Rav Avigdor Miller on Gender-Based Greetings

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Q:
The Rav spoke tonight about becoming great through greeting our fellow Jews with a “seiver panim yafos.” (Should a woman also greet a man with “seiver panim yafos”?)

A:
The answer is that men should greet men and women should greet women. If a man sees a woman that he knows, he should be polite but he shouldn’t go out of his way to make a very pleasant smile. “Li’hisrachek min ha’nashim,” is an ideal. Keep away from women. And women keep away from men. It’s a klal gadol ba’torah. No use starting up with nature. It will only get you in trouble.

Hakodosh Boruch Hu says that we should love all Jews. And we should! But men should show their love for men and women should show their love for women. Men should be polite to women. And women should be polite to men. No question about it! But to show love? To go out of your way to make a pleasant smile? Only men to men and women to women.

In our hearts we love all frum Jews. And that’s because Hakodosh Boruch Hu loves all frum Jews. Hakodosh Boruch Hu says, “They are my sons and my daughters.” Hashem calls us “banav u’vinosav” – “his sons and his daughters.” (Devarim 32-19) Hashem loves all of us. And a bas Yisroel is no less beloved than a ben Yisroel. No question about it.

But we have to know that there is a certain geder of aloof politeness and tznius that we follow. Common sense says, don’t mix. Don’t mix! And you should know that people who think that they can get away with it, sometimes discover, chalilah, what happens as a result.

                  TAPE #E-225