What does pacifism mean in Judaism?

Peace is a very important belief in Judaism. Jews will greet each other by saying "Shalom", which is a Hebrew word meaning peace and prosperity. It conveys the idea of contentment and wellbeing. Peace between man and God and between groups and individuals is of high value within Judaism and must be practised.

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The world endures on three things – justice, truth and peace.Ethics of the Fathers 1:18

Peace and justice are core Jewish values. Many Jews firmly believe that the vast majority of wars are wrong and that peace must always be sought before fighting. Most Jews look forward to a time of peace and harmony between all people. This passage from Isaiah suggests that conflicts must come to an end:

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It shall come to pass in the latter days…He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.Isaiah 2:2, 4

Although Judaism is not a pacifist religion, it does believe that peace is highly desirable. Most Jews will hope to limit or minimise conflict and violence but they accept that, given human nature and the situations which arise from time to time in the world, there will be occasions when violence and war may be justified.