It is known that Shalom is a name of Hashem, thus it is forbidden to say it as salutation in some places. And also, to not write it in a letter, because the risk of the receiver throwing it to the bin.

But what with the English word "peace"?

(An example: to avoid thinking on Torah in the closets, I once tried to read in a fat historical book there, but this word was appearing at very high frequency! No far from every 2 pages...)

Problem is not because it is not Hebrew.

But, because the Hebrew word Shalom loads more than peace-as-opposited-to-war; also the root Sh-L-M makes reference to wholeness, integrity etc.


3 Answers 3


No, the name שלום/Shalom is not one of the Holy names forbidden to erase:

Rambam Yesodey Torah 6,2: only 7 names can't be erased/destroyed:

ושבעה שמות הם השם הנכתב יו"ד ה"א וא"ו ה"א והוא השם המפורש או הנכתב אדני ואל אלוה ואלהים ואלהי ושדי וצבאות כל המוחק אפילו אות אחת משבעה אלו לוקה:

"There are seven names [for God]: a) The name which is written Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey. This is [referred to as God's] explicit name and is [also] written Alef-Daled-Nun-Yud. b) El; c) Elo'ah; d) Elohim; e) Elohai; f) Shaddai; g) Tz'vaot;
Whoever erases even one letter from any of these seven names is liable for lashes."

Ibid 6,5:

"שאר הכינויין שמשבחין בהן את הקדוש ברוך הוא כגון חנון ורחום הגדול הגבור והנורא הנאמן קנא וחזק וכיוצא בהן הרי הן כשאר כתבי הקדש ומותר למוחקן:"

Other descriptive terms which are used to praise the Holy One, blessed be He - e.g., the Gracious, the Merciful, the Great, the Mighty, the Awesome, the Faithful, the Jealous, the Powerful, and the like, are considered as other holy texts and may be erased.

  • Nice thought. However, Shabbos 10a seems to make a difference between Sha|om and the Merciful etc.
    – yO_
    Dec 3, 2018 at 18:51
  • Seems that Rambam doesn't, all but the 7 are Chol and can be erased.
    – Al Berko
    Dec 3, 2018 at 18:53
  • 1
    Actually this is one shitta in the Rishonim, Tosefos holds that the word שלום is one of the Divine Names that may not be erased. Admittedly the halacha is not acc. to Tosefos, but Sofrim do not erase the name nonetheless and are stringent.
    – user18362
    Dec 3, 2018 at 21:27

Minchas Chinuch (437:2) learns from Tosafos (Sotah 10a s.v. Elah) that the name שלום cannot be erased (or destroyed). He notes that his opinion is unique. However, he references the discussion of Nekudos Hakasef on Shach’s commentary of Rama’s glosses. Nekudos Hakasef also discusses Tosafos, but is unsure how to act in practice.

  • I realize now that I may have understood the question. But it is hard for me to understand.
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Aug 30, 2019 at 5:36

The שו''ת הרא''ש (precise reference) says, it doesn't need geniza.

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