Shaking Hands With Women III

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Another correction:

I was incorrect in stating R. Yisroel Belsky’s view on the subject. This is what someone involved in kosher supervision, in a position to know R. Belsky’s view, wrote to me:

Rav Belsky holds that, generally, a mashgiach should NOT shake the hand of a female factory official. He holds that the Hetter should be used ONLY in isolated incidents–and when accompanied by personal protective acts to restore the level of pre-deviation zehirus and to maintain kedushah.

Also, Toby (Bulman) Katz wrote of her father’s (R. Nachman Bulman) position:

My father zt’l permitted shaking hands if the woman extended her hand, to avoid embarrassing her. A man should not put out his hand first.

I see that R. Zvi Lampel relates his personal experience with R. Reuven Feinstein:

I asked R’ Reuvain Feinstein, shlita, and he insisted that Rav Moshe permitted handshaking with a woman where she extends her hand first, on the basis of avoiding the issur of embarrassing her.

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link of New Jersey, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and as Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He also serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazine and the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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