At the Seder table, my sister told me about a passage in the Talmud advocating that women go to the toilet together, lest they be raped. I was wondering if anyone had the exact location?

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    razumny, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks very much for bringing your question here! I hope you'll look around to find other information of interest (perhaps starting with some of our yichud-seclusion material), and continue asking and answering.
    – Isaac Moses
    Apr 10, 2018 at 17:19

1 Answer 1


The reference is to Sanhedrin 19a where it is recorded that R Yosi enacted in Tzippori that women speak to each other aloud when in the outhouses so men would hear them and know not to come in (which would present a problem of Yichud). This is brought in Shulchan Arukh (EH 22:13) though the Rama notes that in our bathrooms which aren't out in fields, this enactment doesn't apply.

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    Note that the Talmud is talking about preventing mistakes, not a diabolical predator. So whoever read that as "lest they be raped" was mistaken.
    – Shalom
    Apr 10, 2018 at 17:17
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    @shalom well that's Rashi's read at least. One could read it that the enactment prevented problems by forcing people to speak which prevented cross-dressing men (with lower voices) from entering, or some other variation. When the Talmud says it's a problem of Yichud, it could be speaking politely
    – Double AA
    Apr 10, 2018 at 17:17
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    Note that the enactment recorded immediately previously in the Talmud and immediately afterward in the Shulchan Aruch does [also] address risk of sexual abuse.
    – Isaac Moses
    Apr 10, 2018 at 17:25
  • I always wondered if the other story was euphemistic, or if their world was just less sick -- "they bad guys found the child alone in the street so they kidnapped the child and then raped ... the child's mother."
    – Shalom
    Apr 10, 2018 at 23:36

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