In an encounter that went viral on Israeli social media, Israeli singer Yuval Dayan refused to shake US president Joe Biden’s hand.
During a meeting at the president (of Israel’s) residence, Biden, along with his host President Isaac Herzog were entertained by Israeli singers Yuval Dayan and Ran Danker. The duet performed a rendition of the Israeli song huyahee in a mashup with the Beatle’s classic ‘Let it be.’
Following the performance, Biden approached Dayan to shake her hand, but Dayan refused. The reason she refused is that as a religious Jew, Dayan is Shomeret Negiyah, a Biblical commandment to refrain from touching members of the opposite sex who are not a spouse.
The prohibition against opposite-sex contact is sourced from two verses in Leviticus:
None of you shall come near anyone of his own flesh to uncover nakedness: I am Hashem. (Leviticus18:6),
Do not come near a woman during her period of uncleanness to uncover her nakedness (Leviticus 18:19).
Although these verses seem to be directed towards men, women are equally bound by the commandments associated with these verses, just as they are with all other negative commandments.