As we saw in our last lesson
is a very flexible word and can refer to much more than peace. All of the meanings we mentioned—“friendship,” “well-being,” “safety” and “salvation”—are clearly related to peace. And they also are all aspects of “completeness,” the fundamental meaning of the Hebrew root שׁ-ל-ם (sh-l-m).
The word shalom appears in the Hebrew Scriptures 226 times, yet we find it nowhere in English translations of the Bible. It is never simply transliterated as “shalom,” but is always translated by English equivalents such as “peace.” Today, however, shalom has become an international word.
In addition to the many sides of shalom we mentioned previously, every visitor to Israel quickly learns two further uses of the word. In modern Hebrew, “Shalom” has become the way to say both “Hello” and “Goodbye,” thus, Israelis bless one another with shalom when they meet and when they part.
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To read the next lesson, click here
. For the transliteration system used in this series, click here