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 Hilchos Kriyas Shema 75 (page 217)
 מסימן עה סעיף ג עד סעיף ו

Listening to a Woman's Voice
Listening to a Record of Women Singing
May Brothers and Sisters Sing Shabbos Zemiros Together?

Listening to a woman's voice
It is forbidden for a man to listen to the singing of a woman who is married to someone else.  He is likewise prohibited from listening to the singing of other women who are forbidden to him (e.g. his wife's sister). The singing of a non-Jewish woman is also forbidden. It is permissible, however, to listen to the singing of one's wife, mother, sister, daughter or any girl under the age of eleven. There is an opinion which forbids listening to the singing of one's sister or daughter if they are over eleven. A woman's regular voice, however pleasant, is not considered singing. If a woman goes out of her way to speak in an especially sweet tone, however, she is treated as someone who is singing. If a woman's voice or song will cause impure thoughts, it is forbidden to listen in any case.
( ס"ק יז; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 34, 38, 39, 40, 42 ו־43)
Listening to a record of women singing
It is forbidden for a man to listen to a woman sing even if she is singing with a group, with her husband, or with her brothers. The consensus of the poskim is that listening to a woman's recorded or broadcasted singing is also forbidden. The poskim discuss whether or not it is permissible for a man to listen to a woman's voice when he doesn't know who the voice belongs to (e.g. when the radio is being played in a public place or when he is walking by an open window). If he knows that listening in such circumstances will cause him impure thoughts, it is forbidden in any case.
( ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 35)
May brothers & sisters sing Shabbos zemiros together?
It is important to avoid impure thoughts when reciting a davar sh'bekedusha (Shema, berachos, Shemoneh Esrei) 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. Accordingly, there is an opinion which holds that it is forbidden for men to sing Shabbos zemiros with their sisters or daughters. The custom, however, is to be lenient. If hearing a woman sing is unavoidable, it is permissible to study Torah, etc., but one should try to ignore what he is hearing and concentrate on what he is saying.
( סעיף ג וס"ק יז; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 38)

  • The Torah requires a married woman to cover her hair. A woman should cover her hair even at home. The Zohar offers strong reproof to women who do not cover their hair properly and great blessing to those who cover it even at home.
  • According to the Rama and other poskim, a woman may cover her head with a human hair wig, but some Acharonim do not consider a human hair wig to be a proper covering.
  • It is forbidden to gaze upon a woman for enjoyment. Such gazing can cause improper thoughts. It is forbidden to even glance at the parts a woman typically keeps covered since doing so can also cause improper thoughts.

  • 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 required in a place where a davar sh'bekedusha is recited



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.