The important word here is COMPLETE. When I greet my Muslim friends, I say “A-Salaam A-Leikum,” and many return with the Hebrew “Shalom.” Salaam and Shalom are usually translated as “Peace.” The Semitic root word — and I will not bore you with a lesson in linguistics — means “complete.” The idea is that we all must work together to complete God’s work. That will result in what everyone really wants — peace — so the translation of Salaam and Shalom as peace is appropriate.
May we all vow to work together to complete God’s work, here in our wonderfully diverse America, in the Middle East, and everywhere.
Again, thanks to Martha Vandervoort and Interfaith Ministries for this annual event, and for the work she and her volunteers do day after day to complete God’s work in this part of the world.
Daniel E. Spector