Religion Magazine

Interesting Psak: Shaking Hands of Women

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
Chief Rabbi of Israel Rav Yitzchak Yosef has issued a psak saying that it is prohibited to shake hands with a woman in a senior position of authority as a sign of respect.
Rav Yosef explicitly disagreed with rabbonim who say it is allowed. He said we have to go according to halacha and not just say "muttar, muttar, muttar" to things. Not everything is allowed -some things are prohibited according to halacha.
Rav Yosef brought as an example an incident from when his father, Rav Ovadia Yosef, was set to receive the prestigious Israel Prize on Yom Haatzmaut in 1970. At the time the Prime Minister was Golda Meir and she extended her hand to shake his hand, but Rav Ovadia was worried especially because it would be photographed and seen all over so he made a motion with his hand and did not shake but gave her a warm blessing and everything was fine.
Rav Yosef also brought his own example of having traveled to many places around the world and having met with many important women in government. A female ambassador came to meet him once and extended her hand to shake. Rav Yosef says he gave her effusive blessings and she completely forgot about the handshake that did not happen.
source: Kikar
I like how he brings personal examples to make his point, as if that strengthens the halacha. 

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