I have professional contacts who are practicing/observant Jews. I am not Jewish. Is it improper/bad taste if I say to them "Shabbat Shalom" on Fridays?

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    Not exactly a duplicate of judaism.stackexchange.com/q/132451 , but it's close. The accepted answer there is definitely relevant here.
    – msh210
    Commented Oct 1, 2023 at 18:41
  • I don't know if there's any black and white answer. But it can get awkward at times if it's unclear whether the greeter is Jewish and what type of response they're expecting.
    – shmosel
    Commented Oct 2, 2023 at 3:20
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    Good question, but the title and body of the question ask the same question in exactly the opposite way. This can lead to misinterpretation of answers. Commented Oct 2, 2023 at 9:46

2 Answers 2


Absolutely no problem. We frequently hear this kind of thing and recognize the greeter as someone who has noticed our Jewish-ness and is showing us respect in our own way. We walk away smiling from those encounters and tell a friend.

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    This answer represents one user's opinion. Some of us Jews do find it weird and don't smile afterwards.
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 2, 2023 at 14:41
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    I 100% agree with this answer. I have been greeted this way on Friday afternoons by non-Jewish taxi drivers and in email from non-Jewish Toastmasters (I asked him later whether he was Jewish since I didn't think he was, and he answered he was just trying to be nice, and I genuinely appreciated it), among others. Commented Oct 2, 2023 at 20:08
  • @DoubleAA - I'd have to wonder about why that is. I'd imagine you wouldn't care about a "Happy Chanukkah," right? So is it just because Shabbat feels too common, too mundane compared to Chanukkah, so it seems strange to give well-wishes for something so ordinary, outside of a religious context like a synagogue? Because of course, in terms of halacha, Shabbat is definitely at least as important.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Oct 2, 2023 at 21:39
  • @Obie Would you walk up to a random black person and say "Wassup my homie"? Or a random east Asian looking person and say "Ching chang chong"? Some Jews want to be treated like anyone else and not have to deal with semi-antisemitic stereotypes just because they are wearing a kippah. We're not here to judge people's reactions, just ensure that people who get to this page aren't confused by some commenters into thinking both kinds of Jews aren't out there.
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 1:17
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Oct 3, 2023 at 1:34

It might depend on the context, but in general, I wouldn't recommend it.

On a related note, there are times where non-Jews that recognize me as Jewish attempt to greet me with "שלום!". Although they're just trying to be friendly, they don't understand that "good morning" etc., would be more appropriate.

  • Just say "sorry I don't speak Hebrew" :D
    – shmosel
    Commented Oct 2, 2023 at 22:30

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