Hebrew expressions with the word “Shalom”

Shalom dear friends!

When we think of the beginning of every conversation or the ideal situation in our world, the word Shalom-שָׁלוֹם  - is the first Hebrew that springs to mind. Here in Israel peace is very much the topic of conversation at the moment, as in a few days’ time we will commemorate the day our former Prime Minister, Yitzchak Rabin, was murdered. In honor of this great man, I thought I might share some expressions in Hebrew that are connected with the word “Shalom“.

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Let’s start with the root of this word, which is the combination of three letters: shin-lamed-mem. These letters are highly significant in Hebrew, as they describe someone or something that is complete or perfect. When we say goodbye to someone in Hebrew we say, “Lech Le-shalom“-לך לְשָׁלוֹם – literally “go in peace.”  If someone is driving we say “Sa‘ Le-shalom“-סע לְשָׁלוֹם.”

There are many ways to speak about God and one of them is, “the one who make peace in heavens”- or as we say (and also pray and sing in other cases) “oseh Shalom Bi-meromav“-עוֹשֶׁה שָׁלוֹם במרומיו.

Very few people can be described as people of peace. The expression for such people, who seek to end every disagreement with an acceptable  solution for both sides, is “‘ish Shalom”(אִישׁ שָׁלוֹם) or “Shocher Shalom”(שׁוחר שָׁלוֹם). Yitzchak Rabin was a man of peace only in the later years of his life. If you ask Israelis today about his character the likelihood is that they’d say he was a man of peace of all his life. His tragic death at a Peace Now rally cemented his place in Israeli memory as man of peace. When someone dies, we also use the word peace by saying the deceased is at peace, “‘alav Ha-shalom“- עָלָיו הַשָּׁלוֹם.

The most famous song in Hebrew about peace is the last song that Rabin sang before his assassination. Let’s look at the lyrics:

“Therefore, just sing a song of for peace, don’t whisper a prayer. It’s better to you sing a song of peace with a loud yell.”

“לכן, רק שירו שיר לשלום
אל תלחשו תפילה
מוטב תשירו שיר לשלום
בצעקה גדולה.”

May you all have a peaceful week!

I’m always interested in hearing what new Hebrew words you would like to learn – let me know!


For more information visit- www.eteacherhebrew.com


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