The Disappearance of Shalom

The Hebrew word “shalom” has three meanings. Hello, when we greet someone. Goodbye, when we leave. But the most important of all, shalom means peace. In that regard it is tragically only a spoken word but which, in practice, has disappeared.

Health Minister Litzman, who has been harassed and criticized for his failure to produce information on the coronavirus pandemic, had stated to those who demanded his resignation which he completely refused, has suddenly turned around and offers the prime minister his resignation from the health ministry in exchange for the position of the housing ministry. His health ministerial post proved to be the disappearance of shalom. There was no peace.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit is now demanding the dismissal of Dan Eldad, the State Attorney, on several grounds including morality and capability. He had disapproved of Eldad’s appointment previously and is now attempting to have him removed from office. No shalom. No peace.

The Blue and White party was created by Benny Gantz, Yair Lapid and Moshe Yaalon in a sincere effort to topple prime minister Netanyahu and, following much success in the March 2 elections, became the major party with Gantz having received the mandate from President Rivlin to form a new government .

Then Gantz broke his promise never to sit in a government led by Netanyahu and he joined the Likud leader in a supposed attempt to create an emergency unity government and to halt increasing corona attacks and deaths.

That fatal mistake on Gantz’s part caused the split of the original Blue and White party. No shalom,No peace.

The signed agreement between Netanyahu and Gantz is now questionable. Six petitions have been submitted to the High Court to cancel the agreement having found legitimate flaws in some of the clauses. No shalom. No peace.

The agreement which guaranteed a rotation of the prime minister’s position after 18 months is subject to much suspicion. Those in the know and who are familiar with Netanyahu’s shticks and tricks would not put it past him to violate the rotation agreement.

If so, it would become a violation of a signed agreement and could be implemented by the removal of Netanyahu by the judges of the High Court.

If so, it would result in the death of shalom and the absence of peace long into the future.

We are living in turbulent times not only physically but morally. We have a government of liars.

There is no truth in their spoken or written words. Only more lies and deceit.

On the matter of annexation of West Bank (Judea and Samaria) settlements and 30% of the Jordan Valley, are in violation of international law and the theft of land which had been considered the portion to be given to the Palestinians as a part of their future Palestinian State.

If implemented by Netanyahu, it would lead us to a violent war and many deaths. Both us and them would lose much.

No shalom. No peace.

History repeats itself. We are living in the days when our ancient prophet cried out some 3000 years ago: “Shalom, Shalom, v’ain Shalom”…. Peace, Peace, but there is no Peace.

Now we can use one of the other meanings of the word. Shalom to Shalom ! Goodbye to Peace !

No one could express it better than Yair Lapid in his magnificent lengthy manifesto for the salvation of our nation. I recommend it, the featured post in today’s The Times of Israel, to every literate reader of the English language, to read it and to take pride in its superb eloquence. It is a masterful piece of art.

Yair Lapid and his followers may one day put shalom back into our vocabulary. The real shalom. The best shalom.

The shalom that means peace !

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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