Questions about the Jewish laws and customs of modesty in dress, speech, and behavior.

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30
votes
20answers
5k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
3k 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?
12
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
752 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
432 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. ...
26
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
684 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
430 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
488 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
217 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
442 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
2k 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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
685 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
451 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
1answer
280 views

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

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
329 views

Who is liable in kol isha and tznius situations?

If a woman starts singing in a room with men, despite knowing they observe kol isha, is she liable for her voice being heard or are the men that hear her liable? If a woman dresses non-tznius in ...
1
vote
1answer
419 views

Which communities do not allow women to drive cars?

Which communities do not allow women to drive cars? I know the Belzer hassidim do not allow this, but I do not know about any other communities.
13
votes
3answers
415 views

The practice of (not) printing pictures of women in magazines and newspapers under religious auspices

I was reading a My Encounter the other week (not available online) which had an interview with the editor of The Moshiach Times. In it he described how the practice of other religious magazines at the ...
12
votes
3answers
604 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?
12
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
289 views

In a non-life-threatening emergency, can a female doctor do a hospital procedure on a male or vice versa?

Surgery usually requires viewing parts of a naked person. Are there halachic problems with a doctor of opposite gender doing this on a Jewish patient? If the procedure is one where part of the body ...
2
votes
2answers
444 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?
22
votes
9answers
9k views

Men: how do you control your reactions to women in immodest dress if you can't avoid them?

A question on The Workplace from a man uncomfortable with the dress of some of his new, female coworkers got a highly-voted answer saying that you get used to it and he should just wait it out. As a ...
15
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
218 views

Immodesty in artificial pictures

Does one violate a prohibition if sees pritzus, immodesty in a CGI, comic books and in handwritten drawing or does it only apply to real pictures?
18
votes
4answers
706 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
274 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
567 views

Walking Between 2 Women - Relatives

A man is not allowed to walk between two women. Does this apply where one of them is his mother (or sister)?
12
votes
1answer
135 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
527 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, ...
10
votes
8answers
607 views

Is there any source that says that women should / should not get drunk on Purim?

The prevalent מנהג is that women do not get drunk on Purim. I assume this due to tznius (modesty) concerns. Is there any ancient or recent source that explicitly discusses women not/yes drinking on ...
10
votes
5answers
766 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
539 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
663 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
776 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
629 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?
14
votes
2answers
848 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
812 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
920 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
1answer
294 views

Neighbors inappropriate mail

If I see a neighbors inappropriate mail, am I allowed to throw it out?
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Woman wearing her husband's comfortable clothing

Is there any printed discussion about a woman wearing her husband's comfortable clothing? While there is an Isur for a woman to wear a man's clothing, I've read in several places that this is about a ...
7
votes
2answers
338 views

Tznius and B'not Noach

To what extent do the standards of tznius apply to non-Jews living among Jews? For example, is a married Noachide woman's hair considered ervah? If not, why not? I know that rules concerning tznius ...
6
votes
2answers
522 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
151 views

Mishneh Torah Artwork

In my yeshiva there is a library that has many very old seforim. While exploring the library I came across a volume of the Mishneh Torah which seems to be from 1574. I opened it and was surprised to ...
5
votes
2answers
146 views

Why did Yaakov ask Yosef to swear in the way he did?

Inspired by this question In Bereshis 47:29 Yaakov asks Yosef to "put his hand under his thigh" (a euphemism) and swear not to bury him in Egypt. Here, unlike by Avraham, there is no indication that ...
4
votes
0answers
183 views

Is it permissible for a man to be seen without a shirt?

In many parts of the United States, it is socially acceptable for a man to be without a shirt while working at a physical activity. Examples might be cutting grass or digging a hole in the summertime....
4
votes
2answers
156 views

Prishus in Jewish Marriage

I know that there is a concept of prishus (going beyond the letter of the law, and abstaining from things that are really allowed) within Jewish marriage, but what exactly does this constitute, and ...