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 who hold Se'ar Ishah 'Ervah is Dath Moshe, in other words, MiDeOraitha the exposed hair of a married woman is considered nudity - this is very distinct from those who hold it is "proper" for a woman to cover her head to show she is married and the like), does this requirement hold in the home when other people are around, does it hold in the home when the window blinds are raised, and does it hold outside the home in a secluded, private place where no people are around?

In other words, is it treated as true 'Ervah, in which case so long as she can be sure that nobody can see, she can uncover her hair, but if someone could see, even in her own private home, she must not uncover her hair?

  • 2
    How is this not a subset of the other?
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 16:04
  • @IsaacMoses Truth is, I think it is, but I think the other is overly broad (hence no clear answers).
    – Seth J
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 16:17
  • I'm trying to avoid questions of Chumrah. I mean according to those who hold LeHalachah that it is 'Ervah.
    – Seth J
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 16:49
  • maybe it'd be worth expanding out the "Hamevin Yavin" section, since that's the clause that you're using to specify the context for your question and its distinction from the other one.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 17:06
  • @IsaacMoses hopefully this helps.
    – Seth J
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 17:13

4 Answers 4


Answers from HaRav Musafi Shelit"a לכבוד הרב מוצפי שליט"א אני רוצה להתחזק בע''ה בנושא כיסוי ראש בבית כי אני לא מקפידה לישון עם כיסוי ראש ולפעמים הילדים שלי-הגדול בן 6 רואה אותי בלי כיסוי ראש לצערי אבל נורא קשה לי אני ממש מרגישה שזה מציק לי ואני אפילו סובלת מזה ומאוד לא נח לי לישון עם הכיסוי על אף שניסתי כל מיני כובעים וכיסויים, השאלה עד כמה זה חשוב ועד כמה אני צריכה למסור את נפשי ולהקפיד על זה? תודה רבה לכבוד הרב! תשובה זה מאוד כדאי ותתרגלי לזה, עד שתרגישי לא נוח בלעדי כיסוי.

This one is about sleeping and her six year old son sees her, and he answers "it is very worthwhile."

שאלה - 11591 לכבוד הרב שלום רב האם אשתי בבית יכולה להשאר בלי כיסוי ראש וגם בלי גרב [האם יש הבדל בין נידה או לא ]אני נמצא בבית ולא אומר דבר שבקדושה תודה תשובה בלי גרבים מותר, אבל גילוי ראש בפני בני הבית לא נכון.

In this one he rules that it is not proper to go without a headcovering in front of the members of the house.


As Rav Melamed notes, the Chasam Sofer argued that a woman is obligated in to cover her hair before memebers of her household, whereas Reb Moshe Feinstein held that she is not obligated to.

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    What was their reasoning?
    – Seth J
    Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 14:42

I have seen all opinions covered.

I know people who will cover their hair if the blinds are open but in the house. However, they will uncover their hair if family members are around inside the house and the blinds are closed.

I know of people who will always cover the hair, even when the blinds are closed, and even when alone with their husband if it is not "pajama time".

I know of people who only cover their hair at public gatherings, such as shul, a wedding, or Torah class.

  • Are of the people respectable people? If so, please write a "talmid chacham" or a "gadol" so we know there are sources for these ideas. Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 16:49
  • 2
    Please cite sources. I'm asking a serious question and this has been on my mind for a long time. Thanks.
    – Seth J
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 16:51
  • 1
    Midrash Leviticus Rabba 20:11 Simeon ben Kimhith Kohen Godol went out to talk with an Arabian king, and saliva from his mouth spurted on to Simeon's garments and defiled him. His brother Judah served in his stead. On that day their mother saw two sons as High Priests. It was said: Kimhith had seven sons, and all of them were Kohen Godol. The Sages asked her ' What good deeds have you to your credit?' 'The beams of my house, she said to them, ' have never beheld the hair of my head nor the seam of my undergarment.' Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 17:11
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    @AvrohomYitzchok, I'm not sure of the purpose of your comment (an answer?). The story of Kimchis only implies a midas chasidus. Seth J is looking for the halacha.
    – YDK
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 21:58
  • 2
    Yes @YDK, the story of Kimchis does not establish Halocho. But IMHO it shows that midas chasidus in this area of tznius is by no means an empty gesture. Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 22:22

It's confusing to me that no one cites the next line of this Gemara (Yoma 47a) which I have helpfully put in bold below:

Tanu Rabanan: Kimchit had seven sons and all of them served as Kohen Godol. The Sages said to her: "What did you do to merit this?" She replied: "The walls of my house never saw the hairs on my head" Replied the Sages: "Many women have done this, but didn't receive your reward."

If there is no distinction between one's home, the street, and a courtyard, what can one make of Ketubot 72a? It's clear that women's heads were uncovered in their courtyards. And what was a courtyard at that time? Many people assume this is a private walled courtyard that only for one family, but doesn't the Talmud regularly discuss shared courtyards that all neighbors could enter?

My understanding about women who cover within the home, at night, etc. is that this comes from the Zohar. It is not halacha but also not something those communities take lightly, touching as it does on the kabbalistic balance of good and evil in the universe.

  • 1
    See the Yerushalmi that Rashi quotes on that Gemara. Note that Rabbeinu Chananel leaves out the ending that you put in bold. One possibility is that the message of the last line is that clothing alone is not enough. It requires a whole attitude which automatically creates that behavior that is required to have such a merit. Either way, it isn't the point of that gemara that it is strict Halacha, with or without that last line.
    – Yishai
    Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 16:16
  • Related Shabbat 118b
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 16:00

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