I am an older unmarried frum Jewish woman. I work among non-Jews. I am sure other Jewish people work with non-Jews also. How do you make them respect that you do not follow their social behavior and conditioning as far as personal space and dating/relationshiop habits go? And public comportment.

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    how about asking them respectfully to be respectful of your personal space and you dont give much info to say what your job is and you just might have too quit or it sounds like you might also want contact a lawyer for sexual assult suit Commented Dec 27, 2011 at 2:54
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    It doesn't sound like the right kind of place for a Jewish woman. Nothing you say or do will change these people from animals into gentlemen, except perhaps hinting that you have a harassment lawsuit in the wings. Come to think of it, you probably have a very good case against this company if that's how you are being treated; even by secular standards such behavior is unacceptable.
    – Dave
    Commented Dec 27, 2011 at 3:00
  • @simchashatorah - great minds think alike, eh?
    – Dave
    Commented Dec 27, 2011 at 3:02
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    chaney, could you please edit this question so that it's more of a general question about Jewish life and learning and less of a request for guidance in interpreting and responding to your particular situation? Please see our faq for more information on the sort of material this forum deals in. I don't mean, God forbid, to take your situation anything but very seriously, and I hate to seem unhelpful, but this site is simply not set up to offer individual counseling.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Dec 27, 2011 at 3:06

2 Answers 2


I'm not Jewish, so I'm going to answer the question from a Christian prospective, which I hope is okay and not offensive. If I touched someone and it is against their belief system, personally, I would want to know. I would want you to say that "I am a frum Jewish woman and I do not want to be touched because it goes against my religious beliefs."

This might cause the other person to ask a lot of nosy questions (as I would), but if you're okay with discussing your beliefs, that might help broaden the acceptance and understanding of our religious differences on a whole.

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    Far from offensive, I think your perspective is quite useful for this question.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 19:01
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    Thank you, @Isaac Moses. I knew there were touching limits in other religions, but not in the Jewish one. This was interesting to learn and explains the look I received from my Jewish boss when I tried to get him out on the dance floor at our holiday party. Now, I am aware to not be so touchy feeley.
    – DataGirl
    Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 20:27

I was going to answer here but it was closed as an exact duplicate, though I think that the way the concern was expressed was a little easier to respond to.

Rav Moshe's well known ruling in Igros Moshe EH 2:14 says "unavoidable, unintentional physical contact is not a lustful, affectionate act." [Translation from R. Getsel Ellinson, Woman and the Mitzvot vol.2] While he is speaking of contact while riding public transit, unwelcome physical contact from coworkers isn't an affectionate act, or ever really an act. One certainly should take steps to avoid such situations because while it may be unwelcome and unwanted, it is a sign (even if a small and relatively neutral sign) of affection which could easily become less unwelcome as the interactions continue.

Nevertheless, if one doesn't have reason to suspect that such contact will become a habit and the contact was incidental and quick then it may not be necessary, helpful, and/or appropriate to "rebuke" the offender.

If it is necessary to mention that the contact is unwelcome try to be careful to seem (which is easier by far if you ARE) understanding that the contact was rather benign and that most people wouldn't be concerned, but that we are very careful about such things.

Of course if lines are being crossed which are unacceptable to the general non-Jewish public, you should probably take a more firm stance and report it to the offenders superior according to the "minhag haolam".

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