Blind Orthodox May Touch Their Dates
But not to find out if they’re beautiful, rabbi decrees
It is, in truth, an excellent question, when you stop to think about it. If a blind man “sees” what people look like by touching their faces, how is a blind Orthodox man—prohibited from touching a woman who is not his wife—to see what a potential wife looks like? Thankfully, Rabbi Yuval Sherlo, head of Israel’s Petah Tikva Hesder Yeshiva, has provided an answer, Ynet reported yesterday: A blind Orthodox man may indeed feel his date—so long as he intends to marry her. “This is the way a blind man gets to know his partner,” the rabbi wrote. “It may even be correct to say that he is required to touch her.” While a religious ruling says men may not look at women because of their beauty, but Sherlo acknowledges one still wants to know about a potential wife’s appearance. “A blind man cares about many things, even if he cannot see them,” he said.