If a Jewish man is alone in the same house with a woman, prohibited to him with kares (e.g. his mother-in-law, or some other eishes ish), and he is sleeping:

  1. is he in violation of yichud while sleeping, if he was not in violation when he went to sleep (e.g. his wife was present in the house and left while he was already asleep)?
  2. if he is not in violation for (1), but he wakes up, does he have the usual 5 minutes to get out of the house not to violate yichud? (I am talking about the minimum amount of time that is needed to be secluded together to be in violation of yichud, which I believe is about 5 minutes.)
  • 5
    Can you source your second point? I'm not aware of any minimum time that is needed to be secluded to violate Yichud. Even a second is a problem. The definition of secluded is being in a place where no one would enter for X minutes, but it is forbidden to be secluded in such a place for even a moment AFAIK.
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 19:27
  • 3
    related judaism.stackexchange.com/a/27360/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 19:28
  • @DoubleAA unfortunately not, i seem to recall learning this in a class a number of years ago
    – gt6989b
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 19:31
  • @gt6989b I strongly suspect you misunderstood, conflating the expected time needed till the next interruption for a seclusion to be considered alone, and the time one must remain in said seclusion. Please CYLOR to confirm what you should be doing.
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 16, 2015 at 19:33

1 Answer 1


The answer to your question might depend whether a person is subject to mitzvot while sleeping which is a dispute (see a full analysis by R Aryeh Lebowitz here starting p. 9)

But practically regarding your case, it appears forbidden to go to sleep knowing one will be in violation of yichud during one sleep. R Aryeh Lebowitz writes (p. 16)

it would seem that one should not go to sleep in an empty house, knowing that while he is asleep he will be alone with a woman (in violation of yichud). While a sleeping person is not in violation of any prohibition, going to sleep with the plan of being in a prohibited situation is certainly not permitted.

Regarding your second point, as alluded to by @DoubleAA in comments, someone waking up in a situation of yichud doesn't have any grace period before he has to get out of this situation, as R Lebowitz continues

Furthermore, if the man wakes up while still in the yichud situation he will be required to remedy the yichud problem immediately.

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