Is it permissible for a man to be at a woman's home at night if both of her parents are at home, but sleeping? What if they are awake?

  • see here: sie.org/library/article_cdo/aid/2312231/jewish/… -- check out the footnotes as well --- it's not an exact answer, since it only discusses if one of the parents are there, not if both are. I didn't look up the footnotes, so I don't know if they discuss it there.
    – Menachem
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 6:04

2 Answers 2


The laws of yichud are complex, so it is worth CYLOR in specific cases. Nevertheless the answer to the question is yes in both cases (I now checked the reasoning with a rav and talmid hakham)

  • Yichud is allowed in a room which is open (see SA EH 22:9) (according to some poskim, also if closed but unlocked and people can come in at any time, or if there is a clear view into the room)

  • R Doniel Neustadt quotes R Moshe Feinstein as allowing a man to be secluded with a woman in the presence of the man's grandmother, mother, daughter, granddaughter or sister. During nighttime sleeping hours, an additional chaperon is required. A man and a woman may remain alone in a home where the parents of one of them are sleeping.

  • According to R Nissan Dovid Dubov "the presence of a single shomer is effective during the day. However at night, a single shomer is not adequate since the shomer may fall asleep. Therefore, the presence of two shomrim is required at night. Two shomrim are adequate even if both are sleeping, for the man and woman would fear that one shomer might awaken and discover any improper conduct."

See further sources here and there.


They would have to be in the same room as either the man or woman. In the same house is not enough, since a closed door is effectively a different place. Since you can not see into it from outside. While sleeping only works if the person is easily roused - a deep sleeper is not an effective shomer. And in a different room is certainly not enough while sleeping, even if it may be OK if the person is awake and you expect they might enter unannounced.

A shomer is not a "game" - the person must actually guard, so anything that prevents that (loud noise, closed door, deep sleeper, etc) negates what they do.

This is on top of all the restrictions in what Menachem linked to.

  • 6
    Citations to sources would vastly increase the value of your answer.
    – msh210
    Commented May 13, 2012 at 8:28
  • Who says a Shomer is not a "game"? Baalah BaIr "could be" Commented Feb 19, 2015 at 4:15
  • 1
    And who says same house isn't good enough? If they could potentially wake up at any moment and walk in, i don't think that's considered yichud. Locked door would be a different story
    – Daniel
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 0:43
  • 1
    Your choice of words "not a game...must actually guard" I think are a bit unclear. The job of a Shomer is to remove the status of 'alone' from Yichud, not an active role, to the best of my knowledge. Additionally, do you have any sources for 'loud noise' prevents a Shomer (I've heard the other cases brought down)? Does that mean you automatically have Yichud next to a construction site, train station, etc? Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 2:25

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