An older Jewish couple was flying to Hawaii for their second honeymoon in celebration of their 50th anniversary. The husband said to his wife, “I can’t wait to get to Havaya!”
His wife responded, “Moishe, it’s not ‘Havaya,’ it’s ‘Hawaya.’”
The husband thought a moment. Then he said, “Tell you what…when we land and the pretty lady comes to the airplane to place a lay around my neck, I’ll ask her how to pronounce it.” The wife agreed.
Hours later, the plane landed in Honolulu and the couple walked down the stairs to the tarmac. As anticipated, they were greeted by a beautiful Hawaiian woman who placed lays on their shoulders. The husband asked the young woman, “Tell me somethingk…my wife, Sadie, and I have been arguing over this for hours. Do you pronounce it Hawaya or Havaya?”
The young lady answered without hesitation, “Why, it’s Havaya.”
“A-chahhh!” cried Moishe, “I told you!” Then he turned to the beautiful young lady and said, “Thank you.”
To this, she replied, “You’re velcome!”
* * *
If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, you know that the Hawaiian culture places great emphasis on Aloha. Aloha is a spirit that is difficult to express in words because it has several meanings and can adapt to many circumstances. But one thing you learn quickly, and carry with you through the rest of your life, is the sense that Aloha is more than a word. Aloha is a state of mind.
In the utilitarian sense, the Hebrew word “Shalom” has multiple meanings, as well. It means “hello.” It means “goodbye.” And it means "peace.” Because of the interesting multipurpose nature of this word, you literally cannot wish someone hello in Hebrew without also wishing peace on them. Likewise, you can never part ways without wishing peace.
The word shalom had its origins in biblical times, when the ancient Hebrews were nomadic, desert-dwelling people. Life was difficult in the desert. The Hebrews were ensconced in desolation, left to eek out meager existences. Conditions were harsh. From that hardship arose an unwritten code that demanded people extend the utmost of hospitality. Sometimes the compassionate, outstretched arm of a complete stranger could mean the difference between life and death. And if I help you today, you may be in a position to help me tomorrow. As a result, people of the desert even in modern times open their tents to one another out of a culture of empathy.
The word shalom was forged against this backdrop, with its harsh conditions but its sustaining hospitality. The word shalom was uttered among strangers who by necessity developed a bond of trust and care for one another. Shalom is an oasis. Shalom is a state of mind.
Shalom is at the core of Single Cask Nation. We welcome all people to our ranks. While not necessarily a desert, life has its difficult moments and daily stresses. When you arrive home at night after a tough day at the office, and it’s time to unwind, there is no better way to seek your peace than to pour a fine dram and allow the spirit of shalom to relax you. Log on to the Nation website and join us in a purely aesthetic pursuit.
The spirit of shalom will always be a part of our Nation. We welcome you and hope you feel at home. Aloha. Shalom. L’chaim. Slainte. Cheers.
Shalom is a state of mind.