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If your neighbor/coworker/etc. is a religious non-Jew and they do you a favor, is there a problem to say "thank you, God bless you?", assuming you think they'd appreciate hearing that?

  • Independent of the Jewish aspect, I can't see any problem in offering a generic "God" blessing to anyone other than a devout atheist. Would a Jew be offended by that expression if given by a Christian, Muslim, or Baháʼí? (Obviously the answer would be different if they say "Jesus".) – Ray Butterworth Jan 27 at 2:34
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I can't imagine it would be a problem.

Hashem blessed Avraham "והיה ברכה", which Rashi explains as "Blessings are given into your hand". That implies that we have the power (and responsibility) to disburse brochos. We also have a responsibility to educate the nations of the world about Hashem's existence, and this may be one way to do so.

Yaakov blessed Pharaoh when he came down to Egypt- and from that moment on the Nile rose to Pharaoh's feet whenever he approached it. I assume that your neighbor is a nicer guy than Phraoh ;)

You'll also see that various great rabbis throughout history blessed the gentiles that they encountered.

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    FTR, the Pharaoh that Yaakov blessed was a pretty benevolent one. – Isaac Moses Dec 15 '10 at 14:35
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Assuming that you're not Jewish (from the tags) then it would be fine and probably appreciated.

Jews try to avoid saying G-d's name in conversation, but according to some halachic opinions, saying it in English isn't problematic.

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I don't know if this a proof, but I thought that I'd share a related incident: When I went to get a blessing for a Jew from one of the most renowned English-speaking rabbis of our generation in Jerusalem, he asked for the person's name. I gave the name, and he said that the name wasn't Jewish, and that he wouldn't give a blessing to a non-Jew.

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    Given that the person to be blessed was a Jew, but the rabbi insisted otherwise, and giving the rabbi the benefit of the doubt, I guess the rabbi was objecting strongly to this Jew's having an apparently non-Jewish name, with said deficiency, rather than an incorrect assumption about the person's status, being the reason for withholding a blessing. In any event, I'd say that without knowing the identity of the rabbi and the particulars of the situation, we can't really derive from this story how normal people should behave toward non-Jews on a daily basis. – Isaac Moses Feb 28 '11 at 19:47
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Go ahead and say "G-d bless you" to anyone you feel you want to. No matter if your neighbour is jewish, non-jewish, idolater or faithful to Hashem. And say that whether he appreciates it or not. This is something that's coming from you. Would you hinder yourself from saying 'thank you' or 'good morning' to your neighbour because he is mysantropist and doesn't like to hear it? That's his problem. Another issue is when your neighbour is a bully and may insult you or hit you or throw cans of beer at you as they do where I live. In that case keep away from him. Nevertheless you must return to him and provide him assistance if a tragedy happens, such as an accident, ilness, poverty and he's in need.

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    A source - from classic Jewish sources - to your assertions would be helpful. – Danny Schoemann Jan 29 '17 at 13:02
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    There seems to be a lot of extra content in this post. I recommend you trim it down to just answer the question as asked. (And include sources, as @DannySchoemann mentioned.) – Scimonster Jan 30 '17 at 17:31

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