Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Why is a Sholom Zochor called a Sholom Zochor?

share|improve this question
Also: Is it? Or is it sh'lom zachar with שְלום in construct (סמיכות) as in "לך נא ראה את שלום אחיך ואת שלום הצאן"? – msh210 Mar 7 '11 at 18:06
I have only heard it being pronounced as Sholom – Gershon Gold Mar 7 '11 at 23:20

This page cites a couple of other reasons:

  • The second word means "remembering" (as in זכור ושמור), because the child will have to start "remembering" the Torah he previously learned in the womb and has now forgotten. (R' Yaakov Emden)

  • Also with the meaning "remembering": it's that he should recall the oath he took at birth (Niddah 30b) to "be a tzaddik and not be a rasha." We associate this with Shabbos, the first mitzvah that he experiences. (Also R' Yaakov Emden)

  • It means "peace" and "male," in keeping with the Gemara's statement (Niddah 31b) that כיון שבא זכר לעולם בא שלום לעולם. (Noheg Katzon Yosef)

share|improve this answer

Taame Haminhagim 903 starts off by saying he's going to explain why it's called a shalom zachar and proceeds to cite Tosafos (Bava Kama 80:1 s.v. "L've") as saying that the reason the g'mara there calls a shalom zachar a "salvation of the son" is that he was saved from the womb (citing "וְהִמְלִיטָה זָכָר", from the haftara of Shabas rosh chodesh, related to words meaning "escape"), but then doesn't, as far as I can tell, complete the thought about why it's then called shalom zachar, instead giving what is, as far as I can tell, a completely separate reason: that it's called shalom zachar because it takes place on Shabas which is called shalom. It seems very odd to me, so perhaps I'm reading it wrong, but that's what I'm seeing.

share|improve this answer
I think that's exactly it. It's called "shalom" because it takes place on Shabbos, and "zachar" in honor of the child. (The quotation from Tosafos is meant to establish the fact that such a seudah is made in the first place.) – Alex Mar 4 '11 at 15:42

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.