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Shaking Hands


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#101 Halevi

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 12:13 PM

Please cite me another case where the Chazon Ish says yehoreg etc. but doesn't mean it seriously.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Presumably when he says it's yehareg v'al yaavor to learn in a mizrachi kollel he doesn't mean that if I put a gun to your head and tell you to learn gemara in merkaz harav that you're better off dead.

Maybe you think he does mean that... but I kind of doubt it. Either way, he may really mean it here, but since he uses the term fairly frequently it's hard to tell.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Where does he say that about a mizrachi kolel?

#102 skrat

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 12:14 PM

OK, I just installed Hebrew on my new windows for this occasion.

The poskim rule that shaking hands is considered touching in an intimate manner, and is therefore prohibited min hatorah. Thus a person is required to sacrifice his life rather than violate this halacha, as has been previously stated.
It has been rumored that Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, zt'l, ruled that it is permissible for men and women to shake hands.  Nothing could be further from the truth! in his responsa, he agonized over this unacceptable practice and repeatedly stated that it is forbidden and infringes on giluy arayos.


זה לשונו של הגאון רבי ישראל קניבסקי זצ''ל בספרו קריינא דאדרתא (ח''א מכתב קס''ב): אין ספק כי הוא איסור גמור דכל קריבה לערוה אסורה, ולהרמב''ם ז''ל בספר המצוות (מל''ת שנ''ג) והסמ''ג הוא ל''ת מדאורייתא, והרמב''ן ז''ל בהשגותיו הוא מדרבנן, ועכ''פ אין בזה שום היתר, ומי הוא זה שיאמר זכיתי למדרגת רב שמואל בר יצחק או מדרגת עולא, ואומרים בשם מר''ן החזו''א שאמר שזהו בדין יהרג ועל יעבר ככל אביזרייהו דעריות, עכ''ל, וכתב עוד שם: ומה שכתבת דכי אשה מגישה מקודם איכא בזה משום מלבין ברבים אם לא יתן, חס ושלום לומר כן, דאפילו ודאי תתבייש ברבים אין בזה שום צד היתר במה שהאחד יתבייש מחמת מניעת עבירה.... עכ''ל.

ושמעתי שישנם האומרים בשם הגאון רבי משה פיינשטיין זצ''ל שהתיר, וח''ו לומר כן, ואדרבה הרי כתב  מפורש כמה פעמים בתשובותיו שזהו איסור גמור, ולדוגמא ראה בשו''ת אגרות משה חלק אה''ע ח''א סימן נ''ו בסופו שכתב במפורש שאין לסמוך על המקילין, ובשו''ת אגרות משה חאו''ח ח''א די' קי''ג כתב וז''ל: "להושיט יד לאשה כדרך הנותנים שלום בהפגשם, פשוט שאסור אף לפנוי' שהרי הן נדות וכל שכן אשת איש, עיי''ש.
Phew!
Thank you

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

R' Moshe's position is very unclear. there are a number of sources where he talks about shaking hands (see EH 2:14) and indicates it might not be assur and other places like the ones you quoted where he finds it much more problematic. he does bring down sources that would permit shaking hands which are in line with a shita brought down by therema and he does differentiate b/w "l'hosheet yado" -where's initiating the handshake - and where the opposite gender initiates it. to say r' moshe held shaking hands which isn't b'derech chiba is brodering on giliu arayos is inaccurate

#103 brianna

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 12:20 PM

Likening shaking hands to gilui arayos is a little extreme.
Certainly there is no shortage of married, left-wing harlots who do not cover their hair. Although, they're probably busy sacrificing their children to Ba‛al and filing divorce papers. ~ Milton

"Are you including as shomer negiya someone who is sleeping with his girlfriend but not shaking hands with the car dealer?" ~ Moshi

"Some people like their corn flakes soggy, other people get off on repression and guilt." ~ Sweet

Notice of New Policy: I now ask people permission before using their quotes.

#104 Guest_melech_*

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 12:48 PM

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#105 Halevi

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 01:23 PM

OK, I just installed Hebrew on my new windows for this occasion.

The poskim rule that shaking hands is considered touching in an intimate manner, and is therefore prohibited min hatorah. Thus a person is required to sacrifice his life rather than violate this halacha, as has been previously stated.
It has been rumored that Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, zt'l, ruled that it is permissible for men and women to shake hands.  Nothing could be further from the truth! in his responsa, he agonized over this unacceptable practice and repeatedly stated that it is forbidden and infringes on giluy arayos.


זה לשונו של הגאון רבי ישראל קניבסקי זצ''ל בספרו קריינא דאדרתא (ח''א מכתב קס''ב): אין ספק כי הוא איסור גמור דכל קריבה לערוה אסורה, ולהרמב''ם ז''ל בספר המצוות (מל''ת שנ''ג) והסמ''ג הוא ל''ת מדאורייתא, והרמב''ן ז''ל בהשגותיו הוא מדרבנן, ועכ''פ אין בזה שום היתר, ומי הוא זה שיאמר זכיתי למדרגת רב שמואל בר יצחק או מדרגת עולא, ואומרים בשם מר''ן החזו''א שאמר שזהו בדין יהרג ועל יעבר ככל אביזרייהו דעריות, עכ''ל, וכתב עוד שם: ומה שכתבת דכי אשה מגישה מקודם איכא בזה משום מלבין ברבים אם לא יתן, חס ושלום לומר כן, דאפילו ודאי תתבייש ברבים אין בזה שום צד היתר במה שהאחד יתבייש מחמת מניעת עבירה.... עכ''ל.

ושמעתי שישנם האומרים בשם הגאון רבי משה פיינשטיין זצ''ל שהתיר, וח''ו לומר כן, ואדרבה הרי כתב  מפורש כמה פעמים בתשובותיו שזהו איסור גמור, ולדוגמא ראה בשו''ת אגרות משה חלק אה''ע ח''א סימן נ''ו בסופו שכתב במפורש שאין לסמוך על המקילין, ובשו''ת אגרות משה חאו''ח ח''א די' קי''ג כתב וז''ל: "להושיט יד לאשה כדרך הנותנים שלום בהפגשם, פשוט שאסור אף לפנוי' שהרי הן נדות וכל שכן אשת איש, עיי''ש.
Phew!
Thank you

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's it? The Chazon Ish wrote a lot. It's nowhere in any of his seforim, just people heard him say it? You'd think a yehareig v'al ya'avor would be included in one of his many many seforim.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If I could offer another translation of this passage:
This is the language of R. Yisrael Kanievsky zatza"l... "There is no doubt that it is absolutely forbidden since any approach [the meaning is touching] to an ervah [effectively any woman not your spouse] is forbidden. According to the Rambam... this is a torah prohibition. Even according to the Ramban in his glosses for whom the prohibition is rabbinic, there is no room for leniency even for someone who holds himself to be on the level of R. Shmuel bar Yitzchak [the reference is to Ketubot 17a] ... It is said in the name of the Chazon Ish zatzal that it [I am assuming that 'it' refers to shaking hands, but there is nothing in this quotation that actually says that's what they're talking aoubt] is in the category of yehareig ve'al ya'avor as is everything pertaining to arayot." It is also written there: "What you have written that were a woman to extend her hand first there is an issue of public embarassment if one were not to return the gesture, chas ve-shalom to say such a thing, for even if she were to be definitely embarassed there is still no room for leniency on account of someone being embarassed as a result of reluctance to violate a prohibition."

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The Chazon Ish told R' Moshe Shternbuch this psak of yehoreg etc. and he published it. Melech, can you be so kind as to translate for everyone what R' Shternbuch writes about the background of this pesak. It's published in Moadim U'zmanim (chelek #4, siman 316, in the footnote).

#106 Halevi

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 01:29 PM

Some sources:

The rishonim are split on non derech chiba negiah. The Rambam holds it's assur m'drabannan, but we do not pasken that way. The Rama implies that we do indeed pasken that way, and we normally follow the Rama, but if you read Rav Moshe's Teshuva about riding in a crowded bus you will see that the achronim almost categorically reject that view.

The question which remains is whether handshaking is derech chiba. A lot has been written connecting handshaking to the practice of kissing a cheek on meeting which was apparently similar to our hansdshake and which the baalei tosafos denounce. However, there is an obvious difference between a kiss and a handshake, especially as it is unclear if the kiss was done between men too or only davka when meeting a woman. Regardless, it should also be pointed out that women today are much more involved in "non derech chiba" activities, and it's possible the metzius is entirely different, as the entire concept of derech chiba is inherently a cultural distinction.

Contemporary sources:

The Chazon ish does say it's yehoreg v'al yaavor. However, to be fair he says that about pretty much everything, and he doesn't usually seem to mean it literally. Maybe here he does. There's a book called "9 to 5" which makes the case that it's assur across the board, based mostly on the chazon ish. That chapter is somewhat convincing but if you read the rest of the book, which is mamash ridiculous, it's hard to take anything he writes seriously (for example he claims it's categorically assur to work in a company that employs non-Jewish women.)

Rav Moshe says that shaking hands appears assur, and yet many prominent people seem to think it's ok, so he's hesitant to say it's completely assur.

Back when the ethicist thing came out, Rav Willig gave a mussar shmooze on the subject. He basically trashed the ethicist and said our ethics are eternal, and yet I am fairly certain he allows non-chiba shaking. I think his point was more that halacha isn't always polite, rather than the specific case.

Rav Schachter - conflicting reports. A friend of mine saw him shake a woman's hand in the bank, and on being asked about it he explained that it wasn't possible to explain and wasn't derech chiba and he'll probably never even see her again. I have heard similar statements from him. I have also heard from him that it should be avoided if possible to do so in a polite way, which seems fair. He seems to tailor the answer to the questioner (actually he does that a lot) so it's sometimes hard to figure out what he precisely holds, but from the first story (which I can vouch to its authenticity, since my chavrusa was there, although that doesn't help the rest of you) I would imagine he's on the more lenient side.

Rav Blau definitely holds it's ok if not derech chiba. The same goes for most of the major MO rabbis, although a lot of them try to avoid it if possible (which is a reasonable response).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What do you mean by your comment that R' Shacter tailors his answers to his questioners? It doesn't sound too praisworthy to me, so I just want to make sure I understood you properly.

#107 Guest_melech_*

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 01:35 PM

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#108 Guest_melech_*

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 01:42 PM

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#109 Halevi

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 03:57 PM

What do you mean by your comment that R' Shacter tailors his answers to his questioners? It doesn't sound too praisworthy to me,

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's not OK? I thought they all did that which is (one of the reasons) why you can't hear about what a rabbi said to your friend and assume the same psak is applicable to you without asking the rabbi yourself.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

As far as I've seen and heard from and about poskim one would not use that phrase. It sounded to me (and tell me if I'm wrong) that if let's say the question about shaking hands is asked to him then he'll look at you and size up your religous level, and accordingly answer what he thinks you could or should do accordingly. There are poskim, such as R' Elyashiv, who answer exactly according to the phrasing of your question, which could also be misleading. For example, if you ask about a certain point if it's permitted, he can answer "yes"; if someone else asks him should one be machmir he'll also answer "yes", but he won't volunteer that information to the first one since he wasn't asked about that point.
I was also disturbed by your point since another talmid mentioned to me that at times R' S. could be in a light mood and answer in a joking manner, but the listener will take him seriously.

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Posted 20 December 2004 - 04:22 PM

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#111 Resurgence

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 06:26 AM

OK, I just installed Hebrew on my new windows for this occasion.

The poskim rule that shaking hands is considered touching in an intimate manner, and is therefore prohibited min hatorah. Thus a person is required to sacrifice his life rather than violate this halacha, as has been previously stated.
It has been rumored that Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, zt'l, ruled that it is permissible for men and women to shake hands.  Nothing could be further from the truth! in his responsa, he agonized over this unacceptable practice and repeatedly stated that it is forbidden and infringes on giluy arayos.


זה לשונו של הגאון רבי ישראל קניבסקי זצ''ל בספרו קריינא דאדרתא (ח''א מכתב קס''ב): אין ספק כי הוא איסור גמור דכל קריבה לערוה אסורה, ולהרמב''ם ז''ל בספר המצוות (מל''ת שנ''ג) והסמ''ג הוא ל''ת מדאורייתא, והרמב''ן ז''ל בהשגותיו הוא מדרבנן, ועכ''פ אין בזה שום היתר, ומי הוא זה שיאמר זכיתי למדרגת רב שמואל בר יצחק או מדרגת עולא, ואומרים בשם מר''ן החזו''א שאמר שזהו בדין יהרג ועל יעבר ככל אביזרייהו דעריות, עכ''ל, וכתב עוד שם: ומה שכתבת דכי אשה מגישה מקודם איכא בזה משום מלבין ברבים אם לא יתן, חס ושלום לומר כן, דאפילו ודאי תתבייש ברבים אין בזה שום צד היתר במה שהאחד יתבייש מחמת מניעת עבירה.... עכ''ל.

ושמעתי שישנם האומרים בשם הגאון רבי משה פיינשטיין זצ''ל שהתיר, וח''ו לומר כן, ואדרבה הרי כתב  מפורש כמה פעמים בתשובותיו שזהו איסור גמור, ולדוגמא ראה בשו''ת אגרות משה חלק אה''ע ח''א סימן נ''ו בסופו שכתב במפורש שאין לסמוך על המקילין, ובשו''ת אגרות משה חאו''ח ח''א די' קי''ג כתב וז''ל: "להושיט יד לאשה כדרך הנותנים שלום בהפגשם, פשוט שאסור אף לפנוי' שהרי הן נדות וכל שכן אשת איש, עיי''ש.
Phew!
Thank you

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R' Moshe's position is very unclear. there are a number of sources where he talks about shaking hands (see EH 2:14) and indicates it might not be assur and other places like the ones you quoted where he finds it much more problematic. he does bring down sources that would permit shaking hands which are in line with a shita brought down by therema and he does differentiate b/w "l'hosheet yado" -where's initiating the handshake - and where the opposite gender initiates it. to say r' moshe held shaking hands which isn't b'derech chiba is brodering on giliu arayos is inaccurate

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I do not have a Hebrew font installed on this computer, and therefore must transliterate . I hope to be forgiven.

In Igros Moshe, siman yud daled, 'B'inyan halicha b'subway v'b'busses b'sha'ah she'ee efshar lisaher m'negiah u'dechifa b'nashim mitzad hadochek,' R' Moshe actually does not give a psak for shaking hands.
The questioner states that many God fearing people will shake a woman's hand if she sticks out her hand, since this is not 'derech chiba.' R' Moshe says, 'kashe l'smoch al zeh.' In other words, he refrains from giving a psak one way or the other.

Other poskim hold that one can rely on the Ramban's opinion that hilchot negiah are d'rabanan, and therefore if someone offers his or her hand and not to take it would make you 'over' on being 'malbin p'nei chaveiro b'rabim,' a very serious offense, then one would be allowed to shake hands.

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 06:30 AM

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#113 Resurgence

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 06:37 AM


The Chazon Ish told R' Moshe Shternbuch this psak of yehoreg etc. and he published it. Melech, can you be so kind as to translate for everyone what R' Shternbuch writes about the background of this pesak. It's published in Moadim U'zmanim (chelek #4, siman 316, in the footnote).

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My pleasure, but I have guests staying where my seforim are. Bli neder for Tuesday.

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One rabbi from outside Israel wrote to me regarding what is common for there .....cut for space..... When one can not adopt except in the manner described, they are acts of charity and benevolence which are the true lasting legacy for man!

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I actually just learned that in such a situation, the premise of 'esther karka olam' can apply, and therefore, if it will cause extreme shalom bayit problems, one can be 'maykil' and remain passive if a family member (ie: uncle, adoptive parent, etc) gives you a hug. I do not know the source for that though, I am still trying to find out.

Edited by Nechama, 21 December 2004 - 10:32 PM.


#114 Halevi

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 12:16 PM


The Chazon Ish told R' Moshe Shternbuch this psak of yehoreg etc. and he published it. Melech, can you be so kind as to translate for everyone what R' Shternbuch writes about the background of this pesak. It's published in Moadim U'zmanim (chelek #4, siman 316, in the footnote).

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My pleasure, but I have guests staying where my seforim are. Bli neder for Tuesday.

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Ale"ph) One rabbi from outside Israel wrote to me regarding what is common there .......
(cut for space) they are acts of charity and benevolence which are the true lasting legacy for man!

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Thank you, Melech.

Edited by Nechama, 21 December 2004 - 10:31 PM.


#115 grend123

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 04:19 PM

There's a great difference between that p'sak and shaking hands. One could make a VERY strong argument about libo ga's bah for a woman who raised him as his mother - they are too close to presume any touching is non-chiba. What does this have to do at all with shaking the hand of the loan officer in the bank?

As to Rav Schachter's tailoring, I didn't mean it in a bad way, just that you can't always assume that what he says in a given case is the bottom line halacha. That's probably true of most poskim; Rav Moshe says the same thing about himself.
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#116 skrat

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 04:33 PM

There's a great difference between that p'sak and shaking hands. One could make a VERY strong argument about libo ga's bah for a woman who raised him as his mother - they are too close to presume any touching is non-chiba. What does this have to do at all with shaking the hand of the loan officer in the bank?

As to Rav Schachter's tailoring, I didn't mean it in a bad way, just that you can't always assume that what he says in a given case is the bottom line halacha. That's probably true of most poskim; Rav Moshe says the same thing about himself.

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when the poskim talk about chiba it means erotic feelings are engendered as opposed to general affection. that's why the rashi in Kedushin 81b differentiates b/w chiba and mechavev.

#117 grend123

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 04:35 PM

There's a great difference between that p'sak and shaking hands. One could make a VERY strong argument about libo ga's bah for a woman who raised him as his mother - they are too close to presume any touching is non-chiba. What does this have to do at all with shaking the hand of the loan officer in the bank?

As to Rav Schachter's tailoring, I didn't mean it in a bad way, just that you can't always assume that what he says in a given case is the bottom line halacha. That's probably true of most poskim; Rav Moshe says the same thing about himself.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

when the poskim talk about chiba it means erotic feelings are engendered as opposed to general affection. that's why the rashi in Kedushin 81b differentiates b/w chiba and mechavev.

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Nevertheless, the difference is clear.
Klal Yisrael is lucky that I wasn't a Rishon.

Do not feed your grend. It will only encourage it.

Al chet that a polish nobleman from the 18th century would not feel comfortable in my closet.

#118 justajew

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 04:37 PM

quote=melech,Dec 21 2004, 05:30 AM]
The important thing is that he did not even want to extend his hand to her in greeting as they do since she is a married woman and not his mother.
I found that to be a very interesting line. Does that mean that he holds unmarried women are not forbidden?
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#119 skrat

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 04:39 PM

There's a great difference between that p'sak and shaking hands. One could make a VERY strong argument about libo ga's bah for a woman who raised him as his mother - they are too close to presume any touching is non-chiba. What does this have to do at all with shaking the hand of the loan officer in the bank?

As to Rav Schachter's tailoring, I didn't mean it in a bad way, just that you can't always assume that what he says in a given case is the bottom line halacha. That's probably true of most poskim; Rav Moshe says the same thing about himself.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

when the poskim talk about chiba it means erotic feelings are engendered as opposed to general affection. that's why the rashi in Kedushin 81b differentiates b/w chiba and mechavev.

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Nevertheless, the difference is clear.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

just b/c there's a difference doesn't automatically mean that there's a halachic diffference

#120 Guest_melech_*

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 09:12 AM

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