Questions about or that apply specifically to women.

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1answer
376 views

Ululating in Jewish culture

In ancient times, Jews living in Israel ululated if I am not mistaken. Is this practiced by Ashkenazi or Sephardic Jews today? Which other Jewish communities ululate? Ethiopians, Mizrahis, etc? Are ...
9
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
7
votes
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
160 views

The (female) name Freeda amongst Sefardim

I am under the impression that the name Freeda is a female Yiddish name. For some reason it seems to be very popular amongst the Sephardim. How did this happen?
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Bentching Ha-Gommel after a Birth

After a woman gives birth many have the custom of reciting the blessing of "ha-gommel" (a blessing of Thanks.) Until how long after a birth may this blessing by recited? (i.e. can it be said even a ...
4
votes
1answer
101 views

Women and arba minim on first day

On the first day there is a din of "lechem" ("to you") that the arba minim must belong to you. Many women will take the arba minim of their father or husband (or brother perhaps) in order to fulfill ...
2
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1answer
116 views

Woman giving away husbands money

The gemorah in Moed Katan Daf 8a says, אמר רב כהנא אמר רב יהודה אמר רב מעשה באדם אחד שכינס מעות לעלות לרגל ובא ספדן ועמד על פתח ביתו ונטלתן אשתו ונתנתן לו ונמנע ולא עלה Rav Kahana said in ...
5
votes
3answers
498 views

Food cooked by woman during Niddah?

If according to my Bible translation - please correct me if it is wrong - anything a woman in niddah or a state of tumah, or 'impurity', touches or sits on becomes 'impure', can food cooked by her be ...
5
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2answers
3k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
332 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
2
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2answers
312 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?
5
votes
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?
7
votes
3answers
226 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
181 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
218 views

Were there more than seven prophetesses?

The Bavli, M'gila 14:1 quotes: Forty-eight prophets and seven prophetesses prophesied for the Jews…. Further along on the page, it questions this: Were there no more? But it says [in ...
7
votes
1answer
215 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, ...
10
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3answers
222 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
213 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?
9
votes
3answers
940 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
220 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
329 views

Must a woman cover her hair during childbirth?

Does a woman need to cover her hair during childbirth or other major medical procedures?
13
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2answers
583 views

Why is hair sometimes considered *erva* (nakedness) but sometimes not?

Why do people say that the hair of a married woman is considered as nakedness, but not the hair of a single woman? Isn't hair just hair? What if a man grew his hair long - would it also be ...
9
votes
3answers
410 views

Are women forbidden from Teaching Gemara\Talmud?

Assuming that women are allowed to learn Gemara\Talmud\Torah she-Ba'al Peh, are they still forbidden from teaching it to others (either men or women)? Textual sources for (either references or links) ...
6
votes
1answer
200 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 ...
7
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1answer
111 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 ...
5
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2answers
105 views

Saying Baruch Shepatrani for a girl

Do you say Boruch Shepatrani for a girl at her Bas Mitzva? If not, why not?
14
votes
1answer
374 views

Time-frame for naming a newborn girl

I have heard many differing Minhagim as to the time-frame for naming a newborn girl. There are those that name at the first possible opportunity and some that wait till the second Shabbos. Many others ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

Does the status “mal v'lo taval” apply to women?

In a number of circumstances, the halachic status of מל ולא טבל ("circumcized but not immersed in a mikveh") takes on significance. For instance, regarding a nochri touching wine, the Shulchan Aruch ...
10
votes
1answer
457 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

Reason why women are obligated to eat Matza

Pesachim 43: says that women are obligated in the Mitzva of Matza since they are obligated in the prohibition of not eating Chametz. Why do we not say that the reason is since they were part of the ...
8
votes
1answer
370 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
540 views

What is a good mussar/personal growth sefer for women?

Most mussar sefarim are very oriented towards men, with lessons on things such as how to treat your wife, the dangers of pursuing women, or the importance of learning. Also, many sefarim I've seen ...
16
votes
1answer
892 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
219 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
256 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 ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the sources for women to wear/ not wear pants?

I have heard that the argument is beged ish / kli gever, and I have heard people say that even if that was once a real reason for it it doesn't apply today for various reasons. I understand that the ...
11
votes
2answers
764 views

Why don't brides (always) cover their hair for their weddings?

Why don't brides (always) cover their hair for their weddings? I understand that in some ultra-religious groups they do, but there seem to be many groups within Orthodoxy where they do not cover their ...
7
votes
1answer
243 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
899 views

Bootstrapping problem: havdalah ends shabbat (for one who didn't daven ma'ariv) but lighting the candle is melacha?

This answer to a question about melacha before havdalah notes that in that situation one should say "baruch hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol" first. Does that apply to lighting the havdalah candle? I ...
11
votes
2answers
193 views

Nursing in the bathroom

Per Food in bathroom it is forbidden to eat in the bathroom. Can a lady nurse in the bathroom or is it considered like eating in the bathroom? (sources)
25
votes
4answers
392 views

Female praying in masculine language

When women daven (pray), even by ourselves, it is convention to daven with male-gendered words ("modeh" vs "moda" as one of many examples). Why is this; are there sources that say we should be doing ...
7
votes
3answers
642 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
121 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
146 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
478 views

If women are not obliged to daven maariv, should they daven if they wish to?

This source says that women are not obliged to daven maariv but may do if they wish. Although the Shulchan Aruch (108:7) allows one to recite a Tefilat Nedava in a certain case, Halacha Berura (22nd ...
11
votes
4answers
837 views

Woman's hair covering in the home or in private

Trying to sort out my question, I came across this one, which is closely related, but it is not an exact duplicate. According to those who say a woman must cover her hair, not just her head (those ...
14
votes
3answers
339 views

Halachic Source for Women-Only Mikvaoth?

Some (actually many) Mikvaoth are designated for women's use only, generally for reasons of cleanliness. Is there Halachic literature supporting (or urging) this? (This question is not asking for ...
10
votes
2answers
434 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 ...
4
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2answers
197 views

What is the story of Yehudit which takes place during the Chanukkah Story?

I have heard many varying and conflicting stories about Yehudit and her effect on the war with the Greeks at Chanukkah time and was wondering if anyone has sources for her story and what it truly is. ...