Thursday, April 20, 2023

The Hebrew word shalom (שׁלום) means "peace," but it has several other uses as well. Shalom comes from the root shin-lamed-mem (שׁ-ל-ם), which means "to be complete." Thus, in reference to the human body, or to the relationship between people or nations, we can see how being "complete" or "in tact" or "whole" comes to be understood as being in good health or good condition. As a result, the "completeness" or "intactness" of a person came to be understood as "peace," just as the intactness between two nations came to be understood as "peace" between the two. Over time, a simple blessing wishing someone peace became the customary greeting "shalom".