Can Someone Tell Me About "Shalom"?


at peace
Reaction score
Shalom--Peace to All Here--

(I am not even sure I spelled that greeting properly, and I am not even sure that it is okay for me to use it.)

I started a thread some time ago on the Comparative Studies board entitled, "How We Greet One Another."

I do not know who all is here, but I am sure that bananabrain is here. I don't think you like me very much, BB, but I can't be sure--we have had some clashes (me being a Christian with mystic leanings and all that), but I do respect your opinion and expertise in certain areas, and besides that, you have a way with words.

Would you be interested in posting on this thread, here, or on the one in Comparative Studies, concerning Jewish greetings?

I am interested in exactly how "shalom" should be spelled, its meaning, and who should use it. For instance, is it appropriate for me, a "Gentile" to use it when I greet a Jewish person? Or would that just be weird?

I hope you will respond to my sincere invitation--the thread is a study, and it would surely be incomplete without your input.

hello in love

there doesn't seem to be anyone around here. i haven't even seen mr bananabrain since last week.

i can tell you about some of your question at least.
the spelling you have used seems to be pretty standard although probably it doesn't matter exactly how you spell it because originally it would be spelt in hebrew. shalom means peace the same as salam in arabic. in arabic we say asalamo alekom which means peace be upon you....i don't know if they have a similar expression in hebrew. as far as i know there is no reason why you shouldn't use it as a greeting when adressing jews. i usually do.

hope this is helpful:)

mr bananabrain has been getting married, which is why i've not been here. i'm just here for a few days before my honeymoon and then i'm off for a month.

inlove - i might have argued strongly against something you said (especially if it was about jews for jesus) but you haven't ticked me off as far as i remember. apart from people that really get up my nose (and you're not on my list, hur hur hur) anyway, i'm in far too good a mood to bear a grudge at the moment.

"shalom", as dayaa says, is spelt as already discussed (at least in english) and is more or less equivalent to "salaam" in arabic, same three-letter root, that's how semitic languages work. "shalom aleichem" is our equivalent of "salaam aleikum" and elicits the same response, albeit it is a formal greeting rather than a colloquial one.

it also has a connection to the concept of "completeness" and the name of jerusalem - which can mean, among other things, "city of peace" or "city of completeness" or "city of fullness". it is also connected to the name "solomon", which in hebrew is "shlomo" - an appropriate name for a "complete" monarch and one whose brain must have been as full as his heart.

as for appropriateness, you don't really need to say "shalom" to jewish people (it might in some circumstances come across as kissing up!) but most will appreciate the effort. "hello" will be perfectly OK! my own general signoff on the board, for example, is semi-formal, because the people i know here i am on varying terms of formality with.

b'shalom (or "in peace" if you like!)

Congratulations, mr. bananabrain (if, in fact that is your real name :) )! She's a fortunate woman to be sure.

Peace and blessings on your marriage. :)


And masseltov, Mr. and Mrs. BB!

(And thanks for the kind response--may I post the educational part on the other thread? No hurry:) ).

hello in love:)

as far as i'm concerned you can post my bit on your other thread. that's fine....except i think mr bananabrain probably explained better from the jewish point of view. or maybe you could post both responses together....they show the link between jewish/arabic + muslim culturally and linguistically quite nicely.
Hi, and Peace!

Thanks, dayaa--I did indeed post both together, as well as your last response (for purposes of edification). You are right--the two explanations do complement one another.

And bananabrain, I was fairly sure it was okay with you to post your response (just the explanation of "shalom"). Hope I am right about that:). And hope you are having a lovely time.

Again, I appreciate the input from both of you.