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Is the viewing of pictures on dating sites and applications such as JDate considered to be within the acceptable bounds of halacha or is it more akin to lewdness?

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  • 1
    Are you asking for the purpose of dating or simply by curiosity?
    – mbloch
    Jul 28 at 6:04
  • I guess it depends how one looks at the site??
    – pcoz
    Jul 28 at 6:33
  • 1
    How is this different from viewing people directly?
    – Double AA
    Jul 28 at 11:28
  • For the purpose of marriage and dating. Jul 28 at 12:51
  • 1
    From a strictly halachic perspective (the answer by IsraelReader seems to be better suited practically) the Talmud Kidushin 42a states a person MUST see a girl before marrying her. Additionally the Gemara elsewhere states a Talmid Chacham should bring along someone who understands beauty to pick out a wife (as it assumes he would not be well versed in these areas). On the flip side, the Talmud says even looking at a pinky of a women for pleasure is considered a sin, however, there is a debate in halacha if a picture is considered an erva or not . So it really depends on the intention.
    – Chatzkel
    Jul 28 at 15:56
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Using a dating website, with the exclusive intent of finding a suitable marriage partner, is considered a legitimate method for trying to find a spouse. However, merely browsing around the website, for some “eye candy”, is prohibited by Halacha.

So you need to be honest with yourself, when looking at these profiles. Is this type of person, a potential matrimonial match for me, and I’m merely checking out her picture to see if she looks pleasant to me, or am I just looking at her picture, because I happen to like to see pictures of good looking women?

You also need to know, that not every profile picture depicts the person the way they look today. The person might have posted a picture of how they USED to look, TEN or more years ago.

I feel sorry for them being in a situation of needing to do so, but it is still dishonest. This is a form of Bait & Switch, when you finally meet the person, and they look nowhere like their profile picture.

If you’re looking for a good modest woman to marry, then you should ignore profiles of women who post immodest provocative pictures of themselves.

Even if they claim that they only did this for “the sake of marriage”; it still shows that they have poor taste regarding matters of modesty, and don’t mind bending Halacha a bit, and being a bit immodest, when they think that doing so will bring them immediate material benefits (a potential partner).

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  • Thank you for your answer. I suspect that good, Frum, orthodox girls don't use these dating apps anyways. These women usually are not orthodox so for them Halacha isn't even an issue. They may be considered tinok shenishba but it is still a complete disregard for Halacha. The general, secular wisdom is that we should not try to change a relationship partner and I don't see it likely that the other party will be changed by me, should I begin to date them. Jul 28 at 15:24
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    There are some good, frum, orthodox older girls/boys who are desperate to get married, and use these sites, hoping that something good, MIGHT come from it. There are also more “kosher” sites, than JDate, which cater to a more religious clientele, and have more modest features. One of them is: sawyouatsinai.com Have you completed your “geirus” yet? Jul 28 at 15:33
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    How do paragraphs 3-6 answer the question? Jul 28 at 15:37

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