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Shaking hands with men at an interview
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amother




Crimson


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:16 pm
urban gypsy wrote:
No. I am telling you that a secular person KNOWS that the reason that we are not shaking hands is because WE view it as a sexualized encounter, and it's annoying and disingenuous to pretend otherwise.


And that's why it's potentially problematic because most secular people believe that viewpoint is about as valid as putting a women in a harem.

My only point is that it is potentially problematic in terms of a job interview or other business types of situations which a handshake is the norm because the interviewer will assume the applicant has other equally antiquated ideas and might not relate well to others who are not so segregated.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:22 pm
amother wrote:
And that's why it's potentially problematic because most secular people believe that viewpoint is about as valid as putting a women in a harem.

My only point is that it is potentially problematic in terms of a job interview or other business types of situations which a handshake is the norm because the interviewer will assume the applicant has other equally antiquated ideas and might not relate well to others who are not so segregated.


That depends on the interviewer.

My sister's interview at a certain medical school did not go well because she did not shake. He asked her what she will do as a doctor, and she said that when it comes to offering medical assistance she will have no religious issues there, and it would not be a problem.

He had an issue with this, but she did not.

So she got into a different medical school, where the interview went better.

Not everyone makes the same interpretation, and not everyone thinks religion is antiquated. I've worked with people who've expressed their respect for my religious views.

I work with a Christian Arab woman who told me she grew up very segregated too. There are other people in the world - not just Jews - who consider religious principals to be important, and not just to be discarded if they make other people uncomfortable.
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urban gypsy




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:24 pm
Chayalle wrote:
I don't see it that way.

Not shaking hands may be a Geder so that in general, it does not lead to such encounters, but that doesn't mean that in every individual situation where I don't shake hands with men, I am thinking that or viewing it that way.


Nobody can read your mind so what you are thinking has no bearing on the level of discomfort or embarrassment for the secular person. Do you understand that?

Saying that it's not your kavana won't change the religious reasoning behind the rule, or prevent the other person from feeling bad, unless you are willing to launch into a big explanation each time you refuse to shake their hand about how it's a social geder that has nothing to do with sexualization of polite greetings.

I agree with you that not everyone will be offended, and some people will feel similarly to you. We can't control the feelings of others. I am arguing with you because I'm trying to make you see that the fact that YOU don't think it's s-xual doesn't prevent the other person from getting offended.
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amother




Vermilion


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:27 pm
Chayalle wrote:
You are (hopefully) looking to create a personal distance, even while you create a professional relationship.

For many of us, this is accomplished by not shaking hands. It makes it clear that there will be no personal interaction, even while we keep the conversation pleasant, friendly and professional.


I don't shake hands with my friends.

I get your POV. I understand the Halacha is this is a 'do not'. But once it becomes a rationalization - for me it falls apart.
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amother




Crimson


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:27 pm
Chayalle wrote:
That depends on the interviewer.

My sister's interview at a certain medical school did not go well because she did not shake. He asked her what she will do as a doctor, and she said that when it comes to offering medical assistance she will have no religious issues there, and it would not be a problem.

He had an issue with this, but she did not.

So she got into a different medical school, where the interview went better.

Not everyone makes the same interpretation, and not everyone thinks religion is antiquated. I've worked with people who've expressed their respect for my religious views.

I work with a Christian Arab woman who told me she grew up very segregated too. There are other people in the world - not just Jews - who consider religious principals to be important, and not just to be discarded if they make other people uncomfortable.


You missed my point which was that it would depend on the situation.

My only point is that the reality is that it is potentially negative in terms of a job interview. Your sister lost an opportunity because she wouldn't shake and because of what the interviewer thought that meant in terms of her interactions with others.

Someone who did shake hands would not have been eliminated for that reason - perhaps for another reason but the point of job interviews is to try to expand the universe of possibilities by not having oneself rejected for reasons other than actual qualifications. Some jobs would hire a person who came in wearing jeans with a nose ring but standard interview advice would be to apply for a job in business like attire because unless it is a specific job environment you aren't going to offend anyone by wearing business attire.

Same with handshaking - unless one is applying for a job in a frum environment where SHAKING hands would be considered outside the norm, you are not going to eliminate yourself by shaking hands.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:28 pm
urban gypsy wrote:
Nobody can read your mind so what you are thinking has no bearing on the level of discomfort or embarrassment for the secular person. Do you understand that?

Saying that it's not your kavana won't change the religious reasoning behind the rule, or prevent the other person from feeling bad, unless you are willing to launch into a big explanation each time you refuse to shake their hand about how it's a social geder that has nothing to do with sexualization of polite greetings.


so if I don't shake hands with a man, he feels I am s*xually discriminating against him?



I don't launch into big explanations about anything. My personal experience has been that a friendly, verbal greeting while politely stating that I don't shake hands for religious reasons, has been the best route. No one is interested in religious discourse.
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urban gypsy




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:28 pm
amother wrote:
But once it becomes a rationalization - for me it falls apart.


You summarized in one sentence what I was trying to write in 10 posts!!! Applause
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urban gypsy




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:30 pm
Chayalle wrote:
so if I don't shake hands with a man, he feels I am s*xually discriminating against him?


YES!!!! I and others on this thread are trying to say that just because someone didn't turn beet red and storm off didn't mean they were not embarrassed or offended. It's true that no one is interested in religious discourse. Just don't kid yourself that not shaking hands is a socially neutral choice.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:31 pm
amother wrote:
You missed my point which was that it would depend on the situation.

My only point is that the reality is that it is potentially negative in terms of a job interview. Your sister lost an opportunity because she wouldn't shake and because of what the interviewer thought that meant in terms of her interactions with others.

Someone who did shake hands would not have been eliminated for that reason - perhaps for another reason but the point of job interviews is to try to expand the universe of possibilities by not having oneself rejected for reasons other than actual qualifications. Some jobs would hire a person who came in wearing jeans with a nose ring but standard interview advice would be to apply for a job in business like attire because unless it is a specific job environment you aren't going to offend anyone by wearing business attire.

Same with handshaking - unless one is applying for a job in a frum environment where SHAKING hands would be considered outside the norm, you are not going to eliminate yourself by shaking hands.


OK, and so? I see this similarly to the many people who lost jobs in the US by not working on Shabbos.

Yes, I understand that working on Shabbos is a clear D'oraysa.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:33 pm
urban gypsy wrote:
YES!!!! I and others on this thread are trying to say that just because someone didn't turn beet red and storm off didn't mean they were not embarrassed or offended. It's true that no one is interested in religious discourse. Just don't kid yourself that not shaking hands is a socially neutral choice.


OK. I get what you are saying.

I don't feel that I have to compromise on my religious principals because someone will be offended, or will feel I have discriminated against them, even though that is not my intention. I get that they can't read my mind. I can only do my best by being friendly and polite, without doing what I consider to be intimate, even if they don't.
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urban gypsy




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:38 pm
Chayalle wrote:
OK. I get what you are saying.

I don't feel that I have to compromise on my religious principals because someone will be offended, or will feel I have discriminated against them, even though that is not my intention. I get that they can't read my mind. I can only do my best by being friendly and polite, without doing what I consider to be intimate, even if they don't.


Thank you, and completely fair and accurate.

We are just trying to provide some context/information for those who are writing that there is no way that not shaking hands could ever offend someone. Know that people who are relying on the heter to shake are not imagining things or making excuses.
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amother




Crimson


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:40 pm
Chayalle wrote:
OK, and so? I see this similarly to the many people who lost jobs in the US by not working on Shabbos.

Yes, I understand that working on Shabbos is a clear D'oraysa.


I guess you are making my point since shaking hands is not a tenet of Orthodox Judaism in the way that kosher, TH and Shabbos are so there are many who do not feel that a three second handshake is a hill to die on so to speak.

But as others have pointed out, solely in response to the OP, not shaking hands could potentially be a reason someone would be eliminated in a job interview. Assuming one is competing against other equally qualified applicants, often they are looking for reasons to eliminate people to get to their final candidates so even the smallest thing might be used - consciously or unconsciously.

And I am not even getting into the whole issue of people who are concerned that someone might not be able to pull their weight if they aren't available for Shabbos and a lot of other religious holidays not observed in the secular world.

While it is illegal to discriminate, just try and prove it.
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rachelmom1




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:42 pm
This story changed my thoughts on the matter:

DHs friend received a complaint from a coworker why another frum male hadn't shook her hand her first day on the job. After explaining the value of separating the sexes her first question was “how do Jews ever have affairs?”.
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naturalmom5




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:43 pm
Chayalle wrote:
OK, and so? I see this similarly to the many people who lost jobs in the US by not working on Shabbos.

Yes, I understand that working on Shabbos is a clear D'oraysa.


Chayalla....

ONce you compare shaking hands to Chillul Shabbos,

You are going down a VERY VERY VERY dangerous slippery slope...

Any man or woman out there who wasn't privileged enough to attend your seminary or grow up in heilige Lakewood, and reads this or hears this is saying I can't do this , this is way too much for me. This isn't realistic for me..

10 doros of precious yiddishe neshamos are wiped out just like that...

Chayalla, are you SURE you want to do that...
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amother




Forestgreen


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:44 pm
amother wrote:
I guess you are making my point since shaking hands is not a tenet of Orthodox Judaism in the way that kosher, TH and Shabbos are so there are many who do not feel that a three second handshake is a hill to die on so to speak.


Yiddishkeit is not about feelings. If something is not allowed, it makes no difference how important you think it is. If your Rav allows this particular thing, great - but I don't understand this comment about only certain mitzvos being 'worth' sacrificing for.
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amother




Crimson


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:46 pm
amother wrote:
Yiddishkeit is not about feelings. If something is not allowed, it makes no difference how important you think it is. If your Rav allows this particular thing, great - but I don't understand this comment about only certain mitzvos being 'worth' sacrificing for.


Substitute THINK for FEEL then since shaking hands is not one of the central tenets of Orthodox Judaism.
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Chayalle




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:48 pm
naturalmom5 wrote:
Chayalla....

ONce you compare shaking hands to Chillul Shabbos,

You are going down a VERY VERY VERY dangerous slippery slope...

Any man or woman out there who wasn't privileged enough to attend your seminary or grow up in heilige Lakewood, and reads this or hears this is saying I can't do this , this is way too much for me. This isn't realistic for me..

10 doros of precious yiddishe neshamos are wiped out just like that...

Chayalla, are you SURE you want to do that...


As I mentioned in my post, I'm aware there is a difference.
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amother




Vermilion


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:48 pm
urban gypsy wrote:
You summarized in one sentence what I was trying to write in 10 posts!!! Applause


Merci.

I feel similarly about the beauty of taharat mishpacha.
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urban gypsy




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:51 pm
amother wrote:
Merci.

I feel similarly about the beauty of taharat mishpacha.


And about women having less mitzvos because they are already closer to Hashem and a billion other things Wink
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amother




Forestgreen


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:52 pm
naturalmom5 wrote:
Chayalla....

ONce you compare shaking hands to Chillul Shabbos,

You are going down a VERY VERY VERY dangerous slippery slope...

Any man or woman out there who wasn't privileged enough to attend your seminary or grow up in heilige Lakewood, and reads this or hears this is saying I can't do this , this is way too much for me. This isn't realistic for me..

10 doros of precious yiddishe neshamos are wiped out just like that...

Chayalla, are you SURE you want to do that...


Please stop twisting people's words and psakim around.

She said that in the same way that people would lose their job for Shabbos, someone who holds that shaking hands is assur, might lose their job as well for it.

Nothing to do with equating the enormity of the two.

And anyway I don't understand this business of picking and choosing according to what one feels is important.
היה זהיר במצווה קלה כבחמורה שאין אתה יודע מתן שכרם של מצוות
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