15 August 2013


"Gur Hasidic Leader Orders Male Followers Not to Shake Hands With Other Men For Fear Of Sin ... Rabbi Abraham Benjamin Silberberg, the head of Gur’s Education Department, allegedly issued the order at a special meeting of Gur educators because handshakes and other normative incidental physical contact between men could lead to sin."

"[...] hasidic leader has allegedly ordered men not to hug, touch or shake hands with other men, the Hebrew daily Ma’ariv reported based on a report on a haredi blog"

Is this Normal, or What!  I doubt that their new ruling will have any effect on this problem. It will only create more repression, which might produce the opposite unintended results. 

In a world that is governed, directed and lived according to the Torah's Halacha, why would this even be a topic?

I am perplexed as to why this is happening. married men and women are able to share intimacy with Kedusha, so why would either spouse need to wander into forbidden relationships? Has the value of intimacy been lost? Are men not in touch, in a healthy way, with their emotions?

There must be another reason that so many religious men have gone astray. Compare it to chicken pocks or diphtheria. Years ago it was rempant, attacking children. Then came immunization against many diseases threatening children.

Wikipedia has an interesting definition of inoculation (immunization) theory:

Inoculation hypothesis is defined as the idea that exposure to weak versions of a persuasive argument increases later resistance to that argument. To better explain this topic, in 1964 William McGuire came up with this: "Protecting a person's attitudes from persuasion is like inoculating the human body against disease". Inoculation hypothesis can be compared to an immunization. When the body is immunized against infection, a small dose of the particular strain is in the injection; this helps the body build a resistance to the infection.

  1. Persuasion is closely related to inoculation hypothesis. Persuasion is a form of social influence. Persuasion guides people towards certain ideas or actions. According to Robert Cialdini, there are six "weapons of influence" when it comes to persuasion. They are, reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, authority, liking, and scarcity.
Therefore, "persuasion" is the culprit. Persuasion is the underlying disease of perversion.

Too much separation berween male and female creates a distancing of healthy emotions that would naturally gravitate toward each other, but in such extreme distancing, the emotions might be (and seem to be) misdirected to a placebo.* A placebo of persuasion: if I cannot get what I want/need one way, I will search for it another way. The profound effect of this occurring early in one's life creates a dormant desire that will not die, because of the inner yetzer hara.

Therefore, this must be dealt with in youth before the age of 13, in order to reduce its effects in adulthood.


Further reading: For the mature and old-fashioned married adult

On the scale of an Epidemic

Recommended reading: Kosher Sex! and Shalom in the Home


Jesterhead45 said...

When the Jewish people are told to remain separate from the Nations, it does not mean that a community should isolate itself from the rest of the world or from other Jews thereby making themselves vulnerable to ridiculous Chumra and other nonsense that causes people to inevitably slide towards perversion instead of making them into better God-Fearing people.

Interestingly, the Inoculation hypothesis sort of explains in a way why genuine Baal Teshuva and Gerim are held in high regard as along with other Jews who do not isolate themselves from the world to the point where (as Rabbi Ariel Bar Tzadok would say) "they become so heavenly minded that they become no earthly good".

While everyone has their own problems and issues, what does it say about a community or other sects when it's Hashkafa and Chumra (usually of non-Jewish origin) ends up warping or distorting basic natural human interaction into something unnatural that literally screws people up?

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