To what extent do the standards of tznius apply to non-Jews living among Jews? For example, is a married Noachide woman's hair considered ervah? If not, why not?

I know that rules concerning tznius are not among the Noachide laws. Still, it seems strange that they would not apply theoretically, since a Gentile woman is at least as forbidden to a Jewish man as another man's wife would be.

EDIT: On second thought, I'm pretty sure that's not true.

  • 4
    Ah, but tzniut is not about what is forbidden to the Jewish man, it is about the woman herself.
    – AviD
    Commented Mar 11, 2012 at 22:00
  • 1
    There seems to be some discussion of my question within this question: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/8402/…
    – SAH
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 5:10
  • FWIW Isaiah 47:2 (which is quoted on Berakhot 24b) is seemingly referring to a non-Jew.
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 15:27

2 Answers 2


As stated here:

A man may recite a bracha in the presence of a non-Jewish married woman whose hair is uncovered (Shu”t Igros Moshe - OC 4:15:1)

Much of tznius is based on context and expectations. The very fact that there is a difference between a married and unmarried Jewish woman's hair (or according to Rashi, even a married and unmarried woman's shok) demonstrates this. Similar to this may be how something may be defined as erva of sorts based on it regularly being covered in some location.


Per Oz VeHadar Levusha a married gentile's uncovered hair is also considered an Ervah.

  • 4
    Not that I consider Oz veHadar Levushah a valid source (as I've documented in the past), but I don't see support for the claim from the link. The text refers to a tefach of a woman's body, rather than hair specifically, and also does not distinguish between married and unmarried women. And is based on a Kaf HaChaim and Ben Ish Chai! Meanwhile, consider the following: A man may recite a bracha in the presence of a non-Jewish married woman whose hair is uncovered (Shu”t Igros Moshe - OC 4:15:1) Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 1:14
  • 1
    @joshwaxman, what's wrong with the Kaf Hachayim and BIC?
    – msh210
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 9:16
  • The Ben Ish Chai is fine, but is a sefardi / Iraqi source. The Kaf HaChaim, also from an Iraqi Jew, as far as I've seen, often brings in kabbalistic ideas halacha lemaaseh (though influential for Ashkenazim). If you are going to establish something major like this and assert it as standard halachah for Ashkenazic Jewry about such a basic point, I would prefer a more "mainstream" source. What do Mishnah Brurah, Aruch HaShulchan say? He cites Mishnah Brurah for the other two points in that paragraph! What do standard Ashkenazic poskim say? Is this a דעת יחיד from the Ben Ish Chai and talmid? Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 23:19

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