Yes, passive or no purpose. My thought is chambering an empty hand can make it passive. Pulling an arm with hikite is an active hand, different from empty hikite. An article from Iain's blog.I thought dead hand means that there is no movement.
Excerpt from "Practical Applications of Uke Waza by Andy Allen:"
Motobu coined the term ‘husband and wife hands’, or ‘mefutode’. He wrote,
"When facing an opponent in a combative posture it is important to know the lead hand can be used to deal with both offensive and defensive issues. The lead hand can be used for both protecting and attacking concurrently. The rear hand is used as a reserve if and when the front hand cannot accomplish the intended outcome. Then mefutode can be used for both offense and defense."
Motobu criticized the practice of chambering the rear hand at the hip poised to strike as this eliminated its potential as a defensive weapon....