A woman should not sing along to a song in the presence of unrelated Jewish men. But can she mouth the words, or sing to herself?

I never see frum women doing this, presumably because of marit ayin. As far as the issue of modesty with singing, I can see how marit ayin would apply. But if the prohibition on a woman's singing in front of a man were instead an issue of lifnei iver--or if there were indeed, as some seem to suggest is possible, no prohibition on the woman to sing, but only on the man to listen--would marit ayin still apply? --Or is there another reason women shouldn't(?) mouth the words besides marit ayin?

  • 1
    Confused by your August 13 edit: what do you mean by "sing to herself"? (If it's audible, how is it different than singing not "to herself"? If it's not audible, how is it different than mouthing the words?)
    – Rish
    Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 13:34
  • Marit ayin is where your doing something which looks like you're doing something ELSE which is assur, not where youre doing something which people might think it's assur even though it's halachikly not. At least that's according to this halachipedia.com/index.php?title=Marit_Ayin/Suspicious_actions. So is there anything that this looks like which is assur. Additionally it's far more likely that nobody wants to just mouth the eyes of the song. That's kind of boring. Also you could just ask some women why they don't. No need to come here.
    – Orion
    Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 23:23

1 Answer 1


Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 75,3

יש ליזהר משמיעת קול זמר אשה.
One should be careful not to listen to the voice of a woman singing

Magen Avraham

אבל קול דבור' שרי Speaking is permitted to listen too.

There is no mention of Maris ayin about being forbidden to mouth and we don't make up maris ayin unless the chachamim tell us The Shulchan Aruch Yore Dea 87,3, Rema, Taz, Pri Chodosh and Creisi upleisi say that Marit haayin "Hovu delo lehosif alah"

So a woman can speak the words of a song, and that goes without saying if she mouths the words without a voice.

  • See Qidushin 70a and in Rashi "qol baisha.." that even w/o singing, it can be assur (seemingly: in some 'dangerous' cases like saying hello etc). And mouthing the words seems to fall in all this.
    – yO_
    Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 17:45
  • @yO do you listen to women talking? The reason why everyone does is because we pasken like the Shulchan Aruch based on the opinion of Rav Nachman that only when a woman sings it is erva not when she speaks
    – yosefkorn
    Commented Oct 28, 2018 at 12:56
  • Yes, but if someone enjoys enough from the woman's voice, even a simple talk can be forbidden. (Psak tells us that generally, a simple talk is not considered such a 'profit from the woman') Hence, it is not surprising that is some dangerous cases like sheelas shalorn, even without singing it can be forbidden.
    – yO_
    Commented Nov 2, 2018 at 15:05
  • Of course the matter here is not about derech eretz of a polite salutation. It is about a deeper attention given to the woman, that she is likely to reply with particular kindness/smile/whatever, that could be sufficiently enjoying for the man to be considered a 'profit' like hearing her singing.
    – yO_
    Commented Nov 2, 2018 at 15:08

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