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Shalom! This is something that everyone wants to achieve. Shalom means peace in Hebrew. Peace is one of the most valued traits in Jewish culture, along with honesty and justice.
Derivation of The Word Shalom
The word Shalom stems from a root that indicates being complete or whole. It is considered along with the phrase ‘shelemut’, which means perfection. Shalom does not refer specifically to peace in a political context, meaning that it is not only considered as the cession of war and anger.
It includes many aspects such as moral standards, physical and mental states, and a principal of overall health and well-being. Shalom is a state of mind.
What is Shalom?
Shalom is a permanent and mutual agreement that promotes serenity and positivity. Shalom represents something that is whole and complete.
The concept of Shalom mainly signifies being ethical, a value, in rabbinic texts. It includes multiple factors, such as overcoming hardship, being blessed, and filled with graciousness. It is something to strive towards.
Certain characteristics related to shalom are safety, health, soundness, feeling full, restful, prosperous, tranquility, and harmony. This concept balances all wonderful things in life, which could be considered almost perfect.
Rabbinic Morality and Shalom
Peace is related to family and community in many instances. It is concerned with achieving peace both within yourself and externally amongst other people. It does not cover itself majorly with relations between Israel and other people or between different states and nations. The passages state that the matters regarding peace are mainly concerned with internal peace and not external relations.
However, these two factors are not always thought of separately. There are times when they are interrelated, and it appears that one should establish peace between themselves and others as well as between other nations and places or bodies.
The Sages also emphasized the importance of peace. It was viewed as the most important attribute to possess and practice. The other close competitor for this is justice. These values are of the utmost importance.
Achieving peace is a vital factor in the Torah; it is evident that it is the main purpose. Shalom and peace are mentioned countless times and in numerous sayings.
The Value of Peace
What is the value of peace when considering other moral values? Is there a relationship between peace and these different characteristics?
When considering the other most important trait, justice, we witness opposing views. It is believed that where there is strict justice, there can be no peace.
Something similar is noticed with the concept of honesty. In this case, it can be said that one could avoid the truth in order to keep the peace.
In these instances, we see that the concept of peace competes with other important values. What element takes priority? There is a way to ensure that these three elements work together in harmony. It is about finding a balance and ensuring that all competing matters are resolved if one value is decided upon. This is what Shalom truly is.
G-d, The Peacemaker
Peace is something extremely powerful! It is something that is closely linked to G-d, as there are continuous connections made between the two. Shalom is not only an earthly concept but a cosmic concept as well.
This connection indicates the importance of peace. If heavenly beings need peace, imagine how crucial it is for human beings, as humans are naturally filled with jealousy and hatred. G-d is the one who creates this peace between the differing worlds.
Peace! Peace! Peace!
Achieving and mastering the art of shalom is a difficult path that not many are going to cross. It requires being in a complete state of harmony and utter satisfaction with every single aspect of your life.
Shalom is a blessing from G-d. It has a complex meaning with many different aspects to it.
It is a lifestyle that needs to be practiced. When achieved properly, it results in perfection. Do you think that it is possible ever truly to achieve perfection?
The concept of Shalom is more than peace as we know it. It is something that is treasured in the Jewish community, whereas other people simply use the word freely. Shalom has extreme divine and heavenly significance behind the meaning, which cannot be considered a normal earthly attribute.