Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Good Morning

"If someone greets his friend before prayer, it is as if he built a forbidden altar outside the Temple and sacrificed on it. Even though we find that at times one is permitted to greet his friend, even in the middle of his prayers, Chazal forbid going up to someone specifically for this purpose, before first reciting Shacharis" (Berachos 14a). Why is greeting one's friend so terrible that it is compared to erecting an altar outside the Beis Hamikdash?

Making the effort to approach someone with a greeting is a way of giving honor. After waking up in the morning, our first act of honor should be directed toward Hashem. Even walking over to a friend in shul just to say hello is problematic (Mishnah Berurah 89,9).

If a person must speak with his friend for a different reason, e.g., he needs to borrow something before prayer, he is permitted to say good morning. In this instance, his greeting is not considered a special act of honor. He is just following normal etiquette that one practices when meeting a person.

Even in such circumstances, however, one should say good morning or some other expression of greeting, but should not use the word “shalom,” since in addition to meaning “hello,” it is also the Name of Hashem. It is improper to use the Divine name for a human being before mentioning it in tefillah (Mishnah Berurah 89,12). Just as a person may say good morning, he may shake his friend's hand or offer him another form of salutation (Responsa of Shevet HaLevi 10,15).

The Zohar writes, "A person should not bless his friend until he has prayed to the Almighty" (Balak 190b). Even if a person chooses to follow the directive of the Zohar, he should do so only if his friend will not feel slighted. In this light, if one sees a new face in shul, he may go up to welcome him to the minyan (Otzar Chaim).


Text Copyright © 2013 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 


ARTICLES ON MIKETZ AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

Bit By Bit
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Of Endings and Beginnings
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Build with Your Dreams
Shlomo Katz - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Divine or Not?
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Tightening the Hellenistic Screws: A History of Chanukah, Part I
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5774

The Inside Story Revealed
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

> Thanks for What?
Shlomo Katz - 5774

Oh Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Non Negotiable Part III
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

ArtScroll

Shehechiyanu in Bergen Belsen
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

How Yosef Got His Job
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Help From Heaven - To Forget
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Holy Eyes
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Dreamers and Doers
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Reading Between The Lines
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

Growing Forever
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information