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Author:  Catch
E-mail:  not available
Date:  6/13/2004 1:05:00 AM
Subject:  Shaking Hands With Non-Jewish or Irreligious Women
Message:  What are the Halachic issues with shaking hands with non-Jewish or Jewish but non-observant women? I hear the Chazon Ish, R. Moshe Feinstein and the Steipler prohibit it. Is there a side that permits it if the woman extends her hand and it could jeopardize a business relationship or business venture if you decline? Do any of the following variables affect the psak:Does it matter if she's married or not? Jewish or not? Old enough that she is no longer a nidah (and you know for certain she has gone swimming in the ocean (or kosher mikvah) after her last appearance of nidah blood, or not? Where are the sources found for this halacha?

I could really use this answer by Monday.

Thanks
   
Reply:  There is no heter to shake any woman/girl's hand. You can't honestly think that Hashem's promise on Rosh Hashana, to give you parnassa, is dependent upon you shaking some women's hand.
There is no difference between Jew or non-Jew.
Nidah is not relevant.
FYI - if you do the research, you will find that 99% of non-Jews will not be offended by you not shaking their hand, if it is explained as a religion based practice. But, the non-religious are a whole different story. Most of them are offended, loudly, I may add, because of the guilt inside of them. Those people, you can ignore their comments and finish your business with them. However, if you feel that you can help them appreciate Judaism, then by all means, try. Hashem loves when Jews come back to the fold, even slowly.
CYA

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