When you can't greet people

Discussing what is the right thing to say, and the right way to act, in situations arising in a Torah environment.
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When you can't greet people

Postby Kira » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:54 am

On Tisha B'Av, one is not allowed to greet people, that is, you shouldn't say, "good morning". What happens if someone greets you? The Halacha deals with it explicitly: one should answer, but quietly and gravely.

Are there other ways of acknowledging a person's presence, without it being an outright greeting, that is still permissible? A brief wave? A nod?

-Kira
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Re: When you can't greet people

Postby martinbrody » Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:16 pm

Kira wrote:On Tisha B'Av, one is not allowed to greet people, that is, you shouldn't say, "good morning". What happens if someone greets you? The Halacha deals with it explicitly: one should answer, but quietly and gravely.

Are there other ways of acknowledging a person's presence, without it being an outright greeting, that is still permissible? A brief wave? A nod?

-Kira



I think what is not permitted is saying Shalom. If somebody who is not conversant with the restrictions with TB and say hi or whatever, derech eretz says one should respond. So hi with a brief smile back is perfectly fine.
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Re: When you can't greet people

Postby Sander » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:40 am

Here I describe my own custom, which is not necessarily correct.

If someone greets me on Tisha B'av, and it is clear to all that we are in mourning together, then I think it is ok not to reply to the greeting.
For example, in synagogue on the morning of Tisha B'av, then even of another greets me, I might choose not to reply, as it is clear that all are in mourning. Perhaps the other person greeted me from force of habit.

However, if I am walking on the street on 9'th of Av, or even in synagogue with a person that I know is not aware of the practice on 9'th of Av, then I use a good response "I wish you good health", or "I wish you long life". Why these responses?
#1.
Because it is my practice at a house of mourning, or upon hearing that someone is ill, or upon hearing that someone died, to respond "I wish you good health" or "I wish you long life". As that is my practice on those sad occasions, so this is my response on 9'th of Av in a situation where someone has greeted me.
#2.
I remember reading in kitzur shulchan aruch, that "I wish you good health" is acceptable greeting on all occasions.

Speaking of "when you can't greet people", I do not greet people before shacharit. And I do not greet people arriving at synagogue during services. After prayers finish, I look around and greet people.
Here is where I get in trouble. It is a practice in my synagogue, after getting an aliya, for the man so honored to go to the rabbi and shake hands. Also, as I return to my seat, people offer me their handshake and say "yasher koach". Yet the torah reading proceeds promptly, and all this hand shaking and yashering koach overlaps the next aliya, or the kaddish following the last aliyah.
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