Questions about or that apply specifically to women.

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16
votes
1answer
984 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
344 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
640 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
5answers
383 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
641 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
231 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
7answers
5k 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
2answers
229 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
717 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
255 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
2answers
334 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
221 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
3answers
554 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
212 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
1answer
111 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
326 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
155 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
3answers
336 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
258 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
115 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
774 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
776 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
143 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
390 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
186 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
2answers
273 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?
5
votes
1answer
99 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
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
592 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
166 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
410 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
267 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.
4
votes
2answers
143 views

What is the meaning of “guf naki” regarding prohibitting women to wear tefillin?

I wish to preface that I know that there are various concerns both pro and against women wearing tefillin, and for some, this is a "hot" issue. For purposes of my question, please dispel personal ...
4
votes
2answers
96 views

From where do we learn that women did not accept the report of the meragelim?

Rabbi Eliyahu Mansour in his derashah on Parashot Wayaq'hel/Pequdei (@ 19:15-19:56) mentioned that, during Het HaMeragelim, the righteous women of 'Am Yisra'el did not accept the meragelim's bad ...
4
votes
3answers
563 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
4answers
476 views

Why is there so much focus on Women's Modesty among Orthodox Jews?

Based on the amount of attention given to women's modesty, one could argue that being modest is their primary role in Judaism. (I think I've even seen that said explicitly.) Women are obligated in ...
4
votes
3answers
191 views

Can women participate in learning for a group siyum?

When somebody is organizing learning for a coordinated siyum (e.g. for a yahrzeit), I'm never sure whether as a woman I can sign up to help (assuming I can meet the expected level of learning). Are ...
4
votes
1answer
220 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?
3
votes
1answer
592 views

Do women need to count the Omer?

Is counting the Omer nowadays considered a time-bound Mitzva that women are exempt from?
3
votes
1answer
116 views

May women wear tefillin as an amulet?

I know there's some controversy on the permissability of women wearing tefillin and that most poskim forbid it. From what I understand that is for women to wear tefillin for the purpose of the mitzvah ...
3
votes
1answer
123 views

What was the name of Sarah's mother?

Seder Hadoros mentions Avraham's mother, how old Nachor was when Sarah was born, and even a Peshat that Lot was her brother, though no mention of Sarah's mother's name. Any other sources that mention ...
3
votes
3answers
294 views

Why do women and girls not immerse before prayer?

According to Lubavitcher Rebbe, daily ritual immersion is a commendable practice, as a praying Jew is likened to the kohen who would always immerse before his avoda. Why do the women of those ...
3
votes
3answers
549 views

What is the difference between Maharat and Yoetzet Halacha?

I am familiar with two different programs which (as far as I understand) teach women to be halachaik authorities. Graduates of one program--Yeshivat Maharat in New York--are called Maharat. Graduates ...
3
votes
2answers
347 views

Can one say “Hazak u'Baruch” to both men and women? If not, is there a female equivalent?

When returning from an Aliyah la'Torah, I am commonly met with "Hazak u'Baruch". I have encountered this saying in other situations when someone does something praiseworthy. Can one say "Hazak ...
3
votes
2answers
292 views

What kind of Mechitza is required when the women daven on the second floor?

Many times I have seen Shuls where women pray on a balcony on the second floor. What kind of Mechitza do they need? Is it enough if one can't see them (for example, if the angle is such that they ...
2
votes
1answer
205 views

Is a woman forbidden to destroy her seed? [duplicate]

Halachikly is a lady forbidden to masturbate? I would like to know both when she is on her own aa well as during foreplay.
2
votes
4answers
550 views

Are men allowed to listen to women on the radio?

Is a man allowed to listen to a woman on the radio? Would it change if you saw the actual girl (e.g. on TV singing)? Related: What is the source for a woman's voice as ervah?
2
votes
1answer
394 views

Beis Din observing a female convert's immersion in the Mikvah

The practice today is that the Beis Din overseeing the conversion of a woman will observe her head going below water for the required Tevilah. Given the potential modesty issue - I know that they put ...
2
votes
1answer
136 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
371 views

What is the Heter for the prevalent Clothing among Women?

The Eida HaChareidis1 paskened (and R' Wosner agreed) in accordance with the Mishna Berura2, who requires women to go in public places only when wearing redid (a head-covering wrapping the entire body ...