Israeli Singer Refuses To Shake Biden’s Hand After Reading The Bible

( )- Israeli pop singer Yuval Dayan caused a bit of a controversy last week after she refused to shake hands with President Joe Biden. But citing her religious faith, Dayan defended her actions and called on her critics to apologize.

Last Thursday, Dayan, along with singer Ran Danker, performed at the ceremony where Biden received Israel’s highest civilian honor. Afterward, Biden and Israeli President Isaac Herzog went to thank the singers. While Danker shook hands with Biden, Dayan clasped her hands together and graciously bowed.

After a video clip of the supposed “snub” went viral on social media, Dayan explained that as an Orthodox Jew, out of modesty, she has committed to refrain from touching members of the opposite sex.

Dayan is a member of an Orthodox community that embraces the principle of shomer negiah, which prohibits physical contact with members of the opposite sex. As part of her faith, she also refrains from performing on the Sabbath or Jewish holidays.

But some critics think Dayan should’ve made an exception for the President of the United States.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Dayan said that she was raised on the values of respect and human dignity. She asked those who accused her of disrespecting Biden to “take back their words and apologize” not to her, but to her parents.

The prohibition on opposite-sex touching is rooted in the view that any physical contact could lead to sexual impropriety.

Dayan said she had told President Herzog’s staff ahead of time that she was “shomeret negiah” so there would be no offense taken when she refused to shake hands with either Herzog or Biden.