I'm male. Say I stay in a non-Jewish youth hostel dorm room which is mixed-gender instead of male-only. Might I encounter yichud problems? Might I encounter any other halachic problems? What's your advice on dealing with these challenges?

Sources, links, and personal experiences are all welcome.

Please don't reply here with advice about living with non-Jews. Instead, please put it in "Being a male houseguest in a non-frum or non-Jewish home".

  • Do you mean halachic problems you'll encounter by virtue of being male and Jewish in a non-Jewish and mixed-sex hostel? For example, that someone might pull you into his impromptu prayer meeting, or that a girl might walk around unclothed? or do you mean more general halachic problems you might encounter, like that you might get involved in bitul Tora?
    – msh210
    May 1 '12 at 0:40
  • @msh210: I'd like the answers to cover only problems I'd encounter by staying in a mixed-gender dorm instead of in an all-male one. I'm not curious about general problems like bitul Torah, forbidden speech, or–as you mentioned in chat–stealing sleep. May 1 '12 at 1:34

Admittedly, a radical answer: If the presence of the other people (I assume a mixed gender room doesn't mean just you and a woman but several men and several women) will prevent you from sin, then seemingly it might be allowed. If circumstances were such that you'd be willing to, barring the halachic objections, get involved with one of the women there (the presence of other people wouldn't bother you, or there is a bed where you can't be seen or the like) then it would be prohibited.

I am stretching his logic, but the fact that whatever will keep you from sin (whether it fits in the halachic framework or not) permits yichud was mentioned by R' Tzvi Sobolofsky in a lecture at YU. He gave more pareve examples like being in front of a window, which isn't quite "petach patuach" (an open door).


You would encounter Yichud, possibly, as you will be in the presence of only women at times (there is no rule about all the inhabitants of a room marching in and out together). However this is not so simple as this does not apply in a situation where other men could reasonably walk in at any moment. If you ascertain that this is the case, you would not have to worry about Yichud.

Also, לא תתורו אחרי עיניכם if one or more of the woman is not dressed according to Torah law, this is seemingly inevitable, unless you are in amish country or the like.

Also, hard to avoid the prohibition of אל תרבה שיחה עם האשה.

In a male only hostel you have non of these problems.

My advice: stick to the male only option.


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