Questions tagged [women]

Questions about or that apply specifically to women.

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37
votes
23answers
8k views

How to tactfully circumvent opposite-gender handshake

Say you're a man in a professional setting, and a woman who isn't used to dealing with observant Jews stretches out her hand to greet you -- but your practice is to avoid shaking hands even in ...
34
votes
6answers
6k views

Does Judaism consider women inferior?

According to Orthodox Judaism, women may not be rabbis, be counted as part of a minyan, leyn from the Torah, or study the Talmud. It even says that to teach a woman Torah is to teach her obscenity!(...
33
votes
4answers
5k views

What are the sources for women to wear/ not wear pants?

I have heard that the argument is beged ish / kli gever, and I have heard people say that even if that was once a real reason for it it doesn't apply today for various reasons. I understand that the ...
28
votes
4answers
568 views

Female praying in masculine language

When women daven (pray), even by ourselves, it is convention to daven with male-gendered words ("modeh" vs "moda" as one of many examples). Why is this; are there sources that say we should be doing ...
26
votes
10answers
3k views

Why are women exempt from (many) time-bound mitzvot?

Women are generally exempt from time-bound mitzvot (Kiddushin 29a). I have heard two reasons for women being exempt from time-bound mitzvot and both seem problematic, so either there are additional ...
22
votes
2answers
4k views

May my wife wear my jacket to keep warm?

The Sefer HaChinuch #564 writes that it’s forbidden for a woman to wear men’s clothing. If it’s cold outside, is a woman allowed to wear a man’s coat to keep warm? If #1 is a problem, are any ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

What is a woman's obligation when it comes to T'fillah?

In Orthodox practice it is commonly thought that women are not obligated in T'fillah (parts of it anyway) due to its time-bound nature. However, what is a woman's obligation? Which prayers must she ...
22
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the original halachic source for a woman covering her collarbones out of modesty (tznius)?

Many contemporary instructions on women's modesty (tznius) say that necklines have to be high enough to cover the collarbones. I can certainly accept that if this is the communal standard, it should ...
20
votes
4answers
963 views

How does an outsider know how to dress for a particular Orthodox community?

Standards of dress (at least for women) aren't nearly as consistent within Orthodoxy as we might wish. Wearing exactly the same halachically-correct clothing I have been under-dressed in some places ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

Why can't a woman demand a divorce?

The halacha as I understand it is that only the man can take the final decision on divorce. I hear there are workarounds, but conceptually - why is that so? Why can't a woman decide by herself to ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Can you see your wife unclothed?

I think someone in another question here (or on another site?) said he was told by his "chassan teacher" not to look at his wife unclothed. It seems like this is not the real halacha to me, or at ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Bootstrapping problem: havdalah ends shabbat (for one who didn't daven ma'ariv) but lighting the candle is melacha?

This answer (originally elsewhere, later merged here) to a question about melacha before havdalah notes that in that situation one should say "baruch hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol" first. Does that ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Why don't brides (always) cover their hair for their weddings?

Why don't brides (always) cover their hair for their weddings? I understand that in some ultra-religious groups they do, but there seem to be many groups within Orthodoxy where they do not cover their ...
17
votes
4answers
836 views

What is a good mussar/personal growth sefer for women?

Most mussar sefarim are very oriented towards men, with lessons on things such as how to treat your wife, the dangers of pursuing women, or the importance of learning. Also, many sefarim I've seen ...
16
votes
8answers
4k views

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Why do men or boys have to cover their hair, but not unmarried women?

Whatever the reasons for covering hair (e.g. fear of heaven), they seem to equally apply to men and women. So why don't unmarried women have to cover their hair?
16
votes
5answers
2k views

How to make Purim more female friendly?

At a recent Shabbat meal the conversation was about how Purim was a "guy holiday" where women felt like second class citizens, especially married women who often found themselves cooking the seuda, ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Minhag of married women shaving during marriage

The custom for married women to shave their heads is, evidently, a fairly widespread custom that exists at least amongst (certain) Hasidim. I have heard a variety of supposed, non-authoritative ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Why don't we thank God for making us men/women?

In the brachos we say every morning, men thank God for "not making them a woman" (and women thank God for "creating them according to their needs"). Why don't both men and women just thank God for ...
16
votes
4answers
833 views

The practice of (not) printing pictures of women in magazines and newspapers under religious auspices

I was reading a My Encounter the other week (not available online) which had an interview with the editor of The Moshiach Times. In it he described how the practice of other religious magazines at the ...
16
votes
1answer
4k views

Mixed swimming in a pool?

What are the issues with mixed swimming, from a tzniut point of view? Does it make a difference if the swimmers are or aren't Jewish? For example, are there issues with me swimming with my wife and a ...
16
votes
1answer
677 views

Time-frame for naming a newborn girl

I have heard many differing Minhagim as to the time-frame for naming a newborn girl. There are those that name at the first possible opportunity and some that wait till the second Shabbos. Many others ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

What was daily life like for Jewish women living in al-Andalus in the 10th/11th centuries?

The emir of Al-Andalus (approximately the Iberian peninsula) declared himself a new caliph, breaking off from the caliphate in the east, circa 950 CE. I have read that the next couple hundred years ...
15
votes
3answers
474 views

Halachic Source for Women-Only Mikvaoth?

Some (actually many) Mikvaoth are designated for women's use only, generally for reasons of cleanliness. Is there Halachic literature supporting (or urging) this? (This question is not asking for ...
15
votes
3answers
8k views

Why do divorced or widowed women still need to cover their hair?

I was recently reading the latest edition of Halachically Speaking. It says: A woman who is a widow r”l or divorcee still has an obligation to cover her hair. But why is this so? Why should they ...
15
votes
1answer
528 views

Woman and Zimun: What is the requirement?

What is a woman's requirement to say Bircat Hamazon with a Zimun of women? What is a woman's requirement to say Bircat Hamazon with a Zimun of men?
15
votes
2answers
944 views

Do Shaving Restrictions Apply to Bearded Women?

For example, if a woman were to have a beard, would she be permitted to shave it off with a razor or otherwise destroy it, or do these restrictions apply to both men and women?
15
votes
4answers
443 views

Women and Mayim Acharonim

I very often eat at meals where after the meal, all of the men wash mayim acharonim, but none of the women do so. I am aware of a number of halachic sources that say both men and women should wash ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

The laws behind the separation of men and women

In Israel there is a hot debate because of instances on some communities where extra steps are taken to separate men and women in every day life. For example in some bus lines women seat in the back ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

What's the deal with female Rabbis?

1) Is there a concrete halachic (Biblical?Rabbinic?) basis for women not being permitted to become Rabbis? 2) After 2000+ years, what changed so the JTS's Commission in 1979 decided that they can? ...
15
votes
3answers
287 views

Can a yefas toar be Jewish?

I realize that when the torah discusses אשת יפת תואר it specifies כִּי-תֵצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה, עַל-אֹיְבֶיךָ (Devarim 21:10). When you go out (of the land of Israel) to wage war on your enemies (...
14
votes
7answers
8k views

why do jewish women wear so much black?

Usually, the color white is associated with purity (as indicated by the kittle). I don't know if the opposite color in the spectrum represents the opposite of purity (yes, I know it's not technically ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Is a mechitza required for dancing at Jewish weddings? Why?

If the men and women aren't dancing together, is it strictly required that there also be a mechitza between them? If so, why? What guidelines would this mechitza have to meet? Or is it simply a smart ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Rape for a girl and is looking to get married

If a young Jewish girl was raped, what are the protocols for her getting married? Is there anyone that she can't marry other than the Kohen or Kohen Gadol? What are the halachot for these types of ...
14
votes
3answers
899 views

If women are not obliged to daven maariv, should they daven if they wish to?

This source said that women are not obliged to daven maariv but may do if they wish. He since revised his view - see the source quoted by @Double AA's comment 25 Mar 16. This question was posed on ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is hair sometimes considered *erva* (nakedness) but sometimes not?

Why do people say that the hair of a married woman is considered as nakedness, but not the hair of a single woman? Isn't hair just hair? What if a man grew his hair long - would it also be ...
14
votes
3answers
280 views

Why didn't women complain about not being able to bring the Pesach?

During the first year in the desert, some men were tamei and complained that they couldn't bring the Pesach. This resulted in the mitzvah of Pesach Sheni. Men and women are equally obligated to ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Rashi's Daughters wearing Tefillin

There is a commonly held "tradition" that Rashi's daughters wore Tefillin. One highly educated rabbi/professor has publicly stated that he's spent 35 years searching for a source but to no avail. ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Historically, were women trained for obligatory wars? Or did they serve some other military function?

Sotah 8:7 says that for obligatory wars all go out to fight, "even a bridegroom from his chamber and a bride from her canopy". Historically, was this in fact our practice? Did women participate in ...
13
votes
4answers
915 views

Who was Cain's wife?

I saw this problem on reddit today and I think that we cursorily covered this in Tanach class. Who was Cain's wife? In בראשית ד' י"ז it says " וַיֵּדַע קַיִן אֶת-אִשְׁתּוֹ" but it never says who she ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Why can men wear pants if pants are immodest?

I have a question from another post here. If pants are considered to be immodest garments in general, aside from the issue of them being a male garment, why are they permissible for men to wear? Are ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Angel in the womb for women?

The Talmud (Niddah 30b) teaches us that when a child is in the womb, an angel comes and teaches it the entire Torah, which he subsequently forgets. The simple reading of the Gemara gives no reason to ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Woman's hair covering in the home or in private

Trying to sort out my question, I came across this one, which is closely related, but it is not an exact duplicate. According to those who say a woman must cover her hair, not just her head (those ...
13
votes
2answers
285 views

Should women stay up Shavuos night?

Should females remain awake the night of Shavuos? (sources please)
13
votes
5answers
580 views

What did women have to do with the moon's shrinking?

In the Mishna Berurah (426:1) it says (with loose translation): ונשים פטורות מלקדש הלבנה דהוי מ"ע שהזמן גרמא ואף דכל מ"ע שהזמן גרמא נוהגות הנשים שמקיימות ומברכות עליהן מ"מ מצוה זו אין צריכין לקיימה ...
12
votes
5answers
523 views

Uman for Rosh Hashanah?

Why do people leave Eretz Yisroel to go to Uman for Rosh Hashanah? (It seems to me like leaving America for July Fourth.) In general what is the reason people go: is it Just a festival in the ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Can a female be a Shochet? (slaughter animals)

Can a female slaughter animals according to Halacha? (sources)
12
votes
8answers
1k views

Marrying a wife that is older than you?

What example is there in the Torah about (lichatchila i.e a priori according to halacha) marrying a wife that is years older than you?
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Why are women invalid as Halachic witnesses?

Why are women Pasul leEidus ? Does this still apply?
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Can a man who has undergone sex change give his wife a Get?

If a married Jewish man undergoes the hormonal and surgical procedure of sex change, and "he's become a woman". Would he still have the Halachic status of a man, at least relating to his marital ...