If a woman starts singing in a room with men, despite knowing they observe kol isha, is she liable for her voice being heard or are the men that hear her liable?

If a woman dresses non-tznius in front of men, are the men liable for looking, or is the woman liable for dressing that way knowing the situation?

  • 2
    Liable for what?
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 23:48
  • 5
    Lfnei e'ver is still there.
    – sam
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 23:48
  • I don't understand the question. They are both doing something wrong!
    – Dave
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 0:52
  • 1
    related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/8402/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 3, 2012 at 3:19
  • 1
    @SAH If Lifnei Iveir applies here, it is quite possibly a bigger sin, because Kol Isha is probably Derabanan, while Lifnei Iver is a Deoraita.
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 1, 2015 at 20:07

2 Answers 2


The Kaf Hachaim 75:23 writes that women should be careful not to let their voice be heard in front of men lest the men come to sinful thoughts.

Kaf Hachaim 23 text:

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Regarding the man,Shulchan Aruch Even Haezer 21:1 writes that it is assur to listen to the voice of ervah(a woman's singing voice-per most halachic authorities).

SA text:

ואסור לשמוע קול ערוה או לראות שערה. והמתכוין לאחד מאלו הדברים, מכין אותו מכת מרדות. ואלו הדברים אסורים גם בחייבי לאוין.

  • 2
    In other words, both are liable? Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 12:55
  • 1
    Men are certainly as per the Shulchan Aruch EH 21,the chiddush is a woman which the Kaf Hachaim holds she should refrain
    – sam
    Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 14:37
  • 1
    Maybe edit that into your answer, so as to answer the question. Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 16:13
  • @DannySchoemann where do you see that the woman is liable? The men are the ones having the thoughts, but the woman should be careful. The sinful thoughts are the inherent issur there, not that a woman "let her voice be heard." It certainly COULD be lifnei iver, but curiously the K"H doesn't actually say that here... Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 3:24
  • he is saying their voice shouldn't be heard...? lifnei iver is a form of liability
    – sam
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 3:28

Both are liable. Think about it: The Talmud considers a woman's voice like her "nakedness" and the same is true about a woman not dressed properly, thus they are both sinning by exposing her nakedness, it would be comparable to a pair who willingly engaged in prohibition relations (for example adultery) whereby both the man and the woman are to be held responsible.

  • That sounds a little bit like something the Karites would say.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 5, 2012 at 2:15
  • Why is that? Please explain yourself. Commented Aug 5, 2012 at 5:58
  • You seem to be saying that just like in adultery they are both obligated so too in this case, the common denominator being that both involve uncovering nakedness. This is an extremely literal understanding of the pasuk 'גילה ערותה' and I'm not convinced it's a good pshat at all unless you can source it.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 5, 2012 at 6:02
  • I hear why it sounds like that it what I meant. I simply meant to prove that just as in regard to all illicit sexual relations both the man and woman are to be held liable for sinning, the same is true in regard to these examples of listening to a woman's singing and looking at a woman not properly dressed. Commented Aug 5, 2012 at 10:01

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