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 Hilchos Kriyas Shema 75-76 (page 218)
 מסעיף ו עד סימן עו סעיף ד

Reciting a Davar Sh'bekedusha in the Presence of an Improperly Clad Person
When is it Permissible to Close One's Eyes to Recite a Davar Sh'bekedusha?
The Cleanliness of the Place Where a Davar Sh'bekedusha is Recited

Reciting a davar sh'bekedusha in the presence of an improperly clad person
It is forbidden to recite a davar sh'bekedusha if there is an exposed ervah in sight. According to the Mechaber, it is permissible to recite a davar sh'bekedusha if the speaker closes his eyes or if the area is too dark to see. Many poskim forbid this, however, and the halacha follows their opinion. According to this opinion, the speaker must turn his head and body away from the ervah so that it is to the side of him [and not in front of him] in order to be able to recite a davar sh'bekedusha in its proximity.
( סימן עה, סעיף ו וס"ק כט-ל)

When is it permissible to close one's eyes when reciting a davar sh'bekedusha?
The poskim discuss whether the opinion that does not allow reciting a davar sh'bekedusha with one's eyes closed in the presence of an ervah would permit its recitation if the eyes were covered with clothing or some other material. There is an opinion that allows for closed eyes if the ervah is in a different room (e.g. viewed through an open door or window). All agree that if the ervah is behind a see-through mechitza (e.g. glass), closed eyes are effective.
( סימן עה, ס"ק כט; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 50)
The cleanliness of the area where a davar sh'bekedusha is recited
It is forbidden to recite a davar sh'bekedusha near human body waste if it is within the forward view of the person or if it is within four amos of the person in any other direction. The four amos are counted from where the foul smell ends. It is permissible to recite a davar sh'bekedusha close to excrement if it is covered, even if the cover is transparent. The poskim discuss whether a distance of four amos is required if a bad odor emanates from the covered waste, or whether moving away from the smell is enough.
( סימן עו, ס"ק א-ג ו־ח; וראה ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 12 ולענין מחשבה בדברי־קדושה - ראה סימן עט, ס"ק ג)

  • It is forbidden for a man to listen to the singing of a married woman as well as the singing of other women that are forbidden to him. The singing of a non-Jewish woman is also forbidden. It is permissible to listen to the singing of one's wife, mother, sister, daughter or any girl under the age of eleven.
  • The consensus of the poskim is that listening to a recording or broadcast of a woman singing is forbidden. The poskim discuss whether or not it is permissible to listen to the recorded voice of an unfamiliar woman.
  • It is important to avoid impure thoughts when reciting a davar sh'bekedusha or studying Torah. Therefore, one should not listen to the singing of any woman [including those he is otherwise permitted to listen to] when reciting a davar sh'bekedusha or studying Torah.

  • Using air fresheners to deodorize an area

  • May a person whose body is soiled recite a davar sh'bekedusha?

  • Clean clothing for davening



PLEASE NOTE:  The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.