Q. Someone is in quarantine together with his family. When making Birchas HaL’vono from his uncovered porch, can he satisfy the thrice-declaration of saying Shalom Aleichem by saying it to his wife and two daughters and receiving their reply? Or should he do without that part of the custom since one can anyway fulfill the Birchas haL’vono obligation without that part?
This question assumes one’s porch does not face the street where he could exchange such a greeting with the Jewish men passing there. It also assumes that there is not even one other man in the house, to which he could say it three times, as I believe was the custom in Worms, Germany when three separate men were unavailable.
A. On a similar question (2614) regarding when reciting Kiddush Levana, if you are by yourself as we mostly are in this (covid) crisis, if one can call a friend by phone and say Shalom Alechem to him or tell it to one’s wife.
We answered: “Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that under the circumstances you can greet Shalom Aleichem by phone in order to maintain the minhag. You may also greet your spouse, but you have to change the greeting to the feminine, Shalom Aleichen.”
The Rov now added that it is better to greet one’s wife or daughters than greeting another by phone.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a