one in which there is family harmony.
But peace is not passive; it doesn’t just happen. We need to go after it, chase it, become Rodefay Shalom - pursuers of peace. Peace, and Shalom Bayit, require action.
Trust, respect, affection, honesty, humility, good manners, humor, sensitivity, and the ability to listen are qualities that are needed to attain and to maintain Shalom Bayit.