Questions about or that apply specifically to women.

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13
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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 ...
9
votes
4answers
337 views

When can you count ladies towards a Minyan?

I've heard that there are situations in which one can count the ladies towards a Minyan. Is that true? Which situations?
6
votes
1answer
896 views

Heter for not Covering Hair

Is there any Shut sefer or other that permits a women not covering her hair NOT the Aruch Hashulchan saying it is not Ervah but allowing a women to go out in modern times with their Hair uncovered?
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
257 views

How is gender halachically determined?

I apologize if this is a sensitive topic, but it seems that this question is foundational to some of the discussions that appear here. I hope that my wording is appropriate. If I understand ...
7
votes
2answers
516 views

May a woman look at a man for pleasure?

It's ossur for a man to look at a woman for pleasure. Even to look at her small finger with the intention of having pleasure from it (See EH"E Siman 21 Sif 1.) Is there any prohibition for a woman to ...
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
1answer
196 views

Can a man fulfill his obligation by listening to a woman's Birchos HaShachar?

Can a man fulfill his obligation by listening to a woman's Birchos HaShachar (morning blessings)? What about vice-versa? I suppose my question breaks down into three parts: Do women have a lesser ...
4
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2answers
266 views

Are there any female kabbalists?

Are there currently or have there been historically orthodox female kabbalists? If not is this a quirk of history or is there a specific reason?
2
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2answers
292 views

Should a woman wear a gartel?

My understanding of the halachic need for a gartel is very limited; is there any reason a woman should or should not wear one during prayer?
-1
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1answer
157 views

Elohim - Female Image of G-d

There is a group that teaches that analyzing the words in Genesis 1:26 : And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and they shall rule over the fish of the sea and over ...
15
votes
1answer
799 views

What was daily life like for Jewish women living in al-Andalus in the 10th/11th centuries?

The emir of Al-Andalus (approximately the Iberian peninsula) declared himself a new caliph, breaking off from the caliphate in the east, circa 950 CE. I have read that the next couple hundred years ...
14
votes
4answers
313 views

Women and Mayim Acharonim

I very often eat at meals where after the meal, all of the men wash mayim acharonim, but none of the women do so. I am aware of a number of halachic sources that say both men and women should wash ...
13
votes
2answers
552 views

Do Shaving Restrictions Apply to Bearded Women?

For example, if a woman were to have a beard, would she be permitted to shave it off with a razor or otherwise destroy it, or do these restrictions apply to both men and women?
11
votes
5answers
336 views

Uman for Rosh Hashanah?

Why do people leave Eretz Yisroel to go to Uman for Rosh Hashanah? (It seems to me like leaving America for July Fourth.) In general what is the reason people go: is it Just a festival in the ...
11
votes
1answer
423 views

May a lady take a pregnancy test on Shabbos?

Are there any issues with taking a pregnancy test (non-electronic) on Shabbos?
10
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2answers
707 views

Rape for a girl and is looking to get married

If a young Jewish girl was raped, what are the protocols for her getting married? Is there anyone that she can't marry other than the Kohen or Kohen Gadol? What are the halachot for these types of ...
10
votes
3answers
206 views

Is there value in gender-adapted names?

There are various Hebrew names in use that are feminizations of pre-existing masculine names. (The opposite case may exist as well, but I can't think of any examples.) Examples: Yaakova Rafaella ...
9
votes
3answers
242 views

Why was there a distinction made for women captives?

In Numbers 31, God tells the Israelites to wipe out the Midianites (and incidentally, Balaam) by killing every male. But they spared certain women (v17-18): Now therefore kill every male among the ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
220 views

Chamisha Asar B'Av - when did the Minhag stop?

The Gemara Taanis 31. says אמר רבן שמעון בן גמליאל לא היו ימים טובים לישראל כחמשה עשר באב וכיוה"כ שבהן בנות ירושלים יוצאות ... וחולות בכרמים ומה היו אומרות בחור שא נא עיניך וראה מה אתה בורר לך אל תתן ...
8
votes
7answers
185 views

What's her husband doing at the gates in the middle of her song?

Eishes Chayil is a song sung traditionally on Friday nights. It's the last 22 verses of Mishlei/Proverbs. It speaks about a "Woman of Valor", and literally does nothing but sing her praises. Well, ...
8
votes
2answers
791 views

Are Jewish women permitted to use birth control that stops menstruation?

Is there any reason that a Jewish woman who has permission from her Rabbi to use birth control could not choose a pill that stops her from menstruating? Although certain birth control pills are ...
8
votes
2answers
203 views

Can a woman drink the Kos Shel Bracha?

After saying Birkat HaMazon with a cup of wine, the Shulchan Aruch rules in OC 190:3, that at least a cheekful of wine must be drunk. If this was at a zimmun and the leader of the zimmun does not want ...
8
votes
2answers
128 views

V'Al Brischa SheChasamta Bivsoreinu - ועל בריתך שחתמת בבשרנו - does a lady say this?

In Bentching (grace after meals) - both in the Ashkenazic and in the Sefardic version - we say V'Al Brischa SheChasamta Bivsoreinu - ועל בריתך שחתמת בבשרנו - "and for Your covenant, which you sealed ...
8
votes
1answer
183 views

Teffilin and women

Rashi's daughters are popularly described as having worn Teffilin, but apparently there is no such source, just a popular urban legend in Jewish circles. Are there any women described in Rabbinic ...
7
votes
1answer
77 views

Calling female baby by name before official naming

Is there any objection, halachic or otherwise, to calling a baby girl by the name the parents plan on giving it before the mi sheberach prayer is recited at the torah reading following the birth? What ...
7
votes
1answer
153 views

What is the earliest source of the story of Serach bas Asher and the harp?

This post indicates that the earliest source for the story of Serach bas Asher and the harp, wherein she notified Yakov that Yosef was still alive in a very subtle musical fashion, is a very late ...
7
votes
3answers
253 views

Praying whilst breastfeeding

If a woman is suitably dressed in a modest manner and is covered to the greatest degree possible, would she be permitted to pray whilst breastfeeding? If yes, would this be reserved for sha'at ...
7
votes
1answer
134 views

Saying Tachanun if there is a Kallah in the ladies section

The Minhag is not to say Tachanun in a Minyan where there is a Chasan present. Suppose a Kallah came to Shul (and there is no Chasan present) for Shacharis or Mincha and is in the ladies section, do ...
7
votes
3answers
277 views

Why can't a mixed gender meal of 3 form a zimun?

In a group of two women and one man (or one woman and two men), why can they not have a zimun together? Is it because of different levels of obligation in bentching? If so, why is a woman ...
7
votes
1answer
227 views

Where does our blessing for daughters come from?

In many Jewish homes on Shabbat, the head of the household would bless his sons to be like Ephraim and Menasheh but would bless his daughters to be like the matriarchs . What is the source, if any, ...
7
votes
1answer
662 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
1answer
100 views

Prenatal testing

I've been hearing that some people are discouraging prenatal testing for halachic reasons but it seems pretty important to me. Does anyone know if there's actually something halachicly wrong about ...
7
votes
3answers
557 views

Baby boy's MOTHER as the sandek(et)

I have recently come upon historical evidence of the mothers of baby boys serving as the sandek(et) during the brit milah. From page 18 of The Orthodox Jewish Woman and Ritual: Options and ...
7
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4answers
333 views

Moshe's divorcing Tzipora

Moshe refrained from marital relations with Tzipora for almost forty years, so as to be able to receive prophecy at any moment (Shabas 87:1). 1. Did he divorce her? 2. If not, why not?
7
votes
3answers
431 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
643 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
98 views

Can women be motsi Sephardic men in havdalah?

According to Sepharadim, women are chayavot in havdalah. Can they also be motsi men? Looking for a Sephardic answer.
6
votes
3answers
447 views

What's the deal with female Rabbis?

I was searching for a while, figuring this was already on here somewhere.. the questions about maharat were close but not what I was looking for. I'll ask it in two parts: 1) Is there a concrete ...
6
votes
2answers
842 views

Angel in the womb for women?

The Talmud (Niddah 30b) teaches us that when a child is in the womb, an angel comes and teaches it the entire Torah, which he subsequently forgets. The simple reading of the Gemara gives no reason to ...
6
votes
2answers
312 views

Kissing a child in the Ezras Nashim

It says in the Rema in OC Siman 98 Sif 1 that it's ossur to kiss a child in shul. There are perhaps exceptions to this rule and cases where it would be allowed however that's that it says in the Rema ...
6
votes
1answer
120 views

Kaparos for a pregnant woman — why the extra chicken?

From Sidur Tehilas Hashem, Sidur Rav Amram, and Nitei Gavriel Hilchos Yom Hakipurim 10:20 you take additional chickens for Kaparos for a pregnant lady in order to cover the fetus. What sin (or sins) ...
6
votes
1answer
539 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
91 views

Why can't we Mafkiya kiddushin?

According to DoubleAA, R' Shechter says that any three people have a right to declare items hefker through Hefker Beis Din Hefker. According to that, why doesn't an average Beis Din have a power to ...
6
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2answers
229 views

Formal Hebrew honorific for one's mother

Many men, when going up for an aliya, tell the gabbai their name as, e.g. "Reuven ben Rav Yaakov", even if "Yaakov," the father, isn't actually a Rabbi." I believe the reason for this practice is to ...
6
votes
1answer
624 views

May a woman shave her legs on Chol hamoed?

The Shulchan Aruch tell us that one may not shave on Chol Hamoed (Orach Chaim 531:2). Does this prohibition apply to women as well? Is a woman allowed to shave her legs on chol hamoed?
5
votes
1answer
463 views

Dealing with an asexual wife

Inspired by this question Many orthodox singles do not know about intimacy until right before the wedding. An asexual girl may of course choose not to get married, however, without prior experience ...
5
votes
1answer
147 views

What kind of cleanliness is required to put on Tefillin?

The Rama says (OC 38:3) that one must protest a woman's putting on Tefillin. The Magen Avraham there (sk 3) says that this is...: מפני שצריכין גוף נקי ונשים אינם זריזות להזהר... ...because ...
5
votes
1answer
295 views

Is a bat kohen allowed to go to cemetery?

Besides the permitted reasons for male kohen, is a bat kohen allowed to go to cemetery for other reason?