A mitzvah for an aveira? or at someone else’s expense?

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  • #626772

    I once heard someone speak about having to shake hands with someone of the oposite gender. A point that needs to be made- do not expect that the unaffiliated Jew or Goy will immidiatly refrain from doing business with you or feel insulted. There was this lady (I know who it was so it is confirmed) who was opening a bank account. When finished, the teller (male) stuck out his hand to shake. She quickly replied, “I am an ultra-Orthodox Jew (so those who do shake hands are not looked at as not following the “laws”… she is just seen as “ultra”) and we do not shake hands or touch people of the opposite gender who are not closely related. Let’s do like they do in Japan and bow… they nodded heads and it was ok halachically (her husband is a rav) and no feelings were hurt! The teller understood and was willing to do something, “universal” and “multi-cultural”. No one wants to be seen as racist or discriminatory… so they would do it for the Japanese and follow their style of conducting business! Try something different and dont assume that it wont work.

    #626773

    feivel
    Participant

    “I am an ultra-Orthodox Jew”

    such a pity she was forced to say that, instead of: “I am a Jew”

    #626774

    anon for this
    Participant

    havesomeseichel,

    That is a great story. But I think the situation is a little different than the one most employees face. The lady in your anecdote was the customer, so even if the teller thought her request odd, he would tend to agree for fear of losing her business. An employee meeting new colleagues, superiors, or customers/ potential customers should be concerned about making a good impression.

    #626775

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    has anyone else discussed this with their Rabbi besides for me? Just curious. I have an actual psak, but some of you are going by “feelings.”

    I haven’t directly discussed it with my rav, but he brought the matter up in shul at a seudah sh’lishis. Bottom line* — since this is the cultural norm in today’s society and completely not derech chibah, it’s not a problem.

    The Wolf

    * Don’t like it? Then discuss with your own rav. YMMV.

    #626776

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Wolf, I LOVE the usage of YMMV!

    #626777

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Thanks. Not everyone will of course. YMMV.

    The Wolf

    #626778

    oomis
    Participant

    My rov said mipnei darchei sholom, not to insult or embarrass another person by refusing to shake hands. Just do it quickly, firmly, and that’s is the end of it. Keep it businesslike, and don’t extend your hand first.

    Also, I thought the inyan is that a man should not walk between two women, not vice versa. Can someone enlighten us?

    #626779

    Bais Yaakov maydel
    Participant

    SJSinNYC: not as a sarcastic comment, but i really would like to know who your rabbi is.

    btw, many men respect women for upholding their religious beliefs. just politely say i dont shake mens hands for religious purposes (as hard as it may sound, ppl are actually impressed). in no way do i want to start a whole machlokes thing here like ive read before, i just want to dispense useful advice in at least TRYING to avoid shaking mens hands, as your rabbi apparently allows it in your situation, and i do not want to diminish emunas chachamim here. a rabbi is a rabbi. you can pretend youre busy in getting s/t out of your bag/pocket or you can hold a glass of water or s/t.

    #626780

    oomis
    Participant

    “ppl are actually impressed.”

    No, many are not. I know this from experience. I will say that some NON-JEWS are more rsepctful of this idea than non-religious Jews are. But on balance, people int he business world expect to shake hands. it is a greeting, it connotes no chiba whatsoever, and is considered a polite gesture.

    #626781

    Bais Yaakov maydel
    Participant

    youre right, thats what i was implying, most non-Jews are respectful.

    however, just b/c it is accepted, expected and a polite gesture, it doesnt make it right/mutar.

    it is accepted among the non-Jewish world to drive on Saturday. Jews dont look to the derech hagoyim to decide how we conduct ourselves.

    BUT you did make a good point; i think that theres a fine line between being “me’ever layarden” like Avraham (him on one side, the world on the other) with regard to mitzvos, and s/t that will cause a chillul Hashem, which i dont think refusing to shake mens hands will cause.

    #626784

    favish
    Member

    OOMISS1105 see gemmorah hoirious 13b 7 lines from beg of widelines ‘loyavor bein shtai noshim, veisha lo yaveor bei snei anoshim’

    #626785

    favish
    Member

    oomiss1105…mipnei darkai sholom is no heter to be oiver an issur

    #626786

    blue shirt
    Participant

    I thought the words of Harav Chaim Berlin zt”l, son of the Netziv, in a tshuva from his sefer, (Nishmas Chaim, Sh’elos U’tshuvos Harav Chaim Berlin, tshuva #135, edited by Rav Yaakov Kosovsky Shachor)would be helpful in this discussion concerning shaking a woman’s hand:

    ???? ??? ?? ??? ????? ??? ?????? ?? ??????, ??? ???? ?? ??????? ??? ??? ????? ??? ?? ??? ??? ????? ?????? ?????????? ??????? ???. ???? ?? ???? ???? ??”? ??? ????? ?”? ?’ ????? ???? ???? ???? ???? ??? ?????? ??, ????? ??? ???? ????? ???? ??? ???”? ????? ???? ??? ?????? ?? ??? ????? ??? ????? ??? ???? ??? ????? ??? ????? ???? ???? ????. ???? ?? ???? ????? ??? ?? ???, ??? ?? ?? ???? ?? ????? ??? ???? ?? ?????? ?????? ?????? ?? ?? ??? ???? ???? ???? ????? ?”? ??? ?????? ???, ?????? ???? ????, ????? ?? ?’ ????? ???? ????? ???? ?”? ?’ ???? ?? ???? ????? ?? ???, ??? ????? ?? ???? ?’ ??? ??????? ????? ???? ??? ???.

    #626787

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Bais Yaakov Maydel – I hope you dont mind if I dont reveal my posek. I feel that given the amount of personal information doled out recently, this piece would be sort of like revealing the final piece. However, I can tell you that he is a mainstream modern orthodox rabbi.

    I do want to clarify something – his saying that I could extend my hand first was in cases where I was sort of required to be the initiator. For example, when I do recruiting, I often have to go over to people and introduce myself first. In cases like that I am allowed to do this. It wasnt a “go ahead and extend your hand when not neccesary.”

    Jent, if there is no chibah involved, many authorities agree that its not an assur. I think you are missing that point. So, if its what you need to do then its ok because its something we avoid but isnt assur.

    #626788

    intellegent
    Member

    Bais Yaakov maydel

    You crack me up. You sound like a real “Bais Yaakov maydel”!!

    LOL

    #626790

    Bais Yaakov maydel
    Participant

    Np. totally understand.

    thanks

    #626791

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    blue shirt , THANK YOU !!!

    For the uninitiated, Rav Chaim Berlin declares it is not an issur for a man to shake the hand of a woman in a social setting. One caveat- he writes- “nochris”- a gentile woman.i wonder if this has to do that there is no issur niddah with a gentile woman.On the other hand, he proves hsi point from a gemoro that clearly talaks about a Jewish woman.

    I love the ending of his teshuvo….

    #626793

    Bais Yaakov maydel
    Participant

    intellegent: i try, i try…e/t is true though im in a bais yaakov skwl (not officially, but we call oursleves a BY!) and i am a maydel 🙂

    lol. but im still trying to see the funnyness in my posts…which one? in what way?

    #626794

    Will Hill
    Participant

    I heard of a case where a simple cross gender handshake led to the greatest sin. I don’t need to be explicit.

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