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 NOACH:

View Complete List

Choosing Sides
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5771

The Sign of the Olive
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

It's All About Redemption Part II
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5766

> What Was Noach's Greatest Legacy?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

Who By Fire, Who By Water
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Intellectual Beliefs
Shlomo Katz - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Improving Our Own World
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5760

Understanding the Faith of Noach
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

Drowning in a Lack of Heaven
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5775

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Out of the Darkness
Shlomo Katz - 5773

The Seven Noachide Laws
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5769

One for the Birds
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

ArtScroll

The Name of HASHEM
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Beyond Youth
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

The World is a Symphony
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

Noach's Lessons for Our Day
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762



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