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Please excuse my lack of knowledge on this topic. Is non-sexual touch allowed between two people between whom a relationship would be halachically forbidden? I assume the answer is "yes" for, say, a brother and a sister. But does this apply to all cases of forbidden relationships, or just some? (If some, to which doesn't it apply, and why not?) Finally, is the issue of touching a niddah simply not a factor in these cases?

  • Motivated by my confusion by the second reason in this (judaism.stackexchange.com/a/23561/1516) answer -- "Jacob was related to her and old" -- for why it was ok for Jacob to kiss Rachel before they were married. (If anyone extended their answer to my question so far as to "touch" on that, I'd be thrilled.) – SAH Jul 18 '16 at 5:48
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    @DoubleAA As for "non-sexual touch"'s being included in negiah, I wouldn't call that a "decidedly non-standard" position. – SAH Jul 18 '16 at 14:48
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    By calling it "the niddah factor" you're again indicating it's different somehow from regular negia. If someone is forbidden to you already (eg. mother/son) then Niddah isn't changing anything. If someone is your daughter-in-law and your aunt and your sister-in-law and married and a niddah, there isn't more of a negia concern than if she were just one of those. – Double AA Jul 18 '16 at 14:59
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You are mixing up two things that have nothing to do with one another. A man is allowed to touch his close relatives: mother, grandmother, (grand)daughter, and sister (although the last is less recommended, but still allowed). This is always allowed, irrespective of anything else (married or single, nidda or not). (And the same for a woman touching her (grand)son, (grand)father, and brother).

Otherwise a man is not allowed to touch anyone forbidden to him. That means any married woman (aside from his wife) and any unmarried woman who is nidda (and that is presumed about any single woman from age 11 today), since they are forbidden to him. He is also not allowed to touch his wife when she is nidda, since she is currently forbidden to him. (And the same applies to a woman touching a man she is forbidden to, such as any man if she is a nidda and any man but her husband if she is married.)

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