Questions about or that apply specifically to women.

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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
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2answers
529 views

Why can men wear pants if pants are immodest?

I have a question from another post here. If pants are considered to be immodest garments in general, aside from the issue of them being a male garment, why are they permissible for men to wear? Are ...
7
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2answers
575 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
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1answer
858 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?
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2answers
349 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
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3answers
351 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
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1answer
140 views

Negative commandments that only apply to women?

Are there any mitzvos lo sa'aseh that only apply to women?
7
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2answers
301 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?
7
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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, ...
7
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1answer
111 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 ...
7
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1answer
314 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
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4answers
227 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
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3answers
234 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
1answer
149 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
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3answers
186 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
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2answers
497 views

What was so good about Naamah the Ammonite?

In Bava Kamma 38b we are told that one reason God spared Lot was because of the two good birds who would issue from his daughters. Rus from Moav and Naamah from Ammon. Rus is well known, the only ...
7
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2answers
798 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
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1answer
196 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
110 views

kallah not doing work during sheva brachos

We know that a chasson is not permitted to do work during his Sheva Brachos. Two reasons: Either because he must spend the time bringing joy to his wife or because he is compared to a king and a king ...
7
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3answers
348 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
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1answer
116 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
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3answers
527 views

Is there any reason a Jewish woman should not shake hands with a non-Jewish man?

My question refers to the custom of certain groups to prohibit all physical contact between men and women who are not spouses or related. Although it is clear enough that Jewish men should not touch ...
7
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1answer
278 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
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2answers
228 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
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1answer
625 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
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1answer
159 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
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1answer
121 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
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2answers
590 views

Mikvah and illness

My understanding is that, as a general rule, a healthy woman may not delay going to the Mikvah for her own (or even her husband's) convenience. But I'm wondering if there are sources discussing ...
7
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1answer
229 views

Criteria for the list of Nashim Kesheiros (Medrash Breishis Rabsi)

The Medrash Breishis Rabsi Parshas Chaya Sara 23:1 lists 22* Nashim Kesheiros. כ"ב נשים כשרות היו בעולם ואלו הן שרה, רבקה, רחל, לאה, סרח בת אשר, יוכבד, מרים, בתיה בת פרעה, דבורה, צללפונית אשת מנוח, ...
7
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0answers
917 views

Rabbi Soloveitchik's wife and hair coverings

I've heard from some that Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's wife didn't cover her hair. I haven't managed to find a source for this. If there is a source, what is it, and if it's true, what was her ...
7
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2answers
4k views

Why is age 3 the age at which a girl is able to have intercourse?

In msh210's answer to this question of mine, he stated that: women...who physically could be [intimate with men], which is those who had reached their third birthday. In comments, he mentioned ...
7
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4answers
1k views

Horse back riding for women

Is it permissible for an Orthodox woman to do horseback riding in an ordinary saddle, or does she have to use a sidesaddle? Furthermore, would she be able to use women's trousers made for horseback ...
6
votes
4answers
599 views

Lady drinking Havdalah wine

Many times I have heard that a lady should not drink the wine from Havdalah as it will make her grow a beard. If a lady drank from the Havdalah wine will she really grow a beard? Is there a source ...
6
votes
1answer
338 views

What defines an Almana?

I was learning with a Rabbi today and we came across the following question. An Almana, widow, is not allowed to be married to a Kohen Gadol (see Mishna Yevamos 9:2). However, what defines a widow? ...
6
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2answers
763 views

Taharas hamishpacha practices during pregnancy

I am basing this question on this quote from the Wikipedia page on Hasidic childbirth customs: At the beginning of pregnancy, a woman's separation behavior depends on the regularity of her ...
6
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2answers
299 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
593 views

What was Avraham Avinu's mother's name?

What was Avraham Avinu's mother's name? Our shul received a paper with questions on Simhat Torah, with this question being one of the harder ones. Is there a midrash on her name?
6
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2answers
209 views

What was the name of Tzipora's mother?

What was the name of Tzipora's mother (Moses's mother-in-law)? There are a lot of wives mentioned in the Torah, but the names of some aren't mentioned even though they are important. So I was curious ...
6
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3answers
687 views

Do the Gemara and the Rema prohibit, or encourage, women putting on talit and/or tefillin?

An article in Ynet Judaism (in Hebrew) addresses the recent controversy regarding the prayer of Women of the Wall at the western wall. And claims the following claims: אף אחד גם לא הקריא להן את ...
6
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4answers
5k views

Modesty: What is the difference between Conservative and Modern Orthodox?

What are the differences between female Modern Orthodox/Modern Orthodox Liberal Jews and Conservatives in terms of women's modesty? My question applies both to dress and social interaction - shaking ...
6
votes
1answer
130 views

Why not do as Avraham and Sara did w.r.t. conversion

Rashi to B'reshis 12:5 quotes Rav Huna: "... whom they brought [to Judaism]. Avraham was converting the men and Sara the women...". My understanding is that nowadays female prospective converts study ...
6
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3answers
360 views

Bringing little girls into the men's section in Shul

It has become the norm in mosts shuls I've been to, that fathers bring little girls into the men's section of synagogues on Shabbos and Yom Tov. Until what age should girls still be allowed to ...
6
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1answer
1k 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?
6
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1answer
188 views

Why is wearing a sheitel not marit ayin?

I would assume that the concept of marit ayin applies to married women's hair covering (outside the home) as much as to any other mitzvah. So why do our poskim allow* her to wear a sheitel--which, in ...
6
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4answers
1k views

How assur is mixed dancing?

What is the level of the issur on mixed dancing? Minhag? D'Rabanan, D'oraita, etc.? What about separate dancing but without a mehitza?
6
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1answer
225 views

Women and Tefillah - per the Rav

I remember a long time ago hearing that the Rav (Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903–1993)) held that women should pray three times a day. Can anyone verify this, and what is the reason/source ...
6
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3answers
464 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
203 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
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2answers
160 views

Formulation of Women's Zimmun

According to this answer, three women who have eaten together may make a zimmun. The usual formulation of the zimmun, "רבותי נברך", does not make sense for women. What formulation should women use ...
6
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1answer
192 views

What opportunities do Orthodox women have to learn and participate in their communities outside the home?

I've visited several Orthodox communities but never been part of one. One of the things that has always been a stumbling-block for me is the role of women. Here are two things I've observed about ...