The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Sunday, November 02, 2008

What's With The Hand Kissing?

Among the many things that annoy me, add one more.

Here's the deal. You go to shul, say "good Shabbos" to a guy, shake his hand, and the next thing you know is the guy takes his hand to his lips and kisses it.

And the guy's not even a Sefardi.

Help me here. What's up with that?

I know it's meant to be some kind of show of respect or brotherhood or something but, seriously.

(This is different from the minhag among many sefardim to kiss the Rebbe's hand; something I know my Rebbe is totally uncomfortable with but has to deal with given the relatively large number of sefardim who attend the shul).

So, please. I'm looking for some answers.



  • At 1:34 AM, Blogger Child Ish Behavior said…

    I hesitate to answer this question. But, could it be that people just want to kiss your hand? You don't actually know a person until you have tasted his sweat. LOL. :-)

    People are sick nowadays.

  • At 5:50 AM, Blogger Izbitza said…

    most of the time they saw some sefardi doing it when they were shana aleph in yeshiva in israel and decided that they thought it was a cool different way to be respectful

  • At 7:26 AM, Anonymous Nisht Ungarish said…

    I thought it was a Hungarian custom !!

  • At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Here is the low down.
    The neo- chassid movement found in Eretz Yisroel combines breslov, rav kook,shlomo
    and sefardic customs.
    Hence the kippa is knit and the wrist band is orange(zionist look enabling connection to rav kook) the peyos are breslov and the jeans are shlomo. When one holy brother greets another they do the shake ( if they are recent bt's the shake will be regular followed by the "bro"shake then finger snap ) and they kiss there own hand to be sephari like. It communicates "I hold so highly of you holy brother that I kiss the hand that touched you because you are so holy"
    No joke that's really what's behind that.

  • At 12:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow... the preceding comment was so sad, it makes me proud to be a litvak.

  • At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i always thought it was sign of respect reserved for more important members of the mafia.

  • At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To anan 1253
    I said neo-hasid as in not really chasidish just confuse themselves to be. Be proud of how you are no matter what. But the reaction is more like
    "I'm pround to be a Torah Jew who is connected to mesorah and has a living Rebbe and don't feel compelled to make up my own Yiddishkiet. The problem is that this movement is formed out of ameratzis and our american desire to be highest of the hight spiritual while not having to humble ourselves to any (living) Rebbe our and mesora that precieded us.

  • At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    it's a way of saying" i want to kiss you...but im worried im gonna catch whatever you have, so consider it as if i kissed you"Brad


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