Most people know that the Hebrew word shalom is understood around the world to mean "peace." However, "peace" is only one small part of the meaning. "Shalom" is used to both greet people and to bid them farewell, and it means much more than "peace, hello or goodbye".... In my new home of Israel it is used in most conversations by virtually all citizens and visitors alike. It symbolizes the greatest dream of the Jewish people and our homeland.
In Judaism, Shalom (peace), is one of the underlying principle of the Torah or the first five books of the Jewish Bible. "Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are shalom (peace)".The Talmud explains, "The entire Torah is for the sake of the ways of shalom"
Hebrew words go beyond their spoken pronunciation. Each Hebrew word conveys feeling, intent and emotion. Shalom is more then just simply peace; it is a complete peace.
It is a feeling of contentment,completeness,wholeness, well being and harmony.
We all are anxious people…in fact, we live in an anxious world. There is no question that uncertainty seems to have increased dramatically in the last decades. We worry about terrorism. We worry about war. We worry about losing our jobs. We worry about the dangers confronting our children. The sense of anxiety of course is very prevalent in Israel. This small and brave nation has fought daily to exist since its rebirth in 1948. More than twenty thousand Israelis have died in open conflicts or by acts of terrorism since the rebirth of the Jewish state in 1948. The Holocaust is almost always in the minds and hearts of Israeli Jews. We must never forget the murders of millions whose only sin was being born Jewish or having Jewish ancestors.
I have now reached the tender age of sixty four years old. My blessings have been many and my sufferings have been measurable.
How many of us can make claims that are significantly different. However, I seem to be making progress toward the greatest goal, that of peace. Much of this new knowledge has come about as the result of my immigration to this incredible nation at the age of fifty nine. I have faced five years of great challenges, Learning a new language, adjusting to a new culture, and leaving friends and family are just a few examples of these challenges. There have been wonderful rewards as well. The greatest reward has been my progress toward Shalom,
I have learned that I have little control over the world but that many obstacles can be overcome with effort, patience, and faith. "Whatever happens in my life, I'll handle it! Faith in ourselves and the universal creator is our greatest strength.