Questions about the Jewish laws and customs of modesty

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11
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5answers
1k views

Is a mechitza required for dancing at Jewish weddings? Why?

If the men and women aren't dancing together, is it strictly required that there also be a mechitza between them? If so, why? What guidelines would this mechitza have to meet? Or is it simply a smart ...
22
votes
16answers
3k views

How to tactfully circumvent opposite-gender handshake

Say you're a man in a professional setting, and a woman who isn't used to dealing with observant Jews stretches out her hand to greet you -- but your practice is to avoid shaking hands even in ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Mixed swimming in a pool?

What are the issues with mixed swimming, from a tzniut point of view? Does it make a difference if the swimmers are or aren't Jewish? For example, are there issues with me swimming with my wife and a ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the sources for women to wear/ not wear pants?

I have heard that the argument is beged ish / kli gever, and I have heard people say that even if that was once a real reason for it it doesn't apply today for various reasons. I understand that the ...
17
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4answers
2k views

Shaking hands with the opposite gender?

What's the story: Can a man shake hands with a woman (or vice versa) in a business setting?
11
votes
2answers
548 views

What is the conceptual definition of tzniut?

When the concept of tzniut is discussed it is defined as 'modesty' and used overwhelmingly in regard to sexuality. However we know there are other uses for the term such as from the gemarah (Megillah ...
9
votes
1answer
509 views

Married woman covering hair

Is it strictly necessary for a married woman to keep her hair covered in the following situations? If not, how important is it? 1) When alone in the house 2) When alone (or with husband) in the ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

The laws behind the separation of men and women

In Israel there is a hot debate because of instances on some communities where extra steps are taken to separate men and women in every day life. For example in some bus lines women seat in the back ...
9
votes
1answer
362 views

Is modesty a positive or negative commandment?

Given that: There are two types of Mitzvoth (commandments), 'Aseh and Lo Ta'aseh (positive and negative; ie., "Thou Shalt" and "Thou Shalt Not"). a. Positive commandments, with some exceptions can ...
11
votes
4answers
687 views

Woman's hair covering in the home or in private

Trying to sort out my question, I came across this one, which is closely related, but it is not an exact duplicate. According to those who say a woman must cover her hair, not just her head (those ...
7
votes
1answer
285 views

May a woman with artifical metal legs wear a short skirt or pants?

May a woman (or a man) wear immodest clothing over an artificial part of her body? (Lets assume that beged ish is not a consideration) i.e. if she has artifical legs, may she wear short shorts? ...
7
votes
6answers
326 views

Saying words of prayer or Torah while an immodest photo or drawing is in your field of vision?

The halachah is clear (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75) that one may not recite Shema, or any other words of Torah or prayer, while in the presence of parts of the human body that should be covered. ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Why do divorced or widowed women still need to cover their hair?

I was recently reading the latest edition of Halachically Speaking. It says: A woman who is a widow r”l or divorcee still has an obligation to cover her hair. But why is this so? Why should they ...
4
votes
1answer
172 views

How is lack of tznius lifnei eiver?

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, zt’l in Yechaveh Da’as III #67 indicates that a woman who dresses immodestly violates lifnei eiver. How/why does a woman dressing immodestly transgress the prohibition of lifnei ...
1
vote
2answers
364 views

What is the source for a woman's voice as ervah?

What is the source that a woman's (singing) voice is considered ervah?
6
votes
2answers
235 views

Is there an actual mitzvah for women to dress tzanua in and of itself?

Is there an actual mitzvah for women to dress tzanua in and of itself? Or is it simply helping out a man's mitzvah of not looking at ervah when learning/saying brachas, and not being led to forbidden ...
17
votes
4answers
570 views

How does an outsider know how to dress for a particular Orthodox community?

Standards of dress (at least for women) aren't nearly as consistent within Orthodoxy as we might wish. Wearing exactly the same halachically-correct clothing I have been under-dressed in some places ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Can you see your wife unclothed?

I think someone in another question here (or on another site?) said he was told by his "chassan teacher" not to look at his wife unclothed. It seems like this is not the real halacha to me, or at ...
6
votes
3answers
293 views

What is the status of the psak of a Maharat?

If an orthodox male Rabbi bestows semicha on a woman (dubbed Maharat), what is the status of her halachic decisions? This question is irrespective of whether or not the male Rabbi should confer ...
13
votes
2answers
525 views

Why is hair sometimes considered *erva* (nakedness) but sometimes not?

Why do people say that the hair of a married woman is considered as nakedness, but not the hair of a single woman? Isn't hair just hair? What if a man grew his hair long - would it also be ...
10
votes
2answers
443 views

Halachic Considerations for Women in the IDF

For a religious girl going into the IDF very soon, there are a few questions that are often asked: Especially in active units, wearing a skirt while on base can be a problem: While crawling, ...
5
votes
4answers
498 views

Hair Covering Before Marriage?

Are there any communities in America or Israel where women cover their hair before marriage? Do Satmar women cover their hair before marriage?
13
votes
2answers
528 views

May a man become a gynecologist?

Is there any discussion among the halachic authorities as to whether or not a man can choose to pursue a medical career in gynaecology? The issue that I would presume exists is that unlike other parts ...
11
votes
4answers
653 views

What's an elegant way to avoid social contact with untzinius or attractive women?

There's times when women I'm attracted to visit our home or are friends of my wife and I don't feel comfortable completely ignoring them or telling my wife to not invite them. I'm not sure how my wife ...
10
votes
5answers
550 views

How to tell someone about Shomer Negiah

As I'm sure that many of you have had to "break it" to a coworker or friend that you're Shomer Negiah, have you found a strategy or choice of words that seems most effective? As I wasn't raised frum ...
8
votes
1answer
778 views

Can a mother undress in front of her daughter?

Can a married woman with children undress in front of her daughter to try on clothes assuming she would be in undergarments?
8
votes
2answers
549 views

Is swimming unclothed ok?

Historically "bathing suits" are a relatively new phenomenon... all swimming / bathing in rivers / lakes / seas was unclothed. Culturally things have changed but does that affect halacha? There seem ...
8
votes
1answer
282 views

Neighbors inappropriate mail

If I see a neighbors inappropriate mail, am I allowed to throw it out?
6
votes
2answers
430 views

How do you get non-Jews to treat you with some kind of tznius?

I am an older unmarried frum Jewish woman. I work among non-Jews. I am sure other Jewish people work with non-Jews also. How do you make them respect that you do not follow their social behavior and ...
4
votes
1answer
207 views

What are the Halachot of Tznius as they relate to men?

What are the Halachot of Tznius as they relate specifically to men. Not men in relation to women. In other words, I'm not looking for "Men must act in a certain way when around women," I'm looking ...
2
votes
0answers
124 views

Must a woman not dressed for outside draw the blinds when standing next to a home window?

While cooking and cleaning in her kitchen, a woman wears clothing which she would not wear in public for reasons of modesty. The stove and sink face a window that faces a public street. Most people ...
2
votes
1answer
164 views

Laws pertaining to dress for men during fitness activities

What are the rules pertaining to a male doing a physical activity: If the kipa keeps falling off, is it necessary to wear it? What about modesty? If in the comfort of your own home, can you go ...
2
votes
3answers
182 views

Keeping up with “local” standards of modesty and dress - of religious Jews, or of society at large

In dealing with issues relating to Tzeni'uth (modesty) and clothing, a lot depends on "local" standards of dress. For example, the RaMBa"M (here) explains that in places where women do not normally go ...
2
votes
2answers
559 views

What Does Halacha Say About Women Wearing Veils?

I read here about certain Jewish sects prescribing face veil. Is there, in fact, a rule requiring or encouraging covering the faces of women in presence of unrelated men? If so, what is the source for ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the original halachic source for a woman covering her collarbones out of modesty (tznius)?

Many contemporary instructions on women's modesty (tznius) say that necklines have to be high enough to cover the collarbones. I can certainly accept that if this is the communal standard, it should ...
10
votes
1answer
700 views

Male tzniut: Swimwear

Seeing as summer is coming, I thought I'd clear up a few questions about male tzniut with regards to swimwear. Namely, my real question is: what is required? I live in southern California, so outside ...
3
votes
1answer
369 views

In a non-Jewish youth hostel, is it problematic to stay in a mixed-gender dorm instead of a male-only one?

I'm male. Say I stay in a non-Jewish youth hostel dorm room which is mixed-gender instead of male-only. Might I encounter yichud problems? Might I encounter any other halachic problems? What's your ...
11
votes
6answers
379 views

tznius in the bathroom

It recently came up in a discussion with a friend about the halachos that say that you have to take care only to expose minimal parts of your body while going to the bathroom. Personally, I was ...
10
votes
1answer
438 views

How were men allowed to watch an execution?

It says in Maseches Sota (8a) that that if a woman would be punished by stoning, she would be stoned virtually unclothed, and men would be allowed to attend. The Gemara says that there is no concern ...
9
votes
1answer
402 views

Sheitels or no sheitels - where is the halacha?

With very well respected Rabbis such as Rav Ovadia Yossef clearly stating that wigs (sheitels) are simply assur (forbidden) according to most poskim, while some other very well respected rabbis such ...
9
votes
3answers
401 views

Which authorities approve/disapprove of mixed events for singles?

Some weddings have mixed seating at the reception; some have separate seating. Some organizations and communities encourage or at least allow mixed events for singles; some discourage or forbid them. ...
8
votes
1answer
224 views

Minimal Body Covering to say Blessings

Can a man say a brachah with just boxer shorts on, or does he need to be fully dressed, for example with a "double covering" like pants, and/or wearing a shirt, when I wake up and want to wash netilat ...
7
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there a problem with women wearing red clothing?

I've heard that red clothing is forbidden for women to wear because it's immodest. Some recent psych research confirmed that men are more attracted to women in red. So that means it's prohibited, ...
5
votes
4answers
441 views

Is there a halachik problem with wearing shorts while davening?

I have often heard that one should not wear shorts while davening. This makes intuitive sense to me that we should do this out of respect. But is there any halachic reasoning behind this? Is it ...
2
votes
1answer
206 views

Getting dressed in the bathroom

I heard an interesting, but confusing, chumrah observed by Rabbi Pesach Levi of Lakewood. He said one should get dressed in one's bathroom because one should not appear naked in front of one's ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What are “universal minimum” standards of tznius for halachic purposes?

What are the minimum standards of tznius for halachic purposes? By "halachic purposes" I mean Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75, which forbids praying in the presence of ervah. I am raising the question ...
10
votes
0answers
70 views

How to determine common practice for halachos that are impacted by it

Certain halachic issues are informed or even determined by the social standards of the (non-Jewish) society in which one lives. Examples include what falls under the prohibition of cross-dressing (see ...
9
votes
7answers
3k views

why do jewish women wear so much black?

Usually, the color white is associated with purity (as indicated by the kittle). I don't know if the opposite color in the spectrum represents the opposite of purity (yes, I know it's not technically ...
8
votes
1answer
428 views

Viewing copulating animals

As a child at the zoo I was taught that one is not allowed to view animals while they are copulating. However as a pet owner I have learned that the exposed genitals of animals do not prohibit a ...
7
votes
3answers
301 views

Can a Sheitel be made out of one's own hair?

Suppose a married woman is able to create a Sheitel that is entirely made up of her own hair (detached, of course). Does that satisfy the requirement for covering her hair?