Shabbat Shalom – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Did a Jewish friend invite you to their home on a Friday? Remember to say ‘Shabbat Shalom’ to everyone you meet.

This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.

Meaning

The expression ‘Shabbat Shalom’ means ‘peaceful sabbath.’ It derives from the Hebrew word ‘shevet,’ which means ‘to dwell.’ It also relates to ‘sheva,’ which is Hebrew for the number seven. The most accurate translation of shalom in English is ‘peace.’ However, it’s more accurately described as ‘the absence of war.’ The words context refers to an inner sense of wholeness and completeness.

When Jewish people combine ‘Shabbat shalom’ and overlay its meanings. So, the accurate translation of ‘Shabbat Shalom’ is ‘May you dwell in peace,’ ‘May you dwell in completeness,’ ‘May you dwell in wholeness’ on the seventh day.

Shabbat offers an invitation to worship in an exchange that strengthens and revives the soul.

Example Usage

“Hi sir, Shabbat shalom. It’s a beautiful day out. Will we see you this evening at temple? I’ll save you a spot in the front row.”

“Shabbat shalom to you too, and may you have a peaceful sabbath as well. Please, save me the seat, I’m an old man, and I find it hard to hear all the way in the back of the synagogue.”

“Shabbat shalom, and may you have a peaceful Sabbath. I’m sorry, but I can’t join you this evening. I have dinner with my family at home.”

“Shabbat shalom. It’s good to see you, my friend. Please won’t you join us for challah and some wine? We have more than enough for everyone.”

“I’m proud to be part of the Jewish community. We have a strong support system, and everyone knows they can rely on one another. Shabbat Shalom, may you enjoy your sabbath.’

“I went to my friend’s house for dinner on Friday, and everyone was wearing these little hats and saying ‘Shabbat shalom.’ Why do they do that, dad?”

“They’re Jewish people, son. Shabbat shalom means ‘peaceful sabbath.’ I bet the food was awesome, wasn’t it? Jewish people know how to make a spread on the Sabbath.”

Origin

The Hebrew phrase ‘Shabbat shalom’ originates from the holy tradition of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day of rest, commanded on the Jewish people by God. All Jewish people must obey the rules of the Sabbath and treat it as a day of rest and recovery.

The concept of the Sabbath first appeared in print in the Holy Bible.

Genesis 2:3

“God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it God rested from all His work that He had done in creation.”

God’s command to keep the Sabbath holy appears in Exodus 20:8.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

Phrases Similar to Shabbat Shalom

  • Peaceful sabbath.

Phrases Opposite to Shabbat Shalom

  • N/A.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Shabbat Shalom.

Ways People May Say Shabbat Shalom Incorrectly

‘Shabbat shalom’ refers to the Jewish sabbath, which occurs every Friday. Christians celebrate this day on Sundays. You would say ‘Shabbat shalom’ on any other day of the week other than Fridays. Typically, Jewish people will say this between themselves, but it’s not impolite for a person from another religious belief to wish a Jewish person ‘Shabbat shalom.’

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Shabbat Shalom

You can use the phrase ‘Shabbat shalom’ to greet Jewish people on Fridays. Friday is the ‘sabbath’ for Jewish people, a day of rest. Most families have an evening meal and relax for the rest of the night. If a Jewish friend invites you around for dinner on Friday, you can say ‘Shabbat shalom’ to the people you meet to wish them a peaceful sabbath.

‘Shabbat shalom’ is suitable for social and professional use. You could say it to your boss, or you could say it to friends. The expression is well-understood, and it applies to Jewish communities around the globe. You can use the saying in text communications and verbal exchanges.

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