Sunday, June 20, 2010

Say Shalom, Bring Shalom

When Alon Shvut celebrated its 40th anniversary recently, one of Alon Shvut's first residents, Gedalia Ginsberg, recalled the beginnings of his town. Before he concluded his remarks, he sighed and said, "When Alon Shvut was young, everyone walked through the streets and said, 'Shalom.' Little children rode their bikes and told you, 'Shalom.' There are no more shaloms anymore. People don't greet one another, or they usually say 'hi' and 'bye'. We should start saying 'Shalom' again."
I agree. There's a major lack of the greeting, "Shalom," in our society.
Back in 1961, Jerry Herman wrote a great song for the Broadway show Milk and Honey: "Shalom, Shalom, You'll find Shalom the nicest greeting you know; It means bonjour, salud, and skoal, and twice as much as hello. It means a million lovely things, like peace be yours, welcome home. And even when you say goodbye, You say goodbye with Shalom."
Once upon a time, the Jewish people greeted one another with "Shalom Aleichem" (peace unto you). "Aleichem Shalom."
Every day we pray that G-d bless us with Shalom.
Well, what if we begin by blessing one another with Shalom. We know that those who bless the Jewish people are themselves bless. So, let's go. Let's answer the phone with "Shalom" instead of "helllllooo". Let's greet one another in the street with "Shalom." Let's bring more words of Shalom to the world, and maybe G-d will bring more Shalom itself to the world.
It's worth a try.
All the best to you, my friends. Shalom.

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