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?

  • 2
    Not exactly a duplicate of judaism.stackexchange.com/q/132451 , but it's close. The accepted answer there is definitely relevant here.
    – msh210
    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
    Oct 2, 2023 at 3:20
  • 1
    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. 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
    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. 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
    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
    Oct 3, 2023 at 1:17
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – Obie 2.0
    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
    Oct 2, 2023 at 22:30

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