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Shalom a Hebrew word. It is commonly used in three different senses:

1) Peace
2) Hello
3) Goodbye

In addition, Shalom is also a common Hebrew name. The use of Shalom for saying Hello and Goodbye seems to originate from the expressions come in peace and go in peace. The word, like most Hebrew words, has a three letter root: Shin, Lamed and Mem. This root is used to denote things that are whole, or complete. The word perfect (Moshlam) in Hebrew comes from the same root, as do words related to payment (Tashlum) (good antisematic propaganda). Similar words are used in many neighboring languages in a similar way (e.g., Sallam)

Shalom appears in the old testament both as a name and (mostly) as a word. It’s used in many expressions, mostly to denote one of it’s obvious meanings. Several famous uses of the word Shalom:

  • “Shalom, shalom ve’ein shalom” – this cynical expression appears in the old testament. The interested reader can try and interpret it by replacing the three instances of the word with it's different interpretations, and noting that “ve’ein” means “and there isn’t”.
  • “Has ve’shalom”. Literally, this translates “has mercy, and peace”. It means Heaven Forbid.
  • “Shalom, Haver” – The end of president Clinton’s eulogy of murdered Israeli prime-minister Rabin. Translates "Goodbye, friend".
  • “Shalom Ahshav” – Peace now. Name of an Israeli peace movement that started during the Lebanon war and is still active today. <\list>
  • One of the most interesting things about the word "shalom" is its derivation in Hebrew. All Hebrew words can be traced to a 3 letter root. "Shalom" is derived from the root Hebrew letters Shin, Lamed, Mem. This is the same root as the verb: "L'shalem" or "to complete." So the meaning of Shalom as "peace" also has the lovely connotations of "completeness," "wholeness," or "sufficiency."

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