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17

I have heard from my father that my great-grandfather zal, when (in the 1920s) he moved to the States and got a job as rabbi in Canonsburg, Penna., was approached by the women in shul after t'fila Shabas morning with hands outstretched, and promptly acquired the custom of raising his hat.


14

In my and others' experience, the reaction to a refusal to shake hands varies depending on the person, from offense to awkwardness to amusement to respectfulness. Perhaps as tactful as you can get is to do the following: Apologize and explain: "I'm sorry, but religiously, I try to avoid unnecessary contact with women (other than my wife)." No need to go ...


14

I personally saw that my Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Azriel Chaim Goldfein ZT"L, a talmid muvhak (close student) of Rav Mordechai Gifter would shake the hand of any woman who extended her hand to him in greeting. I never had the guts to question him on this, but my presumption is that he weighed the prohibition on touching a woman, which is Rabbinic if not sensual ...


13

First things first, You're human. You can't help being attracted to women, Gd made you that way. Only the whens and wheres are your responsibility. Also remember that this area is a very difficult one to conquer, so don't get down on yourself if you fail to climb Everest the first few, or dozen, or hundred times. Getting a warning beforehand helps, so you ...


12

Aside from simply giving a short explanation as to why you wont shake hands (which itself can cause people to become offended no matter how polite you are about it), there is not much else you can do that isn't deceitful (claiming sickness) or just weird (bowing, accidentally missing). If you are going to follow the ruling that under no circumstances can you ...


11

I am a white male, and I had this happen to me recently, where I met a woman in a business setting who politely told me, "I don't shake hands for religious reasons". I had never heard this before, but it did not faze me in the least. She was polite in every other way that she treated me. No Problem!


11

Of course, as the comment notes, consult your local Orthodox rabbi. But see here for a halacha sheet shown before and approved by Rav Shternbuch: If one’s wife is not home must the husband light the candles? Seeing that men are obligated to light Shabbos candles as much as women are, if the wife is not present it is up to the husband to light the ...


11

Per Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu it is not proper to give names such as Rephaela, Daniela, etc. כמו כן ראוי לא לקרוא לבת בשם הדומה בשורשו לשם של בן, כמו: רפאלה, דניאלה, שרונה, יוספה וכדומה. שזה עלול להפריע לילדה כשתגדל להיזכר תמיד על שם פלוני שעל שמו היא קרויה.‏


9

From the Sefer Nishmas Avraham Siman 182 וכן שמעתי מהגרש״ז אויערבאך זצ״ל לגבי בחור שצמחו לו שערות בין שתי גבות עיניו שזה נקרא מום ומותר לו להסירם: Uni brow is called a blemish and it can be removed. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 182:1; unofficial translation available) holds like the Rambam (Avodas Kochavim 12:9; translation available) that one can ...


9

Basically, we don't have the power to declare someone categorically exempt. Abudraham suggested one explanation, but our system of laws categorically says "all men are obligated", "all women are not." If a person is truly in a situation beyond their control, halacha recognize that. If it's five minutes before sunset and a single dad who hasn't yet prayed ...


9

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was strongly opposed to a two-ring ceremony in which he says "harei at mekudeshet li" and she says "harei ata mekudash li", but in a later responsum -- EH4:32b (addressing R' Elyakim "Getzel" Ellinson, who was questioning men wearing bands and Rav Moshe defending the practice) he clarifies that for a man to simply wear a band is not ...


9

Men and women are both obligated in the Mitzva of Shabbat candles and saying the blessing. Women have precedence to ensure the Mitzva is fulfilled because they are more often at home preparing the house on Friday afternoon. (Shulchan Aruch OC 263:2-5 and Mishne Torah, Hilchos shabas ch. 5)


8

Once meeting a potential client, the director (female) extended her hand to shake, I quickly pulled a business card from my pocket and gave it to her, it worked but when leaving she wanted to shake my hand again, I simply said I'm sorry and she quickly understood. maybe my black suit and black kipa helped (can't remember if I had my hat also). In any case ...


8

TK, although I cannot definitively answer your questions, I can touch on some of the issues that I have discussed with an authority: "Mixed swimming" is a subset of forbidden relations (abizrayhu d'arayos)- loosely translated as promiscuity. However this would apply only when in the pool in proximity, but not when a male is on one side of a large pool and ...


8

Always assume the person is shomer nagiah until they give you a hand, or you see them touch another person who isn't their spouse. I do this even with non-Jews, because you never know if they don't like to be touched or don't like to touch people. http://isitnormal.com/story/i-dont-like-to-be-touched-29913/ From this summary of the research of touching: ...


8

Yes. It is normal in our current Western society for men to do such things (certainly for a unibrow), and the rule of thumb for Lo Yilbash is if it's normal, it's not forbidden (Shulchan Aruch and Rema YD 182:1). R. Akiva Eiger (ad loc.) cites a Perisha who writes that we look at the non-Jewish society around us to determine what is normal.


8

Yes, such classes exist, and are recommended for potential bridegrooms. Speak to the rabbi of any orthodox synagogue, and he should be able to direct you someone who can tutor you in this field. So, I suspect, can the head or mashgiach of any bes midrash. Covered topics are hilchos nida and v'sasos, k'vod ishto, and others, though the exact list varies from ...


7

For Question 2: Igros Moshe forbids swimming in mixed beaches. There is no practical halachic difference between cousins/aunts/uncles and non-relatives for Yichud, negiya, etc. (especially that a convert is considered a new-born child). Even by women, Igros Moshe says to be stringent and not swim with a male lifeguard (she is technically not doing anything ...


7

Although Shulchan Aruch YD 182:6 forbids a man to do so, placing it in the category of "women's dress", he continues to forbid looking in a mirror as well. A parenthetical notation (Rema?)is made following the mirror halacha sending you to YD 156 were the Rema quotes those who say that this law is dependant on whether men customarily look in a mirror or if ...


7

I've heard that a certain prominent Rosh Yeshiva flashes a smile and says, "Oh, that's not necessary!" This won't work for all people and in all situations, however. Having a business card ready to hand over (as mentioned by Avraham and Ariel) is a more generally useful idea. Rav Lazer Brody reportedly uses halvah bars, as humorously recounted here.


7

Piskei Teshuvos in the beginning of Siman 2 cites Igros Moshe and other Acharonim who delineate the guidelines of modesty as it applies to men. The points that emerge are: 1) Modest dressing for men is not an absolute obligation, but it is very significant (וצריך ליזהר etc.) 2) The definition of immodest in this respect is if you'd be embarrassed to be ...


7

While I appreciate the desire for sources, you must understand that the issur of lo yilbash is much more subjective than many or most other halachos. Most likely you're familiar with opinions which prohibit from looking in mirrors, but that isn't necessarily the practice today when it is common for males to pay attention to their appearance in the mirror. I ...


7

The Talmud (Kiddushin 29a) derives that the obligation to redeem lies solely on the father, and then the son himself if the father did not redeem him. The Shulchan Aruch rules this way in YD 305:1 and 305:15 and explicitly excludes the mother in 305:2. I don't know of anyone who debates these rulings. In terms of your story, I have heard a similar story ...


7

When I got married I was told by my Rabbi who gave me a Choson Shmeus that it is the husbands responsibility. I have no idea what you are talking about when you say "The man often wants to know why, which they are usually reluctant to tell him". I never asked why on a Psak and if I did my Rav would not hesitate to explain. You say "The man often asks is ...


7

The Tzitz Eliezer has a famous responsum (שו"ת ציץ אליעזר ח"י סי’ כ"ה פרק כ"ו קטע ו) where he states that we go by the external organs in determining gender, and sex changes are effective in changing one's halachic gender. However, there are other opinions that sex changes do not change halachic gender; I assume that according to these opinions, gender is ...


7

The commandment to avoid negative reactions is on you, not your wife nor her friends. Of course they shouldn't be deliberately provocative, but if, for example, a normal conversation held in one part of your house bothers you in another part because of kol isha, or if the visitor is dressed appropriately and you are still distracted, this is largely a ...


7

Chacham Ovadia in Yechavei Daas 4:7 writes that seeing a woman on tv is the same as seeing an actual woman when it comes to hirur(thoughts) and there is an issur of lo tassuru achrei levavchem...however when it comes to reading shema that's a discussion which he talks about whether its mutar or not,but an issur of seeing a picture of a woman who is not ...


7

Rav Yaakov Weinberg was once asked this question at a convention in Richmond, VA. The following is a summary of his response. Man was created with a Divine purpose, to be a spiritual being interacting with a physical world. This required that he go out into the world. But he is not meant to be a businessman - he is meant to be a man who is involved in ...


6

"Dog tags" are worn primarily, and until recently almost exclusively, by men. It would be very difficult to justify labeling them a womens garment. A more likely problem is that when one wears them outside of their intended purpose, i.e. as a style rather than to to identify a soldier, it may be similar to wearing a sword which may present a problem of ...



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