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Woman shaking hands


If a male non jew extends his hand to a jewish women, may she accept the handshake?


Although it might be  permitted to accept the handshake nevertheless she should try to the best of her ability to avoid getting into such a situation.
Perhaps she should explain that she is not permitted to shake hands because of religious constraints and apologize for any embarrassment or discomfort this may cause  – it is nothing personal. My experience has been that usually nobody,feels offended. They may think it’s strange – but when you adhere to halacha, there is no chillul Hashem (desecration of G-d’s honor).



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  1. The Chazon Ish said regarding this matter that you should die and not transgress. The Steipler zatzal was of the same opinion. It says in Igros Moshe in three different places that handshaking b/w men and women is forbidden.
    Therefore, it is certainly worth it to be embarrassed for a few moments in order to avoid transgressing a safek issur d’oraysa, considering that for an issur d’oraysa one is required to give up everything one owns rather than transgress it.

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