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Is it inappropriate for a man to hold a door for a woman?
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Poll

Is it inappropriate for a man to hold open a door for a woman other than his wife?
It is inappropriate
 3%  [ 10 ]
It is the right thing to do
 96%  [ 290 ]
Total Votes : 300


amother




OP
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 10:02 am
NotInNJMommy wrote:
A former member of my OOT community, a"h, who is not Chabad, told a story of his wife a"h, also not Chabad. Her parents lived in the same building as the Rebbe (not sure if he was Rebbe yet, but I don't think it would have affected this story) in CH decades ago. When she was engaged and also still living there, she took the trash outside to wherever it went outside the building. While doing so, the Rebbe followed by several bochurim entered the building, and the bochurim were closely following and the door closed behind them. As this young woman came back to the door to re-enter the building, the Rebbe turned around and went back to the door to hold it open for her. The woman and eventually her husband both described the Rebbe as being "a true gentleman".


I like that story.
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chanatron1000




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 10:04 am
I would say it might be chukat hagoyim (and weird and creepy) if a man behaves unusually in an obvious attempt to appear chivalrous. Like if he runs up ahead of every woman he sees in order to open the door for her.
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little neshamala




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 10:04 am
zaq wrote:
First of all, one reaching a door first should hold it open for the next person regardless of age, race, gender, creed, taste in fashion or political affiliation. An exception would be if the person reaching the door first is encumbered by many packages or something like a wheelchair or crutches or stroller, in which case the other person should say "let me get the door for you." One need not ogle the person for whom one is holding the door, and physical contact is not involved. Those who claim religious grounds for their letting doors slam in people's faces are in the class of "boor (in both English and Hebrew senses of the word) ve'am haaaretz." It's not chivalry; it's derech eretz, which if I remember my lessons correctly, kadmah laTorah.


Thank you
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ShishKabob




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 11:29 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Is it inappropriate for a man to help a woman who is not his wife with little gestures like holding the door open so she can pass, helping her to board a bus with a buggy, picking up things that fell down, carrying loads?

Is what used to be considered gentlemen's manners really minhag ha [gentile] and not appropriate?
I can't believe this is even a question. It's called being a mench! And as far as helping a woman with her bags up the steps, isn't there an explicit mitzvah in the Torah for this? Even a donkey gets help if the load is too heavy. (I know for some this is dated) scratching my head here. Chassidishe.
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tigerwife




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 11:34 am
It’s basic derech eretz..
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amother




Periwinkle
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 11:35 am
NotInNJMommy wrote:
A former member of my OOT community, a"h, who is not Chabad, told a story of his wife a"h, also not Chabad. Her parents lived in the same building as the Rebbe (not sure if he was Rebbe yet, but I don't think it would have affected this story) in CH decades ago. When she was engaged and also still living there, she took the trash outside to wherever it went outside the building. While doing so, the Rebbe followed by several bochurim entered the building, and the bochurim were closely following and the door closed behind them. As this young woman came back to the door to re-enter the building, the Rebbe turned around and went back to the door to hold it open for her. The woman and eventually her husband both described the Rebbe as being "a true gentleman".

Now that's my Rebbe.
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chanatron1000




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 11:41 am
Unfortunately, our modern world is not loving enough for it to be considered polite to hug strangers.
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little neshamala




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 11:41 am
Im genuinely flummoxed.
A woman is heading to a door, arms holding a diaper bag, multiple shopping bags, and pushing a stroller. maybe also holding on to a youngster with one hand. We've all seen it.
A man enters that same door about 10 feet ahead of her.
Are there actually posters here who believe it would be wrong for him to hold the door for her?????!!!!!!
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amother




OP
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 11:43 am
ShishKabob wrote:
I can't believe this is even a question. It's called being a mench! And as far as helping a woman with her bags up the steps, isn't there an explicit mitzvah in the Torah for this? Even a donkey gets help if the load is too heavy. (I know for some this is dated) scratching my head here. Chassidishe.


Actually, this question & poll was inspired by another thread, where many users here seemed to say this kind of gesture was inappropriate indeed... it was a post about greeting/aknowledging a neighbor of the opposite gender... and now there was a new one about giving males a lift...

So I am positively surprised that vast majority of the posters here seem to think that courtsey gestures like holding the door, helping with a buggy, picking things up, are not against halacha...
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notshanarishona




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 11:45 am
I once fell down the steps in a park in Har Nof and slid down about 20 steps. A group of buchrim were their with their Rebbe. One asked him for his cell phone because he saw a lady on the floor. The Rebbe came to help me stand up and yelled at the boy for not offering help and then asked me if I wanted to call for help.
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blessedflower




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 11:47 am
DERECH ERETZ KODMU LATORAH! Holding a door open for anyone, even more so if they are carrying bags or pushing a stroller is a everyday simple example
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avrahamama




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 11:48 am
chanatron1000 wrote:
I would say it might be chukat hagoyim (and weird and creepy) if a man behaves unusually in an obvious attempt to appear chivalrous. Like if he runs up ahead of every woman he sees in order to open the door for her.


Yes. it's creepy I hate it. Hated it when I was secular hate it now. Or when I'm far enough ahead that they have to wait like 15-30 seconds for me and I feel like I have to catch up so they don't wait. Yuck. Just go. I can open the door.

But if my hands are full and I'm obviously struggling thats another thing.

Also I feel more comfortable around people who "pass the door" rather than stand there holding it open and waiting for me to pass them.
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ShishKabob




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 11:52 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Actually, this question & poll was inspired by another thread, where many users here seemed to say this kind of gesture was inappropriate indeed... it was a post about greeting/aknowledging a neighbor of the opposite relations... and now there was a new one about giving males a lift...

So I am positively surprised that vast majority of the posters here seem to think that courtsey gestures like holding the door, helping with a buggy, picking things up, are not against halacha...
Giving males a lift I think is in a totally different category. For me, it would be totally inappropriate because I'm a chassidish woman, and unless the guy is a close relative of mine, it's off limits. This is totally not on the same wavelength like holding a door open.
Saying hello to the opposite gender if it's a neighbor, used to be totally normal and ok. And it should still be ok, except that it's not if you're chassidish. Nowadays, we have become so coookooo with these things that even a hello to a neighbor is misconstrued. Well well.
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lilies




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 11:53 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Actually, this question & poll was inspired by another thread, where many users here seemed to say this kind of gesture was inappropriate indeed... it was a post about greeting/aknowledging a neighbor of the opposite relations... and now there was a new one about giving males a lift...

So I am positively surprised that vast majority of the posters here seem to think that courtsey gestures like holding the door, helping with a buggy, picking things up, are not against halacha...


Haven't read the other thread.
Acknowledging a neighbor and giving a male a ride fall into a different category than the other three.

And not everything the world considers manners is in the same category.
Ladies first, for example?

Many things have certain prohibitions or guidelines that we need to be careful with and they don't just fly out the window because the secular world deems something mannered or cultured.
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avrahamama




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 11:57 am
lilies wrote:
Haven't read the other thread.
Acknowledging a neighbor and giving a male a ride fall into a different category than the other three.

And not everything the world considers manners is in the same category.
Ladies first, for example?

Many things have certain prohibitions or guidelines that we need to be careful with and they don't just fly out the window because the secular world deems something mannered or cultured.


My shul is mostly BTs and I remember a man insisting I go through the door before him. And I didn't want to because 1. He creeped me out 2. I remember reading it's not tzanua. Anyway our rav walked over and told him that I am right and he needs to go out first so that I can leave comfortably. So much fun when the rabbi tells mr. smarty pants that the lady is right.
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ShishKabob




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 11:58 am
lilies wrote:

Many things have certain prohibitions or guidelines that we need to be careful with and they don't just fly out the window because the secular world deems something mannered or cultured.
True, just like women are supposed to go behind the men, not in front of them. Think Yosef Hatzaddik, making sure to go in front of his mother Rochel when they met Eisav. He got a lot of schar for that.
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ChanieMommy




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 11:59 am
lilies wrote:
Haven't read the other thread.
Acknowledging a neighbor and giving a male a ride fall into a different category than the other three.

And not everything the world considers manners is in the same category.
Ladies first, for example?

Many things have certain prohibitions or guidelines that we need to be careful with and they don't just fly out the window because the secular world deems something mannered or cultured.

Did you know that "Ladies first" does not apply when going up stairs, for fear the man might get an indecent glimpse when following the Lady up the stairs?
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amother




Ecru
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 12:02 pm
My husband told me some men are makpid not to walk behind women for tznius purposes.

This could be why some men don't hold doors open for women, because they would end up walking behind them.

I am not saying this applies to everyone and I do think it is rude to let a door slam in anyone's face. Just a possible explanation.
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ShishKabob




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 12:04 pm
amother [ Ecru ] wrote:
My husband told me some men are makpid not to walk behind women for tznius purposes.

This could be why some men don't hold doors open for women, because they would end up walking behind them.

I am not saying this applies to everyone and I do think it is rude to let a door slam in anyone's face. Just a possible explanation.
Also possibly that they weren't taught properly. Usually, it's this. Most men are not rude.
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ChanieMommy




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Sep 14 2020, 12:08 pm
ShishKabob wrote:
True, just like women are supposed to go behind the men, not in front of them. Think Yosef Hatzaddik, making sure to go in front of his mother Rochel when they met Eisav. He got a lot of schar for that.

I think "Ladies first" mainly applies to doors.
Man opens the door, holds it open for the Lady to pass, and then closes it...

Nothing inappropriate about that, in my view...

And it might also apply to "women and children first" - women and children should be the first to get a safe place in an emergency...

Which seems appropriate too - first defend the vulnerable...
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