Is there an inyan to greet a Jew with ‘good morning’ or good eve’ rather than just ‘hello’ , since the former is imparting a ‘bracha.’ Regarding the ‘velt,’ I heard that ‘hello’ (of course in friendly fashion) is sufficient and even encouraged.

Answer:

There is an inyan to greet with “good morning,” for, as you write, this implies a blessing, which is superior to “hello,” which is pretty meaningless. However, even better than “good morning” is Shalom, which is the best of Jewish greetings, because it is a name of Hashem, and implies not only a blessing of “peace,” but also expresses the inherent harmony of the Jewish people (Shalom means “complete,” as in the word shalem; when one Jew tells another Shalom, he states that every Jew’s Shalom depends on the other’s). The greeting Shalom can be used for non-Jews (in Israel; outside Israel it might sound a little strange), but should not be doubled (Shalom, Shalom). The fact that Shalom (once) can be used for non-Jews indicates that “good morning” and similar greetings are also fine, though “hello” is of course also fine, and the main thing is to act with courtesy and good manner.

Sources: See Gittin 62a; Rambam, Melachim 10:12; Tur, Yoreh De’ah 148.

Tags: minhagim (customs)

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