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The true meaning of Shalom: Shabbat for Israel

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I’m standing here at the entrance to Kibbutz Be’eri in southern Israel, right on the border with Gaza.

A place where so many terrorist atrocities took place on the 7th of October. And from here I’d like to pose the following question to you. Why is it that in Hebrew, we have the same word for ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’?

‘Shalom’ means hello, ‘Shalom’ means goodbye. And of course, Shalom also means peace.

Well, I’ll tell you. The reason is that Shalom is also one of the names of Hashem.

So therefore, when you greet a person, you say, ‘Shalom’, may Hashem’s peace be with you. And when you depart from a person, again you say, ‘Shalom’.

Now, that we are leaving, may Hashem’s peace be with you.

Peace is right at the heart of everything we yearn for and everything we pray for.

And that is my prayer, standing here in a place of such awful destruction.

And as we enter into Shabbat for Israel, together with so many thousands of people, our prayer is, may this indeed be a ‘Shabbat Shalom’.

A Shabbat through which ultimately our prayers will be heard and peace will reign.

Shabbat Shalom.

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