Questions about the Jewish laws and customs of modesty

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

11
votes
5answers
972 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
22
votes
16answers
2k 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 ...
22
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
483 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
322 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
485 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
1k 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?
7
votes
1answer
236 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
307 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. ...
14
votes
3answers
885 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
159 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
341 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?
17
votes
4answers
519 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
191 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
495 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
4answers
608 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
420 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
3answers
460 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
458 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
487 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
712 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?
6
votes
2answers
398 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
2answers
518 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
103 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 ...
13
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 ...
13
votes
4answers
978 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
645 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
261 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
346 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
363 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
414 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
3answers
367 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
363 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
1answer
200 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
2k 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, ...
4
votes
4answers
401 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 ...
13
votes
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
416 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
0answers
48 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
2k 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
266 views

Neighbors inappropriate mail

If I see a neighbors inappropriate mail, am I allowed to throw it out?
7
votes
3answers
245 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?
7
votes
3answers
403 views

Is mixed gender volleyball permissible?

Are men and women permitted to play volleyball against each other, with each team only one gender? Does it make a difference if they are separated by an opaque wall or a regular net?
7
votes
2answers
595 views

Which communities accept sheitels (wigs) as adequate hair coverings for married women?

Assuming that married women need to cover their hair today (I'm not going into that discussion), which communities accept that a sheitel is considered a covering?
6
votes
1answer
431 views

Why swim fully clothed?

As Mishna B'rura 2:1 notes, one can bathe in a river or go to a bathhouse dressed in whatever clothes are normal for doing so, even if that means no clothes at all, so long as one is clothed until he ...
5
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
143 views

What does “p'ruath rosh” actually mean?

It says in the halakha that a married woman may not go out into the public market place with "p'ruath rosh." I have heard that this means "with uncovered head," but this does not seem to match up ...
5
votes
1answer
159 views

When is a mechitza required at a meal?

According to the opinions which require Mechitzos by weddings. Why isn't there a requirement to have Mechitzos by any other Seudas Mitzvah? For example, why isn't there a requirement that one have a ...