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Last weeks Parsha included Parshas Sota. Being that the Bais Hamikdash is the holiest place in the world, we have special halachos that require us to treat it with proper respect. Additionally, it's a public place, with many men around.

Why aren't we concerned:

  1. Her hair is uncovered, and a married woman's hair is considered ervah (mdrabanun)
  2. 2) her clothes would often rip, exposing her usually covered body parts.
  3. 3) It seems the kohen would touch her hands directly
  • 1
    Maybe they are concerns, but the Torah specifically commanded us otherwise? – Salmononius2 Jun 16 at 21:25
  • Sacrifices were slaughtered and burned in the Beit HaMikdash on Shabbat and Yom Tov....the Temple has its own halachot – Josh K Jun 16 at 21:39
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Points 1 and 2 are addressed by the Mishnah and the Babylonian Talmud; Point 3 is addressed by the Jerusalem Talmud.

Mishnah Sotah 1:5

וכהן אוחז בבגדיה אם נקרעו נקרעו אם נפרמו נפרמו עד שהוא מגלה את לבה וסותר את שערה ר' יהודה אומר אם היה לבה נאה לא היה מגלהו ואם היה שערה נאה לא היה סותרו

A PRIEST SEIZES HER GARMENTS — IF THEY ARE RENT THEY ARE RENT, AND IF THEY BECOME UNSTITCHED THEY ARE UNSTITCHED UNTIL HE UNCOVERS HER BOSOM, AND HE UNDOES HER HAIR. R. JUDAH SAYS: IF HER BOSOM WAS BEAUTIFUL HE DOES NOT UNCOVER IT, AND IF HER HAIR WAS BEAUTIFUL HE DOES NOT UNDO IT. (Soncino translation, capitals in original)

Babylonian Talmud Sotah 8a

ר' יהודה אומר אם היה לבה וכו': למימרא דר' יהודה חייש להרהורא ורבנן לא חיישי והא איפכא שמעינן להו דתניא האיש מכסין אותו פרק אחד מלפניו והאשה שני פרקים אחד מלפניה ואחד מלאחריה מפני שכולה ערוה דברי רבי יהודה וחכ"א האיש נסקל ערום ואין האשה נסקלת ערומה אמר רבה הכא טעמא מאי שמא תצא מב"ד זכאית ויתגרו בה פרחי כהונה התם הא מסתלקא וכי תימא אתי לאיגרויי באחרניית' האמר רבא גמירי דאין יצר הרע שולט אלא במה שעיניו רואות

R. JUDAH SAYS, IF HER BOSOM WAS BEAUTIFUL etc. Is this to say that R. Judah is afraid of impure thoughts being aroused and the Rabbis do not fear this? Behold we have heard the opposite opinion of them; for it has been taught: In the case of a man [who is to be stoned] they cover him with one piece of cloth in front, and in the case of a woman with two pieces, one in front and one behind, because the whole of her is considered nudity. This is the statement of R. Judah; but the Sages say: A man is stoned naked but a woman is not stoned naked! — Rabbah answered: What is the reason here? Lest she go forth from the Court innocent, and the priestly novitiates become inflamed through her, whereas in the other case she is stoned. Should you reply that it may cause them to be inflamed by another woman, Raba declared: We have learnt a tradition that the evil impulse only bears sway over what a person's eyes see. (Soncino translation)

Jerusalem Talmud Sotah 2:1

וכהן מניח את ידו תחתיה ומניפה ואין הדבר כאור מביא מפה ואינו חוצץ ומביא כהן זקן אפי' תימר ילד שאין יצר הרע מצוי לשעה

And the priest places his hand under her and waves it. But is this not unseemly? They bring a cloth. But is this not an interposition? They bring an old priest. You can even say [that they use] a young priest, since the Evil Inclination is not found during a short period of time.

Additionally, R. Menachem Meiri explains in his commentary that it's not a problem because it is done to debase the woman, and therefore won't inflame any passions:

ואמר ר' יהודה אולי תצא זכאה ויתגרו בה פרחי כהונה וחכמים סוברים לגנותה ולהפחיתה והלכה כחכמים

And R. Yehuda says perhaps she will go free and the priestly youth will become inflamed with her, but the Sages hold [that it is] to debase her and to lower her, and the law follows the Sages.

אלא שמ"מ הלכה כחכמים שאין החשק מצוי בדבר שעיקרו עשוי לנוול ושכבר הוחלפו בגדיה בבגדים שאינם של נוי

But nevertheless the law follows the Sages, for passion is not found in something whose purpose is for debasement. And her clothes had already been changed with clothes that are not nice.

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