What Does “Shabbat Shalom” Mean?

Image: A family celebrating Shabbat. (GoldenPixelsLLC/Shutterstock)

Someone recently found this site by searching the string: “Meaning of ‘Shabbat Shalom.'”

“Shabbat shalom” is a Hebrew greeting for the Jewish Sabbath. Its literal meaning is “Sabbath of Peace.” 

Shabbat [the Sabbath] officially begins at sundown Friday and continues to sundown Saturday. You will usually hear the greeting or read it online from Friday morning onwards through sundown Saturday.

Informally, the phrase means, “I wish you a nice Sabbath.” For more about the deeper meanings of “shalom,” see What is Shalom? on this blog.

“Shabbat Shalom” is pronounced shah-BAHT shah-LOAM.

You may also hear “Gut Shabbes,” which is the same wish in Yiddish. It is pronounced GOOT SHAH-bes.

The proper reply is to repeat the phrase in Hebrew or Yiddish. If you are not comfortable with that, a good second choice is “Thanks, you too!”

 

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rabbiadar

Rabbi Ruth Adar is a teaching rabbi based in San Leandro, CA. She has many hats: rabbi, mom, poodle groomer, and ham radio operator K6RAV. She blogs at https://coffeeshoprabbi.com/ as the Coffee Shop Rabbi.

5 thoughts on “What Does “Shabbat Shalom” Mean?”

  1. May a gentile person/bat noach also greet Jews that way – wishing them Shabbat Shalom,, or ist it better to use other words? Thx for answering in advance – and please excuse my poor English.

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    1. Anyone may greet others with “Shabbat shalom” – it’s a lovely thing to say between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday. Some also use it as Shabbat approaches (usually Friday during the day.) After Shabbat closes at sundown Saturday, the proper greeting is “Shavua tov” – “Good week!” You can read more about that greeting at https://coffeeshoprabbi.com/2016/03/19/whats-shavua-tov/.

      Your English is fine! Thank you for reading and for an excellent question.

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