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My husband shook hands with a woman
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amother




Powderblue


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 7:00 am
He won’t do it again after all this...

And he didn’t meant to do it / didn’t want to either. It just happened so fast not leaving any time to think.

Some people hold that it’s not the same as touching since it’s business related and if the hand stretched out is not taken to shake it can cause tremendous embarrassment and anger which we try to avoid.

Your dh is used to a stretched out hand to shake. Men do this all the time. It was a natural reaction to an outstretched hand. Crazy that it was a ladies hand.... he had no time to process that. Trust me, he feels bad. Don’t think he’s sliding away. He simply didn’t think and knows it was wrong and won’t do it again.
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amother




Plum


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 7:15 am
I don’t think I’m a klutz. I’ve been in business for many years & I really do know how to handle handshakes. And still I’ve been caught off guard & have encountered many awkward situations. For a man it’s much worse. Women become personally insulted & I’ve often stepped in to rescue my husband & son.
It’s really easy to sit & judge but it’s so unfair unless you’ve been in this situation & if it’s your first time you really don’t know what to do/say.
And then you feel like you messed up & have your spouse put you down & call you klutz!
I think a little understanding & compassion is called for. Tell DH it was a hard situation & come up with ways to avoid it in the future.
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1091




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 7:27 am
Mayflower wrote:
Some men, even chassidishe men, hold that it's worse to cause embarrassment to a woman by leaving her like a fool with her hand out than to shake her hand.

Since he doesn't even look at women, it was maybe the first time he was in this situation and on the spot he was unsure which route to take.

I work in a non Jewish business setting where not shaking hands would not really go over well.. B'h the situation doesn't present itself every day but when it does, I just shake hands.

Once I really messed up when a man came to our office to present himself to my colleagues and me. He shook hands with my (non-Jewish) colleagues and I automatically put my hand out... And then I saw he was wearing a kippah. He looked at me all surprised, I quickly put down my hand, but in the meantime he put out his hand, and we had the most awkward handshake ever. I felt like a klutz for days.

Your husband probably feels bad enough as it is, you really should not make him feel even worse.


This happened to me once when I was interviewing someone although I didn’t see his kippah until the end of the interview. And yes, I felt bad for putting him into that situation.

Usually I end up shaking everyone's hands and just nodding at the frum guy figuring no one else will notice.

Anyway to OP’s point, many many years ago while in college I explained to someone I don’t shake hands for religious reasons and he was offended. Now I don’t go out of my way to shake someone’s hands but I also don’t not shake hands when I walk into a room of people I will meet this once and never again. Pretty sure DH does the same but a kippah stands out way more than a wig to say hey I’m Jewish since non-Jews don’t automatically think wig if they didn’t have reason to know it was one.

One last point, ten or so years ago I was in Dubai for business and in walked two women dressed in traditional dress. No one asked to shake their hands. Mine they did. I asked afterwards and was explained that moslem women don’t shake hands and in an Arab country that is known and respected. I was clearly a Western woman. In a Western country, our society has no concept on the separation of the sexes and rightly or wrongly I don’t feel I need to educate everyone.
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amother




Cerulean


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 8:33 am
amother wrote:
Ok, I went to an OOT B.Y. (Baltimore) in the 80s and 90s, and the principal told us in 6th grade (prior to a government office school trip) that if an elected official would put out his hand for one of us to shake, we should do so, rather than embarrass him. Things may have changed since then in the school but I know back then at least they always went by any guidelines given by Rabbi Yaakov Kaminetzky....
....and that is still what I do.


Was this the picnic with the mayor? Funny that the principal didn't tell us that in the 70s. I don't remember him saying anything.
And I wonder if he would have said the same thing had it been high school who went on that trip.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 8:35 am
amother wrote:
People dont understand. I once heard a woman mutter "he wont touch my hand I guess he thinks im not kosher"


When the shoe's on the other foot, do men mutter, she won't touch my hand?
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PinkFridge




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 8:39 am
heidi wrote:
I was just about to post this.
In addition to the dean being Rav Yaakov's sil, the high school principal was an open minded learned brilliant and kind man. He was very frum but imho would never have embarrassed anyone.
I recently shook the hand that an Arab co-worker extended to me. I felt the possible repurcussions of him thinking I had spurned him for political reasons would be a bigger chillul Hashem than shaking his hand.
I don't extend my hand to anyone but do hold that it's not derech chiba and thus not worth embarrassing someone if they extend their hand to me.
Also in my line of work I am often in the position of being there for emotional support when parents lose a child. I have had a father grab my hands for support when he was given the news of his baby's unexpected death. You can bet your bottom dollar that being there for him was halachically the right thing to do.


If he grabs your hand, that's one thing. (That I would still ask about for future reference.) But I wouldn't extend mine.

There is a difference between business and affection/comfort. I heard an interview with a frum man, by a vaguely knowledgeable but unobservant Jew, about how, in the public eye, he's put an arm around someone he had to comfort and I'm sorry, that was not a kiddush Hashem. People can pm me with the particulars.

It's complicated, but if someone is going to be in this situation, it is incumbent on him or her to have a halachic IRL mentor, not rely on other psakim, no matter how reliably they are given over, or one's gut.
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amother




Bronze


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 9:09 am
amother wrote:
Was this the picnic with the mayor? Funny that the principal didn't tell us that in the 70s. I don't remember him saying anything.
And I wonder if he would have said the same thing had it been high school who went on that trip.


We also had a picnic with the Baltimore mayor in the early 90s and lunch with the md governer and we were never told to shake anyone’s hands. (I would assume the school would prep the staff beforehand anyways - we even brought them a kosher lunch)
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 9:13 am
amother wrote:
I highly doubt that R' Yaakov Kaminetsky paskened like that. Just because the school looked to him for halachic guidance doesn't mean that this came from him.


In fact, I discussed many questions I had about the workplace and asked shailos of his son, R' Shmuel Kaminetsky, and he definitely does not advocate shaking hands with men, for sure not l'chatchila. I can't imagine that R' Yaakov paskened any differently.

OP, it says ain tzadik b'aretz asher yaaseh tov v'lo yechta - everyone slips up once in a while, no one is perfect, that's what this world is all about - confronting our struggles and growing from them. It's so hard to be in a situation caught unprepared, and as someone that does not shake hands with men, I can't tell you enough about how hard it is. It's one of the reasons I'm grateful to work from home, and it only comes up for me once in a while when I have to go into a client site - and it's what I hate most about going - never mind the travelling, traffic, and shlep! I need a button that I can press and repeat, over and over, that "I'm so happy to meet you, and I don't shake hands with men for religious reasons...."

As an Isha K'sheira, your job is to encourage and bolster your husband. Sympathize with him, and look at him as a REAL person with REAL struggles. If you can, help him role play how he will do better in the future.

At 20, I did not shake hands with the HR representative at a major insurance company in the US for my first job interview - because my father had PREPARED me for it. He was a real gentleman, and I got the job. But I was prepared with what to say. I'm sure I would've been caught unawares had I not been prepared.
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amother




Emerald


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 9:25 am
amother wrote:

Your dh is used to a stretched out hand to shake. Men do this all the time. It was a natural reaction to an outstretched hand. Crazy that it was a ladies hand.... he had no time to process that. Trust me, he feels bad. Don’t think he’s sliding away. He simply didn’t think and knows it was wrong and won’t do it again.

This happened to me quite recently as well.
I have been at an Orthopedist office in Manhattan for a scheduled procedure.

Once all prepped for the procedure my Dr entered the room and within seconds a young Dr (perhaps student?) entered the room as well.

The young Dr immediately stretched his hand towards me and before I even had a chance to process what was taking place, my hands 'automatically' lifted itself towards his in response.

My guess was that this young fellow wasn't aware of the 'the hand shaking rules' at the time and being that I wasn't prepared for anything like this to happen, especially so abruptly, I literally didn't process what was actually happening until immediately afterwards...

I shared the incident with my husband and we both laughed it off.

BTW, My husband and I are very frum and very chassidish.

Accidents happen!
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amother




Burgundy


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 12:03 pm
To all the Baltimore questions, it was Rabbi Freedman who told us this. Either the visit to the mayor or governor, I dont remember. Probably what happened was the year before it came up unexpectedly and the girls didnt know how to respond. Or maybe a parent called with a "what if" scenario.
So he wanted us to be prepared. You have to understand, Baltimore of that time was not NY. The elected officials had very little dealings with Orthodox Jews. Most of our fathers did work in government type of jobs, and yes, probably 95% (if not 100%) of them did shake hands with women in the workplace. Just a very, very different mentality, that's all.
Baltimore was built up by people who sacrificed a lot to send their kids away to yeshiva after a public school or 1950s type day school education from even smaller out of town communities. In those days, it would absolutely have caused offense and left bad feelings not to shake hands. If you don't get that mentality, either you are from a younger generation or from the tristate area, most likely:)
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amother




Cerulean


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 5:16 pm
amother wrote:
To all the Baltimore questions, it was Rabbi Freedman who told us this. Either the visit to the mayor or governor, I dont remember. Probably what happened was the year before it came up unexpectedly and the girls didnt know how to respond. Or maybe a parent called with a "what if" scenario.
So he wanted us to be prepared. You have to understand, Baltimore of that time was not NY. The elected officials had very little dealings with Orthodox Jews. Most of our fathers did work in government type of jobs, and yes, probably 95% (if not 100%) of them did shake hands with women in the workplace. Just a very, very different mentality, that's all.
Baltimore was built up by people who sacrificed a lot to send their kids away to yeshiva after a public school or 1950s type day school education from even smaller out of town communities. In those days, it would absolutely have caused offense and left bad feelings not to shake hands. If you don't get that mentality, either you are from a younger generation or from the tristate area, most likely:)


I'm from an older generation.
I don't dispute it could have happened.
Question: What grade were you in? When we went we were in 5th grade.
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amother




Burgundy


Post  Mon, Dec 03 2018, 5:52 pm
I think it was 6th grade.
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