You could hug the world, in the hope that it becomes a better place. That’s what a group is doing in Jerusalem, according to the JTA:
The Old City of Jerusalem will be engulfed Monday in a human hug to promote love and unity among religions and cultures. Thousands are expected to gather at four locations around the Old City, from where they will fan out and surround the city’s walls in a “huge human hug,” according to a statement.
The hug is being organized by Lovers of Jerusalem, a group “unified by a commitment to make the world a more loving and respectful place, starting here in Jerusalem,” according to its Web site.
But the problem is that hugs can lead to dancing. Which is why you might also want to consider not hugging. And for that matter, encouraging teenagers to not hug, or kiss, or touch at all, following the example of Negiah.org (also via the JTA):
The Orthodox Union’s youth group started a Web site that promotes sexual abstinence for teens. Negiah.org, a site of the National Council of Synagogue Youth, explains abstinence, offers religious arguments for it and tips.
“Does being abstinent mean you can do everything except for the actual sex act?” the site asks. “Or is it doing absolutely nothing of an intimate or affectionate nature whatsoever (i.e., being “shomer” )? Is hugging and kissing still abstinent? What about second base? Third base?”
The answer: “Just be aware that halacha (Jewish law) does not permit any intimate or affectionate contact between men and women who are not married to one another (or close relatives).”