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Why does only Shabbat get described as "Shalom," as in the greeting "Shabbat Shalom"? I don't hear anyone saying "Yom Tov Shalom" or "Purim Shalom", etc.

  • 1
    See Or HaChayim (Vayikra 19:3): ואת שבתותי תשמרו... ואמרו בזוהר חדש (ריש פ' תולדות) כי יום שבת הוא כנגד יוסף הצדיק, והוא סוד השלום ולזה אנו אומרים שבת שלום ואנו מברכין הפורס סכת שלום. – Fred Feb 20 '15 at 17:34
  • @Fred - Interesting discussion links. Re the 1st link - Shabbat is BOTH male and fem. as shown in the Torah. Sometimes it says Shabbat Hu (m), sometimes Shabbat Hi (f), so saying "Um'vorach" is fine. I have to explore more the 2nd link esp. the reason for saying "Succat Shlomecha". That peaks my interest. I'm not sure why you deleted your 1st comment. The links were good! – DanF Feb 20 '15 at 17:35
  • This link mentions the Or HaChayim that I quoted above. – Fred Feb 20 '15 at 17:38
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The Or Hachayim on Vayikra 19:3 quoted by @Fred provides a kabbalistic explanation:

ואת שבתותי תשמרו... ואמרו בזוהר חדש (ריש פ' תולדות) כי יום שבת הוא כנגד יוסף הצדיק, והוא סוד השלום ולזה אנו אומרים שבת שלום ואנו מברכין הפורס סכת שלום

Translation:

"And guard My Sabbaths" (Vayikra 19:3)... And it says in the Zohar Chadash (beginning of Toldot) that the Sabbath day corresponds to Yosef the Righteous, which is the sod of peace. We therefore say "Shabbat Shalom" and we bless "the One who spreads the canopy of peace."

The Ben Ish Chai also provides a kabbalistic explanation in his introduction to parshas Nasso:

ישא ה' פניו אליך וישם לך שלום. הנה ידוע מ"ש בסה"ק אדרת אליהו בשם רבני אשכנז ז"ל דברכת כהנים ט"ו תיבות, ובאצבעות האדם יש י"ד פרקים כנגד י"ד תיבות ואין בהם כנגד תיבת ט"ו של שלום, ותקנו חז"ל כוס של ברכה להשלים תיבת ט"ו של שלום, ואנא עבדא אמרתי בששת ימי השבוע יש י"ב סעודות א' ביום וא' בלילה, ורק בשבת יש שלשה סעודות, וכן הוא דינו של עני ההולך ממקום למקום לתת לו שתים ביום החול ושלש בשבת וכנז' במשנה, ואלו ט"ו סעודות נשפעים מן ט"ו תיבות דברכת כהנים וסעודה שלישית היא כנגד תיבת ט"ו של שלום, ובזה פרשתי בס"ד הטעם שאומרים שבת שלום כי השבת גרם להשלים כנגד תיבת שלום, שאם לא היה בו סעודה שלישית לא היה סעודה כנגד תיבת שלום

Translation:

"May HaShem lift His Countenance toward you and give you peace" (Bamidbar 6:26). It is known what is written in the holy book Aderet Eliyahu in the name of the rabbis of Ashkenaz of blessed memory, that Birkat Kohanim has fifteen words, and the fingers on a person's hand have fourteen (י"ד) joints corresponding to fourteen words, and they do not tally up to the fifteenth word, "peace." And the Sages of blessed memory instituted a cup of blessing to complete the tally for the fifteenth word, "peace."

And I, the servant, said that on the six days of the week there are twelve meals: one in the morning and one in the evening on each of the six days. And only on the Sabbath are there three meals. And this is the law regarding an itinerant poor person, to provide him with two daily meals during the week and three meals on the Sabbath, as described in the Mishna (Peah 8:7).1 This is a total of the fifteen meals whose spiritual sustenance derives from the fifteen words of the Birkat Kohanim. And the third meal on the Sabbath corresponds to the fifteenth word of "peace."

Accordingly, with the help of Heaven, I explained the reason why we say the greeting of "Shabbat Shalom," for the Sabbath causes completion corresponding to the fifteenth word "peace," and if the Sabbath did not have a third meal, there would be no meal corresponding to the word "peace."


1 "לעני העובר ממקום למקום... שבת, נותנין לו מזון שלוש סעודות"

  • Can one simply say a "Shabbat" completes ( = shalems) a week, and therefore we say "Shabbat Shalom", to bless someone to have a "Complete Week" (the word "Shabbat", if I am not mistaken, is once translated as "Week", no?, in the Torah). – ninamag Sep 26 '17 at 16:54
  • @ninamag Shabbat can mean week, but I don't think that that is the intent here. Also while 'shalem' may be related to 'shalom', I don't think that the intent here is to completion, but to peace... – mevaqesh Sep 26 '17 at 19:47

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