Who was Shlomtzion?

September 1, 2011

3 min read


There is a street near the Jerusalem city hall named after Shlomtzion HaMalka. Do you know who she was? While the name suggests that she was a queen, I have not seen any references to her. I would appreciate any information that you could provide.

The Aish Rabbi Replies

Shlomtzion was the queen of Israel circa 100 BCE. She was a righteous woman whose brother was the famous Sage known as Shimon ben Shetach. In truth, her name was actually Shulamit, but she was called Shlomtzion (literally: "the peace of Zion") because the Jewish people loved her so much. She became the sole ruler of Israel after her husband died. This was a time of great peace and prosperity for the Jewish people.

The sources about Shlomtzion HaMalka are scattered throughout the Talmud and in the writings of Josephus. For a thorough treatment, I highly recommend the book "Echoes of Glory" by Rabbi Berel Wein (Shaar/ArtScroll).

The following beautiful story is from a book called "A Mother's Favorite Stories" (ArtScroll).

After the war in 1948, the government gave my father assistance to renovate a storefront in the area which was close to what is now Jerusalem City Hall. He was informed by the authorities that when the sign was painted, the address for the store should read “Princess Mary 15.”

My father came home that night, sat down at the small dinner table and said, “It's a shame to have such a name on the front of the shop. A street in the holy city of Jerusalem to be called Princess Mary! I won't have it. We are changing the name. As of right now, the address is Shlomzion HaMalka 15.”

We were accustomed to my father’s fierce love for Jerusalem and all things Jewish. No one questioned how he intended, single-handedly, to implement his decision. But he did, with my mother's help.

First, he instructed the painter to paint his address – the way he wanted it – in bold black letters. Second, every single time a letter arrived addressed to proprietor Princess Mary 15, he crossed it out and wrote, “Return to sender. Please use correct address.”

My mother would faithfully bring each and every one of these letters back to the post office. And, as everyone can see, his sincere love brought about a triumphant success. Very few people walking today on Shlomzion HaMalka know that the name was born from a heart of a fiery lover of Zion.

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