אמרו עליו על ריב"ז שלא הקדימו אדם שלום מעולם ואפילו נכרי בשוק
It was said of Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai that no one ever preceded him in a greeting, even a stranger in the marketplace.
It is common sense and derekh eretz
(politeness) that people would greet each other when they meet, after
being away from one another, or when they depart from each other. That
is what we do with our coworkers and friendsת even though we see them
When we leave home we should always say goodbye to the
other members of our family, including very young children. This is
beyond a matter of basic respect. For infants and little kids, knowing
that mom and dad are home, unless they said "goodbye", builds trust and
reinforce their self esteem. Mom and dad are here unless they let me
know that they are leaving. No fear of abandonment.
In the case
of older children, if we don't let them know when we are leaving the
house, they might be finding themselves talking to a person that was
there, but who has just disappeared. Moreover, if we behave in this way,
our children will learn to follow. Perhaps then when our children get
independent and drive, they would think that they can just leave without
giving notice, especially when they are at the age where they don't
need to ask permission to go to certain places. We must teach them that
they need to let us know they are leaving the house and when are they
coming back. All this will happen if they learn to say "goodbye".
when we come home to our family, we should let our loved ones know that
we are back. And It goes both ways. Those who are at home should
acknowledge the presence of the person who just arrived saying: "Hi!
Hello! How are you? or How was your day!" This is especially important
when parents arrive. Jewish children are commanded to respect their
parents. They should stop their activities and come and greet the parent
that just arrived. When the kids are young, each parent models this
behavior when the other parent arrives. Mom or dad should say:
"Everybody come here! Look who has just arrived! Let's all give dad (or
mom) a big hug!!"
our modern society, where children are connected basically to
electronic devices, these gestures of love and respect are more
important than eve.
Regaining awareness of what it means
to be a family might begin by knowing and showing that it matters a lot
if you are home or if you are absent. Don't abstain from saying "Have a
great day! I love you! I missed you!".
We should learn from Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai to be always the first to greet others. Showing those we love that their presence does make a difference.