Who knew? I’ll have to tell Mrs. Depravitch to stop buying soy products as a pareve non-diary dietary alternative. And it’s probably about time I rethink only shaking hands with men.*
From a post in October, 2013
According to a report in HaMevasser, Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Alter issued the ban due to the belief that ‘hormones’ in the food could cause boys to become effeminate. And if these boys become more like ‘girls’, then teachers and older students would become attracted to them. The rabbi is also concerned soy will cause female students to sexually mature faster than normal. Officials at the school believe soy-based products damage the ‘spirituality of students’. The leader of a group of an ultra-orthodox Jewish sect in Israel, the rabbi has previously told men to stop shaking hands for fear that ‘normative incidental physical contact’ could lead to gay sex.
Yaakov Aryeh Alter, is the eighth and current Rebbe of the Hasidic dynasty of Ger, a position he has held since 1996. He lives in Israel and has followers in the United States, Europe and Canada. – Wikipedia
* I gave up on that not shaking a woman’s hand nonsense long ago (and even that was short-lived because it caused more awkwardness than good). And I’m proud to say I’ve had a 100% success rate at not having intimate relations with women whose hand I’ve shaken. Apparently a BT (or former BT) really can stand where a tzadik can’t.