Shabbat is not a burden, but a blessing. Gentiles are not allowed to observe Shabbat, can Jews say Shabbat Shalom to gentiles to tell them what they don't have?

  • Do non Jews also have to constantly be burning and sewing and cooking so as not to be observing Shabbat for even a moment?
    – Double AA
    Sep 26, 2017 at 13:01
  • 1
    Interesting question, can you explain what can bé wrong
    – kouty
    Sep 26, 2017 at 13:08
  • @kouty, I have edited question.
    – user15676
    Sep 26, 2017 at 13:11
  • Ok. I understand
    – kouty
    Sep 26, 2017 at 13:16
  • I have seen gentiles as guests in a sleep-over erew shabbat in a rabbi's house. What do you mean, "Gentiles are not allowed to observe Shabbat"?
    – ninamag
    Sep 26, 2017 at 13:22

2 Answers 2


There is no problem with the word "Shabat". However, the Gmara in Gitin (page 61) states that one says Shalom to a Gentile "to be in peace with them" ('משום דרכי שלו).

In Brachos (page 17) it is stated that one should always say Shalom to every person, including a Gentile in the market.

So it seems that the answer is a clear "yes".

However, there is a Machloikes between Rashi and Toisfois in Gitin (there). Rashi states the the Shalom that Rav Cahana said was not meant for the Gentile but for his Rav ("שלא היה מתכוון לברך את הגוי, אלא כוונתו היתה לברך את רבו"). And Toisfois says that it's hard to say such a thing since it is Gonev Daas ("צריך עיון שלא יהא בזה גונב דעת הבריות").

Furthermore, there is a machloikes of the Taz and the Bach on the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim, 61), if the word Shalom is considered Kdusha since it is one of Hashem's names. As a consequence, it would be forbidden to utter it the Beis HaMerchatz etc. And so the Bach tends to forbid saying Shalom with no Kdusha intent and the Taz tends to Lehakel, as when his friend's name is Shalom, in which case according to the Taz he can call him even in Beis HaMerchatz. It would seem that their Mechloikes may apply to saying Shabat Shalom to a Gentile. The Mishna Beruru says (there) that it is allowed from Divrai Sofrim, but "Yerei Shamayim" should abstain from saying Shalom in such cases.

  • "It would seem that their Mechloikes may apply to saying Shabat Shalom to a Gentile." I don't understand why it seems that way.
    – Double AA
    Sep 26, 2017 at 17:35
  • @DoubleAA I concur. You only address the concept of using the word "Shalom" in addressing a non-Jew, while the crux of the question is whether gentiles, being forbidden from observing Shabbos, should be addressed with a "Shabbat Shalom." Sep 27, 2017 at 18:38
  • @IsaacKotlicky - there is no problem with the word "Shabat" so I've only referenced "Shalom" and the debate the Poskim had on it. (edited the quetion opening according to your remark) Oct 3, 2017 at 8:14
  • @EinbertAlshtein so the possibility that we're encouraging someone to perform a capital crime through their observance of shabbos doesn't register for you? Oct 4, 2017 at 10:35

Why not? It's just silly because they aren't keeping Shabbat. Would you wish a Merry Xmas to a Jewish person sitting in a Chinese Restaurant on December 25th?

  • 1
    Saying "why not" is not really an answer, is it? Sep 26, 2017 at 17:26
  • @EinbertAlshtein Why not? :) Sep 27, 2017 at 18:36
  • I might say "shalom" but that's just the kind of person I am. I might say "Shalom" to a person eating alone in a restaurant on dec. 25, chinese, italian, kosher, whstever. Why not?
    – gamliela
    Oct 3, 2017 at 9:45
  • I wouldn't say Shabbat Shalom to remind a non jew of what they are missing. Why would anybody do that? maybe op is baiting.
    – gamliela
    Oct 3, 2017 at 13:32

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