The Mishna in Pirkei Avot says "Al Tarbeh Sicha Im Haisha", do not converse excessively with a woman.

Does this apply to text messages as well?

  • Interesting question. It appears the concern is one of creating an environment of inappropriate behaviors. If so, then how would texting be different than email, phone, letters, etc. which would all seem to fall under this rubric? – Isaac Kotlicky Jun 24 '15 at 12:42
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    Maybe more distance and thus a less chashah of arayos? – Shoel U'Meishiv Jun 24 '15 at 12:44
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    I believe the Mishnah says it is also because of bitul zman so that would be true here too – Moshe Goldberg Jun 24 '15 at 12:46
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    @Mefaresh "Be'ishto amru" arayos isn't the concern here. Ergo, distance isn't a factor. (A=>B, -B=>-A) – Isaac Kotlicky Jun 24 '15 at 12:53
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    @user6591 "Sof" doesn't mean immediately, it means eventually - the emotional intimacy created between the two parties will at some point lead to inappropriate action. See: Ben Sorrer - "niddun al shem sofo." If it said "shemeivi liday ni'uf," then it would imply a direct and immediate causation between sicha and ni'uf. – Isaac Kotlicky Jun 25 '15 at 18:01

Avos DeRabbi Nasan (7:3) defines the problem as bringing home gossip to your wife, how you were treated negatively, how you treated others in response, etc.

According to that, the medium of communication - speaking, writing, in person or at a distance - seems irrelevant.

  • Nice answer - you beat me to it ;-) I love reading A.R.N. – DanF Jun 24 '15 at 15:20
  • A.D.N. also says ואל תרבה שיחה עם האישה ואפילו היא אשתו. ואין צריך לומר באשת חברו. שכל זמן שאדם מרבה שיחה עם האישה גורם רעה לעצמו, ובוטל מדברי תורה, וסופו יורש גיהנם: – Gershon Gold Jun 24 '15 at 16:29
  • But the underlying question is if we consider texting the same as Shmoozing. I don't think it is the same. Don't we lament how people lost their social life to social sites? – HaLeiVi Jun 24 '15 at 18:08
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    @HaLeiVi, I think that all depends on context. I'm sure Rechilus and Loshon Hara apply to texting. – Yishai Jun 24 '15 at 18:11
  • @GershonGold, isn't that just rephrasing the Mishna? I'm not sure what your point is? – Yishai Jun 24 '15 at 19:31

The reason for not engaging in excessive conversation with a woman is explicitly stated, it brings to Bittul Torah (neglecting Torah study) therefore whether it is done through texting, phone call, etc., as long as it takes precious time which could have been dedicated to Torah study it is included in this Mishnah's horaah (teaching).

The full text of this Mishnah in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Father's) reads: 5. Yossei the son of Yochanan of Jerusalem would say: Let your home be wide open, and let the poor be members of your household. And do not engage in excessive conversation with a woman. This is said even regarding one's own wife—how much more so regarding the wife of another. Hence, the sages said: One who excessively converses with a woman causes evil to himself, neglects the study of Torah, and, in the end, inherits purgatory.

  • Welcome to Mi Yodeya! Please take a moment to look at our tour so you can get a feel for how this site works, as it might be different from some you’re used to. Could you possibly edit your post to flesh out how this directly answers the question at hand, if texting is included in this ban? – DonielF Jun 30 '19 at 11:44
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