Having walked around Brooklyn, I know that religious Jews never pay attention to others, and won't even reply to a friendly "hello" on the street. However, last year around this time it was even worse. I said "Hey, man" to someone and he started to boo! He even pulled out something that looked like a really fake gun and started waving it!

What did I do wrong that was so offenseful? How can I deal with religious Jews in a way that they will respond to??

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closed as off-topic by Monica Cellio Mar 14 '17 at 22:03

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  • 2
    You should try "Hey, guy" instead. – Scimonster Mar 6 '17 at 10:49
  • 2
    Maybe try "Moishe?" instead. Then, unless he IS Moishe, you can follow up with "Oh, sorry, thought you were Moishe..do you know Moishe?" And then he can respond with "Do I know Moishe!" and you two can have a grand old time the rest of the afternoon and become good friends...and maybe even meet Moishe! – Gary Mar 6 '17 at 14:03
  • 3
    No need to pick on the residents of New Square – Double AA Mar 6 '17 at 14:10
  • @DoubleAA I would think it would be an honor to be from the kehilla in question – SAH Mar 6 '17 at 14:27
  • 3
    @SAH How is it ever an honor to be accused of being rude?? – Double AA Mar 6 '17 at 15:51

I think it's rather obvious: he thought you were referring to that notorious villain from the Megillah, King Achashveirosh. The Talmud (Megillah 12b) says that Achashveirosh was previously a stable boy, and that religious Jew thought he heard you say "Hay man", clearly referencing that evil monarch's former profession. The fake gun waving was a symbolic fulfillment of the Talmudic dictum "If someone comes to kill you, you kill him first" - Achashveirosh tried to kill the Jews (initially), so we brandish firearms to defend oursleves from the fiendish machinations of that sinister ex-'hayman'.

  • This is great. jjjjj – SAH Mar 8 '17 at 4:36

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