Saturday, November 8, 2008


A common Jewish practice is to say good Shabbos to someone who is also Jewish as they pass by. Many adhere to this idea while others do not. You may think this is as easy as pie. All you have to do is say "good Shabbos". Right?. Well its not. To be of Shabbos greeting etiquette, you should be within 2 street boxes away from the person coming towards you. If not it seems as if you're jumping out ahead and acting as if you know the guy. You only jump out ahead and act like you know the guy, if you really know the guy. For example, you scream across the street to someone "GOOD SHABBOS" and then cross to speak with them. In that case you can break the 2 box rule. Cases where you don't say good Shabbos are. When the persons head is turned the other way. If you do try you will be ignored. Saying good Shabbos to someone who is too close or passed you already is another thing you don't do. In most cases you do say good Shabbos so try to keep it simple and smooth don't rush it. There are times people don't say it back so don't be alarmed.

Some things you should know about the Shabbos greeting etiquette. When there are two people talking to each other don't interfere. If they are just walking together and not saying anything it is okay to do so. Many people are skeptical about saying it to a woman if they are a man or vice-a-verse. I do not have a problem and say good Shabbos to all. Now Saying good Shabbos to someone in Midwood should come with a warning label. Every other person doesn't have the decency to wish you a good Shabbos back. Once in a while will someone say it clearly enough to be heard while all the other times its just a murmur or nothing at all. One week I was in the country and so I was shocked to actually hear friendliness in everyone's voices.

Another category is Yom Tov. Do you say "gut yuntif" or "Chag Sameach" or even good Yom Tov? Personally I don't say good Yom Tov (who does?). I will say "gut yuntif" to a Jew with a black hat or streimel. To those that wear kippah sruga or are tzioni/Israeli its a Chag Sameach.

Now that you are a expert in Shabbos greeting etiquette. You can brag to your friends about all that you know and how low class they are or you can test it out on people. I'd go with the bragging.

8 people gave their 2 cents:

NotaGeek! said...

Another instance when not to say gut shabbos is in Boro Park to a chassid.

Mikeinmidwood said...

Be Optimistic

And why not?

Lion of Zion said...

yeah, why not?

mike, have you ever been to the suburbs?

Anonymous said...

I say a gud Shabbes and a freiliche n gut Yontif to the elderly people in my shul.
The small young crowd... especially the fat lady who makes a lot of lashon hara I greet with:
Vaksen zolstu vi a zwibele, mitn kop in der erd. lol. :-D

Mikeinmidwood said...

Lion O Zion

Yes I have

Esther Hadassah Blog

I understood the onion part in the yiddish but nothing.

MAK said...

Hey Mike, thanks for offering to take the troll off my hands, I appreciate it...though I'll probably have to try to find a way to get rid of it myself...anyways, I say good shabbos to anyone and everyone when I'm walking, regardless, and most of the time I get a good shabbos back.

Jacob Da Jew said...

Chussids will very rarely return greetings.

Mikeinmidwood said...


Youre welcome. You get a good shabbos back because you dont live in brooklyn.

J da J

Ive been told that.