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I vaguely remember a quote from the Talmud, where a Rabbi was saying that in his youth the boys and girls would play together in the streets and there were no tzniut issues.

Does anyone recognize this and have a source?

  • Zekharyah 8:5 ? – Double AA Aug 2 '18 at 22:45
  • I heard a similar story about a much more recent Rabbi who asked why non-Jewish men and women can mingle with no problem, but that’s not the case amongst Jews, and he answered that we, who (try to) live in a state of kedushah, have to avoid such mingling, while they, who are not expected to live as such, have no problem with mingling. While I don’t recall which Rabbi this was, I know for certain he lived in the 20th Century. – DonielF Aug 2 '18 at 22:46
  • @DoubleAA It is possible the statement was somehow connected to this verse, but it was a statement about days past. – Menachem Aug 2 '18 at 22:58
  • Perhaps loosely based on Yevamos 113b-114a: רב יצחק בר ביסנא אירכסו ליה מפתחי דבי מדרשא ברשות הרבים בשבתא אתא לקמיה דרבי פדת אמר ליה זיל דבר דבר טלי וטליא וליטיילו Rashi: דבר טלי וטליא. הנהג תינוקות זכרים ונקבות – Alex Aug 2 '18 at 23:46
  • @Alex famously the satmer rav was approached with this gemara as proof that young girls and boys should be allowed to mingle, to this he responded (perhaps in jest) that the opposite is true, the boys would be forced to look down at the ground, thereby being more in a position to find the key! (from "The Rebbe") – heshy Aug 8 '18 at 19:02
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You may be thinking of this similar passage in Talmud Bavli (BB 91b) with Sefaria trans.:

ואמר רבי יוחנן נהירנא כד הוו מטיילין טליא וטלייתא בשוקא כבר שית עשרה וכבר שב עשרה ולא הוו חטאן

And Rabbi Yoḥanan said: I remember when a boy and girl, of sixteen and seventeen years of age, would walk together in the market, and they would not sin

The Rashbam explains that "מטיילין" (walking) means "משחקין" (playing)

  • I'm almost positive that's it, I will look it up and accept your answer if it is – Menachem Aug 3 '18 at 0:47
  • @Menachem Glad to have helped. – Oliver Aug 3 '18 at 1:11

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