Questions about or that apply specifically to women.

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7
votes
1answer
638 views

Can a woman converting to Judaism go to the Mikvah during her period?

When Gentiles convert to Judaism, they are "like a newborn". If I understand correctly, there is no such thing as Niddah vis a vis non-Jews. So, if I add those two together, I am inclined to assume ...
7
votes
2answers
303 views

Listening to a woman giving shiur

Can a man listen to a woman give a shiur (Torah class)? Does it matter if it's not in a class format — like, let's say it's on a CD?
6
votes
1answer
230 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
496 views

Women and girls covering their heads when lighting candles

I'm not sure how widespread the following practice is, since, as a man - and even since I was a young boy - I have always taken little notice of other women and girls outside my immediate family as I (...
6
votes
0answers
242 views

Definition of mini-skirt in Yabia Omer YD 6:14

In Yabia Omer YD 6:14, Rav Ovadia Yosef ruled that it is preferable for a woman to wear women's pants than to wear a "mini-skirt" (חצאית-מיני). He writes that a full skirt is preferable to both. In ...
6
votes
3answers
482 views

Women using tampons before marriage

Is there any issue with women using tampons before marriage? I would appreciate sourced answers discussing this either saying it's ok or not ok. My thought is that since the use of a tampon requires ...
5
votes
3answers
740 views

To what extent can a man talk to women?

Is a man allowed to talk to a woman for non shidduch/business purposes? Which halacha could I look up to get more info on this?
4
votes
1answer
228 views

Tearing keriyah for ladies mourning in public

Is it considered to be "un-tznius" (immodest) for ladies to tear keriyah (rip their clothes in mourning) in public?
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Do spirits/souls have genders?

Bodies have genders (physical anatomy and genetics) and the brain has a gender (gender identity), but do the spirits/souls or our heavenly bodies have genders as well? Similar: Do we retain our ...
3
votes
2answers
349 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?
3
votes
1answer
91 views

If one or more women complete a Talmudic tractate, can they make a siyum?

There is this related M.Y. question about women joining a men's siyum. If one or more women complete a Talmudic tractate can / should they make a siyum? I know that women cannot form a minyan, ...
3
votes
4answers
435 views

Are women allowed to drive?

Prompted by this article is there any basis for not allowing woman to drive? Can this practice even be termed a 'minhag'? If so, what is the motivation behind this 'tradition'? As quoted from the ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

Does a lady have to remove a prosthetic arm or leg prior to going to the Mikva?

When a lady goes to the Mikva she has to ensure that there is no Chatziza. Is a prosthetic arm or leg a Chatziza? Is there a difference if the prosthetic is permanent or removable? (source)
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Have women accepted Zachor on themselves?

Women are exempt from hearing shofar, but some hold they've accepted it upon themselves and are, for that reason, now required to hear it. There is a dispute whether women are required to read/hear ...
2
votes
3answers
112 views

Why is there no Bris Milah for girls?

The title says it all, for the most part, but given that the Bris Milah is a way of bringing a newborn boy into the covenant with God, why is there no parallel/similar ritual, or commencement, as it ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Do women/minors count toward the nine listening to chazaras hashatz?

Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 124:4, in my own, loose translation: When the leader repeats the amida (sh'mone esre), the congregation should be quiet, pay attention to the benedictions that the ...
1
vote
3answers
105 views

Are women explicitly forbidden from handling and reading the Torah?

I am interested to know, despite the "political agendas" involved, if the "women of the wall" are in breach of halacha and if so, which one(s). As a part of that, I ask: Are women explicitly forbidden ...
0
votes
2answers
135 views

Is it permissible for a woman to learn Pirkei Avot & Shulchan Aruch?

Is there anything prohibiting/restricting a woman from reading Pirkei Avot or the Shulchan Aruch?
21
votes
2answers
4k views

May my wife wear my jacket to keep warm?

The Sefer HaChinuch #564 writes that it’s forbidden for a woman to wear men’s clothing. If it’s cold outside, is a woman allowed to wear a man’s coat to keep warm? If #1 is a problem, are any ...
16
votes
1answer
1k 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
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 ...
14
votes
4answers
352 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
655 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?
12
votes
4answers
803 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
387 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
712 views

May a lady take a pregnancy test on Shabbos?

Are there any issues with taking a pregnancy test (non-electronic) on Shabbos?
10
votes
3answers
244 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
1answer
270 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
2answers
239 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
3answers
587 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?
8
votes
2answers
339 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 (...
8
votes
7answers
232 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
117 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
124 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
3answers
215 views

Why do all women deserve to suffer for the sin of one woman, Chava?

In the Torah, Bereshit 3:16, all women receive the curse of a painful childbirth and their subservience to men. This is all because Chava made the choice to make Adam eat from the tree. Why should all ...
7
votes
1answer
160 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) ...
7
votes
2answers
231 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.
7
votes
3answers
359 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
859 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?
7
votes
2answers
799 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
3answers
351 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 less-...
7
votes
1answer
263 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, ...
6
votes
1answer
205 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
885 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
147 views

What is the source for Rav Soloveitchik's assertion that 1st Century Christians introduced mixed seating for prayers?

In the collection of Rav Soloveitchik’s responsa Community, Covenant and Commitment, there is a series of letters railing against mixed seating in the synagogue. Amongst the points raised there is a ...
5
votes
1answer
112 views

Did women and Levites survive the 40 years in the wilderness?

In Bamidbar 14:29-30 God decrees the consequences of the people believing a bad report from the spies: בַּמִּדְבָּר הַזֶּה יִפְּלוּ פִגְרֵיכֶם וְכָל-פְּקֻדֵיכֶם, לְכָל-מִסְפַּרְכֶם, מִבֶּן ...
5
votes
2answers
366 views

Level of obligation of married women covering their hair

Does a married woman have to cover her hair based on a biblical commandment or a rabbinic decree?
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Can an unmarried woman halachically cover her hair?

Whilst studying I came across this, From Sefer Kedushah, Issurei Biah Chapter 21 - Halacha 17 Jewish women should not walk in the marketplace with uncovered hair. [This applies to] both unmarried*...
5
votes
1answer
460 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?
5
votes
2answers
280 views

arachin: dependance on age and sex

Why is the erech (Vayikra 27:1–8) of a woman less than that of a man? And why does erech depend on age? Sources, please.