Negiah

From Halachipedia
This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.
Jump to: navigation, search
  1. It is forbidden to affectionately touch individuals of the opposite gender.[1]
  2. Some poskim hold that it is permitted to shake a woman's hand in a professional context if she extends her hand first. However, other poskim forbid doing so.[2]
  3. Ideally, one should try to see a doctor of the same gender.[3] However, it is permitted to see a doctor of the opposite gender if there is no other option.[4]
  4. Mixed dancing is a terrible sin.[5]
  5. Taking a subway or bus at a crowded time is permitted even though you might bump into the opposite gender.[6] Still it is proper to avoid sitting next to a woman on a public bus or train.[7]

Sources

  1. Rambam Issurei Biah 21:1
  2. Rav Moshe Feinstein in Igrot Moshe EH 1:56 writes that some rabbis who permit shaking a woman's hand if she extends hers he would understand that it was based on the concept of that it wasn't derech chiba. However, he writes that he thinks that it is a weak argument to rely on.
  3. Nishmas Avraham Yoreh Deah 195
  4. Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (as quoted by Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner)
    • Gemara Ta’anit 21b brings a story of Abba Umna who was a doctor and is praised for putting the men and women in separate areas and for having a special garment that covered the women when he was treating them. This Gemara implies that it is unique and praiseworthy that Abbau Umna did this, which shows that the ordinary person is not required to do these things. This can be a source for male doctors being permitted to touch female patients while treating them.
    • Gemara Bava Metziah 91a quotes Rav Yehuda who says that a professional who causes two animals to mate directly is not doing anything wrong because he is involved in his professional job. There is no problem of Pritzus because he is busy with his professional job, so he will not have any inappropriate urges.
    • Shach Yoreh Deah 195:20 says that according to the Rambam, the only issur of negiah is when the negiah is with hana’a, or pleasure, but in medical care there is no pleasure involved so it would be muttar to treat a patient of the opposite gender.
  5. Zichron Yosef OC 17
  6. Igrot Moshe EH 2:14 writes that it is permitted to take the subway or buses even if it is likely that one might bump into a woman. According to the Shach YD 157:10 and 195:20, since it isn't derech chiba it isn't forbidden to touch a married woman or niddah. He argues that even according to the Shulchan Aruch 195:17 who is strict regarding your wife when she is a niddah if it isn't derech chiba, that is only a stringency relevant to one's wife since it could lead to derech chiba. However, for other woman even Shulchan Aruch could be lenient. Igrot Moshe follows the Shach. He adds that if this type of touching will lead him to have a hirhur if he has to go to work at that work he can go and try to avoid the hirhur by thinking about Torah. If he can't help himself because he knows he's going to be aroused then he may not go to work that way. But he says that it is forbidden to have such a lustful nature.
  7. Yalkut Yosef (Otzar Dinim L'isha 60:19)