6 Pray for the well-being of Yerushalayim; “May those who love you be at peace.
sha-a-LU sh’-LOM y’-ru-sha-LA-im yish-LA-yu o-ha-VA-yikh
ו שַׁאֲלוּ שְׁלוֹם יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם יִשְׁלָיוּ אֹהֲבָיִךְ׃
122:6 Pray for the well-being of Yerushalayim
This psalm starts with the words sha’alu sh’lom Yerushalayim, ‘Pray for the well-being of Yerushalayim.’ Shalom (שלום), translated here as ‘well-being,’ is the first Hebrew word many people learn. It actually has three meanings: ‘hello,’ ‘goodbye’ and ‘peace.’ It is the word with which friends greet one another, but shalom is more than a greeting; it is also a blessing. Peace is the most important gift we can ask from Hashem, on an individual level, as families, and between nations. It is therefore of utmost significance that the world’s holiest city, Yerushalayim (ירושלים), has the word shalom at its core, because it is meant to be the source of all peace on earth. King David exhorts “Pray for the well-being of Yerushalayim,” for when Yerushalayim is confronted with conflict, the whole world suffers. Conversely, though, when Yerushalayim is at peace, the entire world enjoys serenity.