Aside from certain modesty laws that govern a persons behavious even in private, there are certain laws that govern the activity of Jewish women in the presence of men (like singing, or dressing in a modest manner). Must women observe those laws of modesty in front of gentile men?

  • Singing in front of a non-Jew,
  • Exposure (swimsuit, immodest clothing)
  • Public displays of intimacy/affection

Sources would be appreciated.

  • Source for your first sentence? I've never heard of any. A man may not listen to a woman sing [erotically, in X circumstances, etc.]. A man may not stare at a woman's body erotically. A man may not say Torah words in sight of a woman's body part that is usually covered. (And if youre thinking Dat Yehudit please show me where it is prohibited to break Dat Yehudit. She's loses her Ketubbah but that's up to her.)
    – Double AA
    Sep 11, 2019 at 20:50
  • 1
    Aside from singing the question is different and needs to be reopen.
    – Al Berko
    Sep 13, 2019 at 10:19
  • In this question both directions are possible. 1. We don't clearly know the boundaries of the Arayos prohibition for Gentiles. Seemingly that would include the prohibition of seducing as a branch of Arayos. Rabbis didn't discuss it enough to reach clear conclusions. 2. We can always say that the prohibition is not on חפצא (causing others to sin) but in גברא - her own behavior is unacceptable. For example, by being used to sing/undress before gentiles one can easily forget and do that in mixed or Jewish environment.
    – Al Berko
    Sep 13, 2019 at 10:29
  • In addition, some may render the behavior as inappropriate on its own (like being naked alone, if we call the voice an intimate organ). Then the behavior would be prohibited generally.
    – Al Berko
    Sep 13, 2019 at 10:31

2 Answers 2


From a purely halachic perspective, R' Ephraim Greenblatt in Shu"t Rivevos Ephraim (#491) rules that it is permitted for a Jewish woman to sing in front of a gentile male audience.

The rationale is that the prohibition for a women to act in a way that incites lustful thoughts in men is Lifnei Iver - causing men to trangress the prohibition of Hirhurim. This prohibition does not apply to gentiles.

  • I'm not sure whether this ruling extends to dressing in a immodest manner. This could be more than simply causing hirhurim, it may also be das yehudis
    – chortkov2
    Sep 11, 2019 at 20:41
  • Does he say the same thing about dancing at a strip club?
    – Double AA
    Sep 11, 2019 at 20:41
  • The shulchan arukh rules that one may not say what you said he.wikisource.org/wiki/…
    – Double AA
    Sep 11, 2019 at 20:43
  • @DoubleAA - That is ridiculously out of context. Do you think it is forbidden for a woman to wear a swimsuit when there are no men around?? Aside from general modesty laws, there are specific laws pertaining to women in front of men.
    – chortkov2
    Sep 11, 2019 at 20:44
  • This answer is ridiculously out of the context of Judaism. What else am I supposed to say? Saying that something is permitted because lifnei iver doesn't apply is missing Judaism entirely. It's out of context to conclude that everyone must shower dressed in a burka, but that doesn't make the opposite conclusion less ridiculous.
    – Double AA
    Sep 11, 2019 at 20:46

The laws of modesty (for women or men) are always important because G-d is always present. He is always watching you. See Nachmanides and Yehudah Halevi.

  • The question was clearly about the behavioral requirements of a woman in front of men, not the laws governing private behaviour.
    – chortkov2
    Sep 11, 2019 at 20:31
  • @chortkov2 If you say it only matters to dress modestly when in company with Jews, that is implying that non-Jews' opinions' do not matter. Well, what other kinds of a living organism can we think that opinions do not matter? Monkeys, respectfully. Now, would you dress up with makeup for a male-dominated market for a bunch of monkies on an island? No. so why do it for non-Jews? And you would never do it for Jews. Besides, G-d sees every moment. Trust me, I have a daughter. I know how to deal with these things. :)
    – Shmuel
    Sep 11, 2019 at 20:35

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