What should the response of a frum girl be when a frum boy greets her on the street?
Her response should be a nod and that’s all. If it’s a person you know, you should acknowledge his greeting with a nod and keep on going. And if it’s a stranger, then act as if you didn’t even notice him.
Now, exactly how a girl should behave when it comes to greeting men deserves really more than a few minutes; it’s a complicated question. Because according to the Mishna if somebody greets you then you should respond with at least a smile: הוי מקבל את כל האדם בסבר פנים יפות – You have to greet everybody with a pleasant face. And so you’re expected to smile at people. However, that’s men with men and women with women. When it comes to men with women and women with men, it needs a peirush. It needs an explanation – it depends on the circumstances.
But just to answer the question briefly, then that’s enough. The girl should acknowledge the greeting – after all, a man that you know greeted you – acknowledge it and keep on going.
TAPE # 413 (July 1982)