Results: Hebrew Words: Shalom (שָׁלוֹם)
Word Spelling Guide
Common Hebrew Phrases
(שָׁלוֹם) is a Hebrew word meaning
well-being or hello. As it does in
English, it can refer to either peace
between two entities (especially between
man and God or between two countries), or
to the well-being, welfare or safety of an
individual or a group of individuals. It
is also used as a greeting to either say
hello or farewell, and is found in many
other expressions and names. Its
equivalent cognate in Arabic is salaam and
sälam in Ethiopian Semitic languages.
The word shalom derives
from the root shin-lamedh-mem (ש.ל.ם),
which has cognates in many Semitic
languages, and means completeness,
fulfillment, wellbeing, harmony, a concept
usually encapsulated by translation in the
Hence usage of shalom in the Hebrew Bible
often refers to conditions related to
well-being: safety, health and prosperity
of individuals and nations.
A thorough etymological analysis of the
Hebrew roots and their derivatives reveal
that 'Lom was the basic root word for
Shalom and appears in other languages in
similar forms. ("Theological Dictionary of
the Old Testament", by Botterweck,
Ringgren, and Fabry).
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The word shalom is used in the
world variety of expressions and contexts in
Hebrew speech and writing:
- Shalom aleichem (שָׁלוֹם
עֲלֵיכֶם; literally "well-being be upon you"
or "may you be well"), this expression is
used to greet others and is a Hebrew
equivalent of "hello". The appropriate
response to such a greeting is "upon you be
well-being" ( עֲלֵיכֶם שָׁלוֹם, aleichem
shalom). This is a cognate of the Arabic
Assalamu alaikum. On Erev Shabbat (Sabbath
eve), Jewish people have a custom of singing
a song which is called Shalom aleichem,
before the Kiddush over wine of the Shabbat
dinner is recited.
- In the Gospels in the New
Testament, Jesus often uses the greeting
"Peace be unto you," a translation of shalom
- Shalom by itself is a
very common abbreviation, and is used in
Modern Israeli Hebrew to both greet and
farewell. In this it is similar to the
Hawaiian aloha and the Indian namaste. In
modern Israel among secular people, it is
being widely replaced in the 21st century by
"b'ye" (English) and "yallah b'ye" (a
mixture of Arabic and English.) This
development is greatly deplored by
traditionalists and purists. Shalom is still
used by Jewish people around the world, and
even by many non-Jewish people.
- Shabbat shalom (שַׁבָּת
שָׁלוֹם) is a common greeting used on
Shabbat (the Jewish sabbath). This is most
prominent in areas with Mizrahi, Sephardi or
Modern Israel influence. Many Ashkenazi
communities in the Jewish diaspora use
Yiddish Gut shabbes in preference or
- Ma sh'lom'cha (מַה
שְׁלוֹמְךָ; literally "what is your
well-being/peace?") is a Hebrew equivalent
of the English "how are you?". This is the
form addressed to a single male. The form
for addressing a single female is Ma
sh'lomech? For addressing several females,
Ma sh'lomchen? For a group of males or a
mixed-gender group, Ma sh'lomchem?
- Alav hashalom (עַלָיו
הַשָּׁלוֹם; literally "upon him is peace")
is a phrase used in some Jewish communities,
especially Ashkenazi ones, after mentioning
the name of a deceased respected individual.
- Oseh shalom is the part
of a passage commonly found as a concluding
sentence in much Jewish liturgy (including
the birkat hamazon, kaddish and personal
amida prayers). The full sentence is "עוֹשֶֹה
שָׁלוֹם בִּמְרוֹמָיו, הוּא יַעֲשֶֹה שָׁלוֹם
עָלֵינוּ,וְעַל כָּל יִשְֹרָאֵל וְאִמְרוּ
אָמֵן (Osĕ shālom bīmromāv hu ya'asĕ shālom
aleynu v'al kol Yisrael v'imru amen).",
which translates to English as "He who makes
peace in His heights may He make peace upon
us and upon all Israel; and say, Amen."
- The word Shalom is widely
used in popular Israeli songs about Peace
such as In Our Garden, Ratziti Sheteda,
Shalom Chaverim, etc.
- President William
Jefferson Clinton bade farewell to Yitzkhak
Rabin with the words Shalom, Chaver.
- The word 'Lom (and
occasionally Sh'lom) have been used
(especially by Jewish teenagers) as the
contracted forms of Shalom in street slang.
Related words in Modern
Hebrew include l'shalem (לְשַׁלֵּם), "to pay"
and shalem (שָׁלֵם), "complete".
Used as a name
Shalom as a name of God
Shalom is one of God's 72 names in Hebrew.
Shalom as a name for people
Shalom is also common in modern Hebrew in
Israel, as a (male) given name or a surname.
Note that it is related to the name Solomon
(Heb. שלומה Shelomo).
Notable people named Shalom include:
- Silvan Shalom (Israeli
politician), and his wife Judy Shalom
- Sholom Aleichem (Yiddish
- Shalom Harlow (model and
- Shalom Carmy (rabbi)
- Shalom Shachna (rabbi)
- Yosef Shalom Eliashiv
Related male names include
Shlomi (Hebrew name) ("my well-being").
Related female names include Shulamit,
Shulamith, Shlomtsion or Shlomzion and Salome
Shalom as a name for organizations
Shalom can be part of an organization's name.
The name of the following organizations and
places refer to "peace" between Israel and its
- Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
- Brit Shalom
- Gush Shalom
- Hevel Shalom
- Neve Shalom
- Shalom Sesame
Shalom as name for
synagogues or structures
Shalom is used as part of other names, such as
for synagogues, as in:
- Beth Sholom Synagogue
- Shalom Meir tower
- Shalom Park in Charlotte,
North Carolina and Denver, Colorado
- Shalom Tower in Tel Aviv,
Shalom as the name for
- The 1982 Lebanon War is
known as "מלחמת שלום הגליל" (= "Milhemeth
Shlom Hagalil" - "The War for the Shlaom (or
Well-Being) of the Galilee") in Hebrew.