Choosing Between Two Serious Sins


Which sin is worse if one had no choice but to commit one of the two: a negiah violation or a Chillul Hashem? In my business life, I routinely cross paths with women who expect a handshake or sometimes a hug (a non-romantic one that is just a social gesture to which they are accustomed). Failing to do so is something they consider highly offensive in their culture. Many of these women I interact with know my language very sparsely, making explaining my religious beliefs to them nearly impossible.



  1. There are contemporary Poskim who rule that it is permissible to shake hands (not hug) with someone of the opposite gender if there is no other alternative. However, please allow me to suggest that in today’s so-called “pluralistic” society, to ask not to have any physical contact with members of the opposite gender should not be the cause of any Chillul Hashem. You are simply expressing your personal right not to shake hands.

    Best wishes from the Team