As previously cited1, the Talmud Bavli (Masekhet Berakhot 24A) refers to a woman's voice as her nakedness (based on Shir HaShirim 2:14).

If a woman's voice is her nakedness, why would the man speaking in the verse (2:14) ask to hear the voice of the woman being referred to?

יוֹנָתִי בְּחַגְוֵי הַסֶּלַע בְּסֵתֶר הַמַּדְרֵגָה הַרְאִינִי אֶת מַרְאַיִךְ הַשְׁמִיעִנִי אֶת קוֹלֵךְ כִּי קוֹלֵךְ עָרֵב וּמַרְאֵיךְ נָאוֶה:

My dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the coverture of the steps, show me your appearance, let me hear your voice, for your voice is pleasant and your appearance is comely.'

1. Technically, the first citation I found was HaRav Hayim (Howard) Jachter's The Parameters of Kol Isha.

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    was she singing in the verse? we hold that just talking isnt ervah
    – user9410
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 10:25
  • @Lee thank you, i was trying to make a point
    – user9410
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 10:35
  • 3
    if she wasn't singing in the verse, then how can it serve as a source for kol be'isha erva? that, I think, is what Lee is asking. Commented May 13, 2015 at 10:42
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    @Scimonster I purposely didn't include the pasuq as I cited it twice. If you think it's really necessary, go ahead and leave it. Otherwise, I think it just clutters.
    – Lee
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 10:44
  • @joshwaxman of course seductive talking is problematic
    – user9410
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 12:38

2 Answers 2


Because they're lovers. And lovers can and should do all sorts of ervah-related things in private that don't belong in public. (That verse is actually the Talmud's prooftext.)


Shir hashirim is in the form of God speaking to his lover/wife Israel. Even if voices are ervahs for you and me, the husband is obviously permitted to his wife's voice and see her real hair and other things.

  • 1
    Can you provide any support for your claims?
    – Lee
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 12:50

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