Suppose I am a Jewish woman. Suppose I am in a taxi (or similar semiprivate place) with a male cab driver who I am quite sure is not Jewish. May I sing in front of him?

Hypothesis: That since the prohibition of kol isha does not apply to non-Jewish men, I will not be guilty of lifnei iver by singing in this situation. Correct?


According to this Rivevos Ephraim 5:491 it should not be a problem since the problem is making a man stumble and come to impure thoughts and its assur during kiras shema and these things are not applicable to a non Jew. See the tshuva inside. There are two Rabbanim who answered in the tshuvah.

enter image description here

  • 3
    Would he say the same for taking off her clothes? – Double AA Jul 29 '15 at 1:24
  • 4
    @DoubleAA Just some possible suggestions off the top of my head: chillul HaShem, p'gam mishpacha, possibly provoking the man to make advances towards her, or violating das Moshe or das Y'hudis. – Fred Jul 29 '15 at 2:28
  • 2
    @Fred All of those can apply to singing as well (except, perhaps, Dat Moshe, which probably doesn't apply in any case). – Double AA Jul 29 '15 at 2:29
  • 1
    @DoubleAA Perhaps, but I think it is more likely that they would apply practically to a woman undressing than to a woman singing. I agree, though, that there may very well be grounds to say a woman should not sing in front of a non-Jewish man aside from the grounds that are addressed (and dismissed) in the responsum (e.g. the importance of conducting oneself modestly, regardless of whether one's audience may be brought to sin). – Fred Jul 29 '15 at 2:31
  • 2
    @Fred Are Jewish expectations of modesty based solely on what a gossiping non-Jewish taxi driver would find riské?? Am Kadosh Anu! Exposing oneself in front of unrelated individuals is a violation of Das Yehudis in the first degree and it's a shanda that the responsum in this answer was ever printed, let alone said. והצנע לכת Modesty is a Jewish value of its own. – Double AA Jul 29 '15 at 2:36

do not just assume an answer because it seems not tznius to you! halacha is halacha and if it is mutar then it is mutar. There is no concept of lifnei over for non-jews and therefore a woman can sing in front of a non-jewish man because she has no additional issur of singing (only lifnei over)

additionally why do you assume singing is "being immodest" - modesty is a very fluid, subjective concept and can be defined very differently for different people. you only think its immodest because that is what you were taught to feel.

  • Hi user11569! Welcome. While you might think that 'modesty' is just a handful of well-defined technical rules in a book, traditional Judaism doesn't seem to agree with you. Be well. – Double AA Dec 10 '15 at 1:43
  • @DoubleAA Source for your claim? – SAH Dec 11 '15 at 15:18
  • @SAH I guess start here judaism.stackexchange.com/a/14638/759 and look further at every place in history that modesty as a value was applied to reach a conclusion absent any technical prohibition (not to mention the use of the concept as a motivating factor for various Halakhot relating to bedroom and bathroom practices). For example, we can all with little effort come up with a women's outfit that is clearly immodest but covers all the right parts. Don't wear that. – Double AA Dec 11 '15 at 15:25
  • @DoubleAA I guess I was hoping you'd list some specific cases when "modesty as a value was applied to reach a conclusion absent any technical prohibition." I believe you that they exist but can't think of any myself – SAH Dec 11 '15 at 15:33

You must log in to answer this question.

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