Pope Paul VI
The name for this blog comes from the beginning of the second line of Psalm 34:14 which reads, “seek peace and pursue it.” The Hebrew phrase baqash shalom means “seek peace” and is illustrated below in Hebrew.
The Hebrew understanding of the word shalom “peace” is not merely a cease-fire or an absence of war like one might think; rather, it encompasses other English words like “completeness,” “prosperity,” “soundness,” and “wellness.” We should understand it as a complete restoration of relationship, not just with our enemy, but with all other relationships that humans encounter in the world: with God, with others, with creation, and with self. In shalom, there is no room for oppression, exploitation, abuse, injustice, hatred, self-hatred, or conflict.
There are different theories on how one establishes peace. Some might be tempted to follow the Latin adage Si vis pacem,para bellum which translates, “If you want peace, prepare for war.” For the person of faith, however, Pope Paul VI echoed biblical tradition and the meaning of shalom best in 1972 when he said, “If you want peace, work for justice.”
If that’s not a cool enough reason to name a blog “Baqash Shalom,” then how about the fact that my phone auto corrects it to “Badass Sharon”?
For more information on the biblical theme of peace and how it is best expressed in Christian communities, check out Walter Brueggemann’s book on peace. Most of it is available for you to enjoy on google books.