Thursday, 2 April 2009

shalom - one an two -

sorry, yesterday was manic and didn't get round to posting so here's two thoughts today.

Give out a thought:
Shalom has often been interpreted as peace. Yet its meaning is so much richer, deeper and wider than that.
Biblical peace, shalom, refers first of all to well-being and material prosperity... Second, peace refers to just relationships... Third... moral integrity. (Alan Kreider)

From this material meaning of shalom, which dominates in the Hebrew Bible, we need to carefully note two things. First, since in English we often use peace to refer either to relationships between people or to an inner state of mind, we must underline the fact that contrary to the English meaning of peace, shalom in the Hebrew Bible refers primarily to a physical state of well-being, to things being as they ought to be in the material world. Shalom is marked by the presence of physical well-being and by the absence of physical threats like war, disease, and famine.

Second, we must stress that shalom is a positive idea. It points to the presence of something like well-being of health, rather than having mainly a negative focus like English peace which points to the absence of something like war. This is important, because in English we tend to define peace as the absence of something: turmoil, distress, or war; rather than the positive presence of things as they should be. This can result in a notion that peacemakers are passive, avoiding conflict and struggle. On the contrary, shalom making is being for something - for a new situation in which people are all right with their material needs being met. In this light, peacemaking as shalom making is striving so that those who do not now enjoy material shalom and physical well-being can do so. (Perry Yoder)

Give out an image:

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