There is a good chance that you’ve heard this word before. The word “shalom” comes from the word sha•lem, and both come from the root “sha.le.m.”
Every verb and most words in Hebrew are derived from a three-letter root. We cannot cover the roots subject here and strongly recommend that you find a way to learn the basics of Hebrew. However, even if you are not familiar with Hebrew yet, we can tell you that these three letters are: “sheen” “lamed” and “mem.” These are the equivalents of “SH” “L” and “M” in English. This root means “whole” and “complete.” It also means “to pay.” You will easily see the connection between the two in the next few lines.
Human life includes interactions with others where we either give or receive services or goods from and to one another. Closing an interaction always involves a payment (in this form or another). When a payment is made we reach a completion (shalem), and we reach this completion only when we pay (shalem, again). When that is done, we have “shalom.”
“Shalom” is also the common greeting word, but now you know that it carries a hinted declaration of our intentions, and at the same time it is a wishful blessing of “wholeness.”