Q & A Board - View Post
Author:  shari
E-mail:  not available
Date:  7/7/2004 9:10:00 PM
Subject:  negia
Message:  I am newly observant, just got married, and have a newly religious brother also...can we still hug each other?

I also have a younger brother who is not yet religious, and would find in strange and maybe would also feel hurt if I did not let him hug me...so what do I do with him?

and can you give me a nice explanation that I could tell my parents...they are very open to everything and would love to know the reason behind this one...if it's not asking to much from you! I know you are busy!

Reply:  We live in a society where sex rules. Most of the people, especiallly the men, think about it all day. At the copier, in the conference room, at the beach, during birthday parties, and so on. The TV and movies are full of the most explicit views of (what should be) other people's private areas and actions.

Marriages are destroyed daily due to infidelity. We idolize actors and actresses, who in their movies and in real life cannot remain faithful for a year straight. The movies are constantly romanticizing having an affair.

Now, our Rabbis understood this. They required us to and implemented a set of restrictions that will keep us from ever, god forbid, reaching the point of severe sin.

Their rules are just that, rules. We cannot play with the rules, and say, "if the woman is not attractive..."   The rules are set in stone. Otherwise, no rule will last.

A man is permitted to his wife, and vice versa. A father and daughter, a mother and son, and a granfather and granddaughter are all allowed to touch and hug, etc...
All others are off limits!

Yes, there are many situations where it would be harmless, but the line had to be drawn somewhere.

Now when a man or woman travels on a business trip and everyone else is involved in "the chase," if this person is somewhat out of the loop, because he/she keeps his/her hands to themselves, that person will never fall in. The others....they have a lot of issues to deal with. Lying to the wife when they get home, and so on. In the office at the copier, or the water cooler, everyone else is shmoozing and looking. The healthy one is doing his thing, not involved in the obsession.

These restrictions of man touching woman only include hugging or shaking hands and the like. Any man can help another woman up, if she fell down, or an older person crossing the street. It's OK to accept change at a store without jumping out of your pants.

A brother and sister can give each other a kiss without touching. Make believe you're all wearing makeup and plant a kiss two inches from each other's cheeks.

The main concept is that this area and these issues are the hardest to overcome. Only a person who is actively and constantly working against it, can ever succeed in keeping it away. Try it, you'll see what I am talking about.

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