Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Not only Orthodox Jews don't shake hands with women ...

neither do some Muslims. A conservative Muslim government minister shook hands with Michelle Obama when she was welcomed to Indonesia. "I tried to prevent (being touched) with my hands but Mrs. Michelle held her hands too far toward me (so) we touched," Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring told tens of thousands of followers on Twitter.

It is fascinating that this is the heter that many Jew use to shake hands with women as well.

1 comment:

SF2K01 said...

It's not so shayich. It's actually different for Muslims. They don't actually have a prohibition on touching women (even niddah women). Their Halacha/Sharia still forbids them from sleeping with a woman who is niddah, but they can still touch their wives (and other women) during the niddah period.

The same goes for the beards. They don't have any actual prohibition on shaving. It's a sign of extremism and/or intense commitment to stricter and more fundamentalist movements (like wahabism) that like to come up with chumras. Not touching women is essentially in this category.