May one recite a bracha while in the presence of ervah? According to Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75, one may not pray or recite Torah while in the presence of body parts that should be covered. Does this also apply to blessings (on food, etc.)?

  • OC 75:2 is talking about brachos as well.
    – sam
    Commented May 4, 2012 at 17:38
  • @sam How do you figure? It says keriyat shema.
    – Double AA
    Commented May 4, 2012 at 20:14
  • "body parts that should be covered." Can you cite this more precisely? I only see that it says this about body parts which are usually covered.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 4:46

2 Answers 2


Yes, see Aruch Hashulchan OC 75:7 who puts brachas part of the prohibition , but gives a reason why it is mutar (only uncovered hair ) nowadays. See also Mishna Berura 74:16 on making a bracha in mikvah. However,many disagree and hold that ervah still applies in our times concerning hair being uncovered .


I found a range of discussion on evrah and tefila - which gives insight.

Many citations references Biur Halakha 74:

halakha prohibits reciting devarim she-bikedusha when

  1. one can see one's own nakedness, or
  2. when "one's heart can see one's nakedness" (i.e. one doesn't have a separation, such as clothing or a belt, between one's upper and lower body), as well as
  3. when one is unclad,
  4. even if he is unable to see his nakedness. Furthermore, he writes, it is also prohibited to recite Shema
  5. if one can see, or if one's "heart" can see, another's nakedness.


Alternatively, he writes, while if one covers one's own ervah with water (i.e. in a mikveh) one may recite a berakha. This would not work in the visual presence of another's ervah.

Gemara (Berakhot 24), on aspects of a woman that are also considered evrah:

a man should not recite Keriyat Shema in the presence of "ervah." Aside from the obvious definition of "erva," i.e. private parts, the Gemara lists other types of erva. As we shall see, the Gemara prohibits reciting Shema in the presence of a women's "shok," "se'ar," and while listening her singing voice ("kol be-isha"). Furthermore, a man may also not recite Shema in the presence of a "tefach" of an area of a women's body which is ordinarily covered.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .