Oct 2015

This form of greeting is traditional among Jews throughout the world. It occurs six times in the Jerusalem Talmud. The greeting is more common amongst Ashkenazi Jews. Only the plural form עֲלֵיכֶם is used even when addressing one person. A religious explanation for this is that one greets both the body and the soul, but Hebrew does occasionally use the plural as a sign of respect (e.g. a name of God is Elohim אלוהים literally gods)....

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