Questions about or that apply specifically to women.

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9
votes
2answers
452 views

Should women eat in the Sukkah?

Is there any inyan for a woman to eat in the sukkah. I know they're not required (after all, it's a mitzvas asei shehazeman grama [מצות עשה שהזמן גרמא]), but I still know many women who do. Is this ...
9
votes
2answers
381 views

How can I determine if someone is Shomer Negiah?

I am not Shomer Negiah. However, I have been in mixed social situations where I was unsure if the person I was meeting was Shomer Negiah. I don't want to offend anyone, so I'm wondering if there is a ...
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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
262 views

May a woman freeze her ova?

Is a woman allowed to freeze her own ova if she is coming to the later years of her life and is afraid she will miss her opportunity to have her own children naturally or otherwise, or is that frowned ...
9
votes
3answers
241 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
1answer
506 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
173 views

Mitzvah for fathers to buy things for dating-age daughters?

I heard that men whose daughters are dating have a mitzvah to supply them with things that will help them, i.e. dresses, jewelry, etc. Is there a source for this?
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
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
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
1answer
242 views

How do married women whose professions are physically demanding cover their hair?

I'm assuming that somewhere in the world there are observant married women who work as police officers, builders, and other physically demanding jobs where an ordinary scarf, hat, or wig may not stay ...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
745 views

Is there an issue with ladies going to the zoo when they are pregnant?

Is there an issue with ladies going to the zoo when they are pregnant? If yes then why is it a problem?
8
votes
3answers
276 views

Wedding Rings on Yom Kippur?

This is my first Yom Kippur as a married woman--I usually remove ALL of my jewelry, but I'm not sure about my wedding band (which conforms to halakha). Should I wear the wedding band but remove the ...
8
votes
2answers
788 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
1answer
101 views

Practically speaking, how should I cover my hair?

I belong to a liberal community where married women do not cover their hair. But occasionally I visit other communities (generally Modern Orthodox or Lubavich) for Shabbat and I would like to fit in ...
8
votes
1answer
334 views

May a non-Jew have an abortion?

Are non-Jews permitted to have abortions? (Consider the gemara in Sanhedrin 57b where "a baraita brings in the name of Rabbi Yishmael that a Ben Noach gets capital punishment if he intentionally ...
7
votes
5answers
715 views

Rashi's Daughters wearing Tefillin

There is a commonly held "tradition" that Rashi's daughters wore Tefillin. One highly educated rabbi/professor has publicly stated that he's spent 35 years searching for a source but to no avail. ...
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, ...
7
votes
4answers
329 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
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
votes
3answers
834 views

Can a woman ever wear a prayer shawl?

I've seen prayer shawls for girls available on the internet e.g. for Bat Mitzvah. I'm not sure what to think of it or if I'm comfortable with it. Can a woman wear a prayer shawl, and if so under ...
7
votes
2answers
229 views

Do women also wear white on Yom Kippur?

Is it customary for women to wear white clothing on Yom Kippur, or is it largely a custom men observe?
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
2answers
199 views

When did Achashverosh stop rounding up fair maidens?

So first Achashverosh was married to Vashti. Then no more Vashti. Then he's rounding up all the fair maidens in the land to um, "meet" them, one per night, but they're still stuck in one of his royal ...
7
votes
1answer
921 views

Tznius In Regards to Covering Elbows

Are there sources that say women do not have to cover elbows? Because I've seen Orthodox women not covering them and I want to be able to say that there are sources that support their actions.
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How to make Purim more female friendly?

At a recent Shabbat meal the conversation was about how Purim was a "guy holiday" where women felt like second class citizens, especially married women who often found themselves cooking the seuda, ...
7
votes
2answers
318 views

Women had to sacrifice for purification each month?

In parashat Metzorah it says that after a woman's flow has ended, part of the purification process is bringing two doves as a sacrifice. Weren't sacrifices only allowed to be done at the Tabernacle ...
7
votes
3answers
252 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
168 views

In a mixed marriage, is a Jewish woman liable for kareit if they have relations while she's niddah?

I know that per torah, if a (Jewish) man has relations with a woman who is niddah he is punished with kareit. I have been told that in this case the woman is also punished with kareit. Is the ...
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
205 views

Who is obligated in Pidyon HaBen?

A woman I know mentioned that she is redeeming her firstborn son. This got me thinking. A Pidyon HaBen is mandated for the first male child to "open" the mother's womb. But whose Mitzvah is it? The ...
7
votes
3answers
430 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
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
217 views

Why was Kozbi not an eshes yefas toar?

Why was Kozbi bas Tzur not considered an eshes yefas toar (a non-Jewish woman who is taken captive during wartime and is permitted to her captor) who would then be permitted to Zimri? This question ...
7
votes
3answers
176 views

Why does the census “of all who are able to go forth to war” include a few women?

The census in Bamidbar 26 is directed thus: Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, by their fathers' houses, all that are able to go ...
7
votes
1answer
132 views

Why does Yalkut Yosef recommend women not do “tashlich”?

I read in Yalkut Yossef that women don't need to go to Tashlikh and the Rav Y. Yossef shlit"a concludes with "Shev Veal Tasse Adif" (trans. it's better to do nothing). Does anyone know the reason ? I ...
7
votes
4answers
157 views

What did women have to do with the moon's shrinking?

In the Mishna Berurah (426:1) it says (with loose translation): ונשים פטורות מלקדש הלבנה דהוי מ"ע שהזמן גרמא ואף דכל מ"ע שהזמן גרמא נוהגות הנשים שמקיימות ומברכות עליהן מ"מ מצוה זו אין צריכין ...
7
votes
1answer
149 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
1answer
582 views

Why “new-mother bat her-father” for a woman who gives birth?

When we pray for the healing (refuah) of a woman or girl, we refer to her as "(patient's name) bat (patient's mother's name)", for example "Shoshana bat Michal" or "Rivka bat Shifra Aviva". This is ...
7
votes
2answers
642 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?
7
votes
1answer
61 views

Why do the mothers break the plate?

At a wedding [or by the engagement], a plate is customarily broken at the "tena'im." This has already been discussed over here. As I have seen at weddings, and as is brought over here the custom is ...
7
votes
1answer
208 views

Does a lady count as a Panim Chadashos?

Even Ha'Ezer 62:7 says that in order to say Sheva Brachos at the meals that are made for the week after the wedding for the Chassan and Kallah there needs to be a Panim Chadashos (new face) present. ...
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
1answer
177 views

What does one do when one needs to bentch gomel?

One who has recovered from a serious illness or accident is supposed to bentch gomel during the torah service. What do you need to know to do this? Specifically: When is the right time -- the ...
7
votes
1answer
145 views

Spaying of female dogs

Is it acceptable to spay a pet female dog, or is there a prohibition against neutering a female dog like that of a male dog?
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
659 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
75 views

Please explain the “apparent omission” of not including the women as the ones going into Cana'an after the 40-year wandering in the desert

I saw the explanation of how we know women entered Cana'an as listed in the answer to this question. My question is regarding what seems to be an omission. The original complaint of the people in ...