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|Halacha - negiah in costume|
|Submitted by esa Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh|
First of all the Shulchan Aruch considers all touching , even non-affectionate, to be assur mi'Deoraisa and y'hareig v'lo yaavor. Even according to the Shach, only completely innocent contact such as a doctors examination is reduced to a d'Rabbanan, but any friendly and familiar contact would be an issur d'Oraisa. This would seem to include putting ones arm around someone, as R' Moshe forbids even a handshake. Also, we do not have to go to the extreme of worrying about the "future affects of breaking a taboo", which you rightly point out is a more minor concern. There is ground to be concerned that the costumed figure could say he is a man while her arm is around him.