The History of Shabbat Shalom

The beginnings of the journal SHABBAT SHALOM go back to the year 1954 when editor S.A. Kaplan founded THE SABBATH EXPONENT as a Seventh-day Adventist publication with the intention of bringing to its Jewish and Christian readers “messages of hope and love which were recorded by the Jewish Bible prophets for our guidance and comfort in such a time as this” (The Sabbath Exponent, p. 4, vol.1, no. 1, 1954).

In 1956 the title of the journal changed into ISRAELITE when W. E. Read took over as chairman of the editorial board. Between 1983 and 1985 the journal was titled THE NEW ISRAELITE.

Clifford Goldstein became the editor in 1984 and in 1986 the current name SHABBAT SHALOM was adapted with the goal of being “a journal of Jewish and Christian ethics and thought.”

Assuming the editorship in 1994 Jacques Doukhan addressed in his first issue the wish for peace (“Peace,” June 1994). The purpose of SHABBAT SHALOM was then defined as a journal “to promote a climate of respect, understanding and sharing between Jewish and Christian communities; not only for the exercise of love and appreciation of the other, but also for the discovery of truths and values which surpass the genius of both traditions.” Since then, “this is the hope dreamed for in the name of our journal, SHABBAT SHALOM: hope of reconciliation, hope of SHALOM, inspired and nurtured through a common reflection anchored in the experience of the SHABBAT.”

SHABBAT SHALOM featured significant and vital themes such as Hope, Family, The Sabbath, Suffering, Holocaust, The Jewish-Christian Dialogue, Israel and the Church, and Jewish Festivals. The journal published interviews with outstanding Jewish and Christian personalities such as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, Rabbi and Bible scholar Jacob Milgrom (University of California, Berkeley), Novelist Chaim Potok, Bible scholar Rolf Rendtorff, Theologian Hans Kung, and Rabbi Irving Greenberg; and it presents sections such as the Biblical Lesson, Hebrew Roots for Christianity, Sabbath Corner, Archaeology, News from Israel, Recent Books (related to each issue’s topic), and a beautiful Hebrew calligraphy on the back cover of each issue.

In Dr. Jacques B. Doukhan’s own words, “SHABBAT SHALOM is first of all a Sabbath greeting; it intends to wish the peace of the Sabbath to each other, out of the rest and the quietness of that day, free from the urge of consumption or the tension of production and competition. It also refreshes our memory, helping us to remember that God is our common Creator and Father, and that His intention for humankind was our peace and happiness. It is interesting and not without significance that the Jewish-Christian separation started around the memory of the Sabbath. Indeed, when Christians forged a new theology of“replacement,” the New Testament replacing the Old Testament, Grace replacing Law, and Sunday replacing Sabbath, the germs of dissension were planted, and paved the way to interfaith conflicts that have since opposed the two communities.

The mission and the dream of the journal SHABBAT SHALOM are to repair this breach and work on the Jewish-Christian reconciliation, the SHALOM, based precisely on the ground where it had been shattered, the SHABBAT. For us then, SHABBAT SHALOM is more than a mere greeting. These words carry our dream and our action to promote a new relationship between Jews and Christians. It is our hope that Jews and Christians will someday be drawn back to their common roots, will listen to each other, learn from each other, and eventually discover a new face of their common God, who transcends cultures and traditions, the God of Creation, the God of Peace and Love, the God of SHABBAT SHALOM. (Adapted from SHABBAT SHALOM, pp. 4-5, Vol. 53, No. 1, 2006)

From 1994 to 2009, when the journal ceased publication, the editorial offices were located at Andrews University in the Institute of Jewish-Christian Studies.

Indexed in Seventh-day Adventist Periodical Index.