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Preface:
The Purpose Of This Book

Foreword:
The Source Works for this Volume

Introduction:
The Proper Perspective on Yichud

Source Material:
Gaining The Necessary Background To Understand The Laws

Yichud — What, Where And With Whom

An Open Door — "Pesach Posuach"

"Ishto Meshamroso" — His Wife Guards Him

Common Yichud Situations

Transportation

Yichud At Work

Babysitting

Medical Personnel

Being Careful About Yichud

Inspiration

Glossary

The Laws of Yichud
Permissibility and Prohibition Regarding the Seclusion of a Man and Woman

Chapter 4
"Ishto Meshamroso" — His Wife Guards Him

by: Rabbi N. D. Dubov

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The Concept of Ishto Meshamroso

76. A woman may be in seclusion with any Jewish man whose wife is present with him, for his wife guards him — "Ishto Meshamroso" — from any improper conduct.[158] This halachah applies when the wife is in the same house as her husband, or she is in close proximity and comes in and out of the house.[159] The same would apply[160] if she has left for a very short while. For example, if she has gone to a neighbor's house or to a store around the corner (and she has the key, or the door is shut but unlocked) and could return home any moment, her husband could rely on the heter of Ishto Meshamroso.[161] However, if she has gone out to work and she is not expected home, then the heter of Ishto Meshamroso does not apply.[162]

77. Consequently, if a man is at home alone and his wife is at work, and a female housekeeper arrives to clean, then he should leave the door literally open, thereby creating a Pesach Posuach. If his wife is in the vicinity and she is expected home shortly, then if she has the key, the door may be closed. If she doesn't have the key, the door may be closed but left unlocked.[163]

78. Even if a husband informed his wife of his whereabouts, and he told her that he was going to visit a woman in her apartment, and theoretically his wife could arrive at any time, Ishto Meshamroso would not apply and such a Yichud situation would not be permitted.[164]

79. A man whose wife is at home may be alone in a room with another woman even if the door is locked, as long as his wife has a key and could enter at any time.[165] If the wife has given specific permission for her husband to be alone in a room with another woman, e.g. he is a counselor and he is counseling a woman in his office at home, then the door to the room may be shut but not locked.[166]

80. It is permitted for a single woman guest to stay at the home of a married couple due to Ishto Meshamroso. However, if the wife goes out to work, then another precaution must be taken, e.g. a Pesach Posuach or shomrim. It is most appropriate that the guest should have her own room, although it is not necessary for her to lock the room at night. As a general rule, both the guest and the man of the house must take great precautions to maintain tznius at all times. For example, if the guest walks around the house at night, she must make sure to be properly dressed, as the man of the house may happen to see her.

81. A woman may accompany a married couple on a trip.[167]

82. A man may be alone at home with a woman at night if his wife is in the house, even if his wife is sleeping.[168]

Libo Gas Boh, Parutz, Asoko Im Hanoshim

83. A man is permitted to be in Yichud with a woman with whom he has a relationship of Libo Gas Boh if Ishto Meshamroso.[169]

84. A man who is a parutz is permitted to be in Yichud with another woman in the case of Ishto Meshamroso.[170]

85. A man who is Asoko Im Hanoshim is permitted to be in Yichud with another woman in the case of Ishto Meshamroso.[171]

A Non-Jewish Woman

86. A Jewish woman may not be alone with a non-Jewish man even in the presence of his wife.[172] Therefore, a Jewish woman may not work in the home of a non-Jewish couple unless accompanied by an effective shomer.[173]

87. A Jewish woman should not go on a journey with a non-Jewish couple, unless there are other shomrim present.[174]

88. A Jewish woman may not be alone with a group of non-Jewish men even if they are accompanied by their wives.[175] Even in the presence of many, there is the fear of improper conduct.

Au Pairs

89. A woman who lives permanently with a married couple presents a number of halachic problems:

  1. Ishto Meshamroso would only be effective when the wife is present or out for a very short while. However, if she is out for a long time, e.g. at work, or shopping in town, or at a simchah etc., the heter does not apply and Yichud would be prohibited.

  2. The permanent presence of another woman may present a stumbling block to the man. Therefore, in practice, if a family wishes to employ an au pair to live permanently in the house to help with the children, they should arrange that the au pair live in an apartment by herself (e.g. in the basement which has a separate entrance), or at least on a different floor (e.g. in the attic), so that the man of the house should have as little contact as possible with the au pair.[176] In addition, they should make sure that whenever the wife exits for a long period, another heter for Yichud is in place.[177]

Shomrim — Which People Prevent Yichud

The Concept of a Shomer

90. In general, a woman is allowed to be in a room with a man if there is another person in the room whose presence would prevent any prohibited conduct. This person is called a shomer. Such Yichud is permitted because the man or woman would be ashamed to do anything untoward in the presence of the shomer and would also be afraid that the shomer would reveal any improper conduct.[178]

91. The shomer does not literally have to be with the man and the woman in the room the whole time. As long as the shomer can enter freely as he/she wishes, he/she serves to permit Yichud.[179]

92. The presence of a single shomer is effective during the day. However at night,[180] a single shomer is not adequate since the shomer may fall asleep. Therefore, the presence of two shomrim is required at night. Two shomrim are adequate even if both are sleeping, for the man and woman would fear that one shomer might awaken and discover any improper conduct. The exceptions to this rule are

  1. a husband and a wife (since their respective shemirah is effective at night without the need of an additional shomer), and

  2. a son and a mother. [181]

93. The presence of a shomer serves to permit Yichud even if the man has the status of

  1. Libo Gas Boh,[182]

  2. Asoko Im Hanashim,

  3. a Parutz, or

  4. a non-Jew.[183]

In every case, in order to qualify as a shomer, the individual must be immune to any arayos transgression. We will now discuss the permissibility of children and certain relatives as shomrim. They qualify because their presence in the Yichud situation prevents any improper conduct and they themselves are not susceptible to any improper conduct.

Children As Shomrim

94. The presence of a Jewish[184] boy or girl from the age of six until nine[185] serves to permit Yichud, for he or she is considered an effective shomer.[186] Between the ages of six until nine the child is old enough to recognize any improper conduct, yet young enough to be immune to participation; hence, he/she qualifies as a shomer. It makes no difference if the children are the woman's or the man's, or the children of neither.[187] The children shomrim do not necessarily have to be in the room to serve to permit the Yichud situation. As long as they have free access to the man and the woman and they could come in at any time, they serve to permit Yichud.[188] (Note: Children are limited in their reliability with regard to staying in one place. Therefore, when relying on a child as a shomer, one must make sure that the child is on the premises and has not gone out to a friend's house, etc.)

95. The presence of a single child serves to permit Yichud during the day; however, at night two children are necessary. In this case, night would be defined as the hour at which the child would usually go to sleep.[189] The presence of two children at night serves to permit Yichud even if both the children are sleeping.[190]

96. Even if the two children are sleeping in a different room, Yichud is permitted as long as the door is open and there is the possibility that the children may intrude at any time.[191]

97. A child is an effective shomer even if the man is in the category of a parutz, Asoko Im Hanoshim or Libo Gas Boh.[192]

98. A child is an effective shomer for allowing the Yichud of a Jewish woman with a non-Jewish man.[193] Hence, a woman may ask a non-Jewish worker (from a reputable company) to do some work in the house if there is a child of the above age at home.

99. A child is an effective shomer for allowing the Yichud of a man with a prutzah or a non-Jewish woman.[194] Therefore, a man may be alone in the house with a non-Jewish cleaning lady in the presence of a child shomer.

100. On a journey or out in the fields, one should not in the first instance (lechatchilah) rely on a child to be the shomer; however in difficult circumstances one may be lenient.[195]

101. Two men may sleep overnight in a house where there is only a woman and one child shomer.[196]

102. A man may sleep overnight in a house with one woman and two children shomrim, whether the children are both girls or boys, or one girl and one boy.[197]

103. A man may not stay overnight in a house where there are two women and only one child shomer.[198]

104. It is permitted for a man to be in Yichud with two girls from the age of six until nine.[199]

105. A woman may be alone with two boys until age nine.[200] She may also be alone with a boy and a girl of this age.

106. A man may be alone with a girl aged three to nine in the presence of a single shomer, even at night.[201]

107. A woman may be alone, even at night (and one doesn't need a second shomer) with a boy aged nine until twelve if his mother or sister is in the same house.[202]

108. A man may be alone with a woman if she is accompanied by a boy over the age of nine, for then it is considered as a case of Yichud of one woman with two men, which is permitted. (As mentioned previously, those who follow the Sefardic custom forbid Yichud of one woman with two men unless one of their wives is present.)

Relatives As Shomrim

109. A man may be secluded with a woman in the presence of

  1. his mother,[203]

  2. his daughter or granddaughter,[204]

  3. his sister,[205]

  4. his grandmother,

  5. her father,

  6. her son or grandson,[206]

  7. her brother,[207] or

  8. her grandfather.

All the above are effective shomrim, for they are extremely vigilant that no improper conduct would transpire.[208] This is true only in the case of temporary Yichud. A man should not live permanently in the same house as a woman even if these shomrim are present.[209]

110. The above shomrim are only effective during the day. During the evening one must have an additional shomer,[210] except in the case of Yichud with a woman whose son is present. A son is extremely vigilant of his mother and his shmirah is effective even at night without the need for an additional shomer.[211]

111. There is a question among the Poskim as to whether a man may be in seclusion with a woman in the presence of her

  1. mother,

  2. daughter,

  3. grandmother, or

  4. granddaughter.

In practice, a Rav should be consulted.[212]

112. A man may not be in seclusion with two sisters.[213]

113. A man may be secluded[214] with a woman in the presence of

  1. her mother-in-law,[215]

  2. her sister-in-law,[216] or

  3. her step-daughter.[217] (See footnotes for definitions of these relatives.)

114. A man may be alone with two women if one of the women's husbands is in town — Baaloh B'ir. Since she is protected by Baaloh B'ir, she acts as a shomer for the other woman.[218]

A Shomer Who Has a Key

115. In the previous points we have discussed the fact that the physical presence of a shomer who by his/her very nature is immune to a transgression, or else would be vigilant concerning one, serves to mitigate a case of Yichud. Another form of shmirah is to appoint a kosher shomer who will have access at any time to the Yichud situation and hence prevent any improper conduct.[219]

116. We have already discussed in the section of Pesach Posuach that a neighbor who has a key and is asked to enter from time to time creates a Pesach Posuach which serves to permit a case of Yichud. However, a Pesach Posuach only helps during the day and not at night. At night two shomrim are required. Following this line of reasoning, it would be permitted to give two people a key with free access at night, and they would be effective shomrim as long as they actually come to check from time to time. For example, a babysitter who finds herself in a Yichud situation at night can give a key to a neighbor and ask two members of the family to independently come in from time to time to check on her.[220]

117. It is important to bear in mind that the neighbors coming in should be immune to that case of Yichud themselves, e.g. a married couple, (he being immune because Ishto Meshamroso, and she being immune because of Baaloh B'ir). Hence, it would be prohibited for a seminary girl to ask two of her friends to come in from time to time as the same problem of Yichud would apply to them as it does to her.

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) Shulchan Aruch Even HoEzer 22:3. Note: The heter of Ishto Meshamroso applies even with a Libo Gas Boh and Asoko Im Hanoshim, and it applies both by day and night. Accordingly, a man may live permanently in the same house as his mother-in-law as long as Ishto Meshamroso — Nitei Gavriel 39:2,3. However, the Poskim are not in favor of two couples living permanently together in one apartment, nor of a single woman living permanently with a couple, as this could present a serious problem of tznius — see Shevet Halevi Vol. 5:21; Dvar Halachah 6:9; Nitei Gavriel 39:8; Minchas Ish 9:5. In a case of necessity a Rav should be consulted.

    Further points:

    1. The heter also applies on a journey; i.e., a man may travel with another woman as long as he is accompanied by his wife — Nitei Gavriel 39:6.

    2. The heter also applies if the wife is blind, for even she can sense what is going on in the house — see Dvar Halachah 6:8 who quotes various opinions. The same would be true if a wife is ill or old; as long as she is aware of what is happening around her, her shemirah is effective. If, however, she has suffered a stroke, G-d forbid and is totally unaware of what is happening around her, then her shemirah is ineffective — see Nitei Gavriel Teshuvos 10-13. (There he also discusses the interesting question of a woman who was paralyzed from her neck down and who had a nurse in attendance 24 hours, addressing the question of Yichud at night between the nurse and the woman's husband.)

    3. The heter does not apply to a man who is non-observant and is known to be promiscuous — even the presence of his wife would not deter him from improper conduct. Nitei Gavriel 40:11.

    4. The heter of Ishto Meshmroso also applies to a couple who married in a civil court even though they did not have Chuppah and Kiddushin — Toras HaYichud 6:5. However, the heter would not apply to a couple who were simply living together without any form of marriage. — see Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 6:40:17:9.

    5. There is an opinion that the heter of Ishto Meshamroso does not apply to a former divorced wife, albeit that his second wife is present — see Minchas Ish 9:15.

  2. (Back to text) Nitei Gavriel 39:1. In this respect, the heter of Ishto Meshamroso differs from the heter of Baaloh B'ir. Chazal deemed that a woman has a deeper psychological fear of discovery than a man and therefore as long as her husband is in the city and may return unexpectedly, she is afraid to engage in any improper conduct. However, in the reverse situation — if a woman is out of the house and is not expected to return — since a man does not have the same innate fear of discovery, he may not be alone with another woman. Certainly if he were not at home, but in an unknown location, the fact that his wife is in the city would not deter him in any way. This is a case where Chazal fathomed the depths of human psychology and drew halachic guidelines accordingly.

    (Note: there are Poskim who apply the heter of Ishto Meshamroso even if the wife is in the city as long as she could possibly enter unannounced at any given moment, similar to the heter of Baaloh B'ir. Dvar Halachah 6:3 is lenient in the case of Yichud midrabonon, i.e. one man with two women, relying on the opinion that permits Yichud as long as the wife is in the same city and could come home at any moment. In such a case it would certainly be correct to leave the door unlocked. However, most Poskim concur with the view that she must literally be with him, or at least in the vicinity — see Minchas Ish 9:2 for a summary of all various opinions.)

  3. (Back to text) Dvar Halachah 6:2,4; Nitei Gavriel 41:6; Minchas Ish 9:2. This lenient opinion is also recorded in the sefer Oholei Yeshurun in the name of R. Moshe Feinstein zt'l.

  4. (Back to text) There are Poskim who are stringent and only apply the heter of Ishto Meshamroso when the wife is literally at home; however, if she is out of the house, even if she is expected to return home imminently, the heter would not apply. This is the opinion of the Ezer Mekodesh and Maharsham Vol. 4:144. In practice, one may be lenient in a case of Yichud midrabonon or if the door is closed but not locked — Nitei Gavriel 41:1. Therefore in a case where she has gone out to a local store to do some shopping and she is expected home shortly, one may rely on the heter of Ishto Meshamroso as long as the door is shut but not locked, or if she has the key and could enter at any moment. (Some Poskim state that the heter is thereby transformed into a Pesach Posuach.)

    Note also that the heter of the wife's being in the vicinity applies only when the husband is at home or at his permanent place of work; however at any other location, she must literally be with him to permit the Yichud — Nitei Gavriel 41:3. Furthermore, this leniency would only apply during the day. At night when people are usually asleep, his wife must literally be with him in the same house in order for the Yichud to be permitted — Nitei Gavriel 41:5.

  5. (Back to text) Imrei Yosher Vol. 2:9; Nitei Gavriel 41:2.

  6. (Back to text) Minchas Ish 9:3.

  7. (Back to text) Dvar Halachah 6:4.

  8. (Back to text) Ibid.

  9. (Back to text) Nitei Gavriel 39:5. This applies only if the wife would feel comfortable about entering at any time unannounced. However, if the wife would never enter her husband's private office so as not to disturb the confidential nature of the counseling, the heter would not apply. The best solution would be for the husband to make it clear to his wife that she may come in at any time, and that she not be afraid or embarrassed to do so.

  10. (Back to text) Nitei Gavriel 39:6.

  11. (Back to text) Nitei Gavriel 41:4. This would be the case even if the woman entered the home after his wife went to sleep — Toras HaYichud 6:8. See, however, Shevet Halevi Vol. 5:201:4 that if the wife took a sleeping pill and it is highly unlikely she will wake up during the night, then Ishto Meshamroso would not apply.

  12. (Back to text) Nitei Gavriel 39:3; Minchas Ish 9:11. This would include his mother-in-law. Consequently a man may live in his widowed mother-in-law's house in the case of Ishto Meshamroso. See Dvar Halachah 6:12.

  13. (Back to text) Dvar Halachah 6:7. He adds that it appears that this would be the case even if the wife was also a prutzah.

  14. (Back to text) Igros Moshe, Even HoEzer Vol. 4:65:14; Nitei Gavriel 39:2; Minchas Ish 9:10. See, however, Dvar Halachah 6:6, who quotes a stringent opinion.

  15. (Back to text) Shulchan Aruch Even HoEzer 22:3.

    A Jewish woman may visit her mother who is married to a non-Jew. However, if the mother is a prutzah, it is forbidden. Nitei Gavriel 6:5.

  16. (Back to text) The same rule applies even for a number of women, who are forbidden to be alone with a non-Jewish man even if he is accompanied by his wife — see Taharas Yisroel 22:12.

  17. (Back to text) Nitei Gavriel 44:15.

  18. (Back to text) Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 152:2. See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 153:4; Shach ibid., 2; Minchas Ish 9:17. However, if there is no fear of rape (e.g. she is in a place where other people would hear if she shouted), and there is no fear that she might be persuaded to engage in immoral conduct (e.g. her husband is in the city, or she is with a shomer), then Yichud may be permitted. Nitei Gavriel 6:3,4.

  19. (Back to text) Nitei Gavriel 39:7. Two couples should not share the same apartment even if they are in separate rooms. Although there is no question of Yichud, there is a serious tznius problem. In cases of necessity a Rav should be consulted. Shevet Halevi Vol. 5:21; Dvar Halachah 6:9; Nitei Gavriel 39:8.

  20. (Back to text) An au pair would definitely qualify as a Libo Gas Boh, and therefore a Pesach Posuach is a questionable heter. In this case, either the husband should not remain at home at all or other shomrim should be present. See section on shomrim.

  21. (Back to text) Shulchan Aruch Even HoEzer 22:3. See Beis Shlomo, Orach Chaim 48.

  22. (Back to text) Nitei Gavriel 10:15, 27:15. Furthermore, even if the shomer goes in and out of the house, he/she serves to permit Yichud, even at night, as long as he/she has free access. An example would be a boarder staying at the house — Toras HaYichud 8:28. The shomer must be aware of what is happening around him/her. Therefore a drunk, a sick person or one who suffers (G-d forbid) from Alzheimer's does not qualify as a shomer — Minchas Ish 11:20.

  23. (Back to text) Night in this context is defined as bedtime, i.e., the time the shomer would normally retire to bed. Dvar Halachah 9:17 from Chassam Sofer, Even HoEzer Vol. 2:96.

  24. (Back to text) Dvar Halachah 9:17. It should be noted that Dvar Halachah 8:7 permits Yichud with a woman and her son even at night, even if the son is asleep. He argues that a son is extremely vigilant of his mother and his shmirah helps even at night. See also Minchas Ish 11:18; Toras HaYichud 8:18.

    As to whether a father and a son may be in Yichud at night with another woman, see Nitei Gavriel Teshuvos 5,6 who seems to be stringent in requiring another shomer. In difficult circumstances a Rav should be consulted.

  25. (Back to text) Dvar Halachah 8:5,6.

  26. (Back to text) Ibid.

  27. (Back to text) Non-Jewish children are not efficient shomrim — Nitei Gavriel 28:4. (See, however, Toras HaYichud 8:6 who is lenient.)

    Children who are themselves prutzim are considered effective shomrim, for they will reveal any improper conduct — Nitei Gavriel 28:5.

  28. (Back to text) Piskei Dinim Tzemach Tzedek, Yoreh Deah 192:17 indicates that the shomrim for a choson and kallah in the case of a chuppas niddah must be below the age of nine. In Responsa of the Tzemach Tzedek, Hashmotos to Shaar Hamiluim (end of Choshen Mishpat) section 10, there is an indication that a shomer aged five is a valid shomer. See Taharah Kehalachah 9:21:32. Dvar Halachah 4:2,3 and Nitei Gavriel 29:1-7 quote all the various opinions. However, it seems that from the age of six until nine is the category agreed upon by most Poskim, and therefore we have quoted these ages in this volume. (See Shevet Halevi Vol. 5:202.) It should be noted that there is a wide variety of opinions on this matter. Some Poskim allow a girl from age three to be a shomer, citing the maximum age as up until twelve. Concerning a boy, some Poskim say he can be a shomer from age five until the maximum age of twelve. Much depends on the physical development, maturity, understanding and perception of the child. Between the ages of six and nine the child is old enough to recognize any improper conduct and young enough to be immune to participation. However, each child is different and, in practice, one should ask a Rav what to do if the age of the shomrim is below six or over nine. In difficult circumstances, many Rabbis will be lenient until age twelve; nevertheless, a question should be asked. See Nitei Gavriel 29:7; Minchas Ish 10:1,2.

  29. (Back to text) Shulchan Aruch Even HoEzer 22:10; Pischei Teshuvah 22:12.

  30. (Back to text) Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 6:40:16:5; Nitei Gavriel 27:3; Minchas Ish 10:3.

  31. (Back to text) Minchas Ish 10:9.

  32. (Back to text) Ibid., 10:12.

  33. (Back to text) See Toras HaYichud 8:11, who quotes an opinion that this would only apply if the children were seven or eight years old. At that age, if they were to awaken at night they would be cognizant of what was happening around them, whereas children of five or six who awakened in the middle of the night would not necessarily be aware of what was happening around them.

  34. (Back to text) Nitei Gavriel 27:6.

  35. (Back to text) Otzar HaPoskim 22:41:2; Dvar Halachah 4:5; Nitei Gavriel 28:1,2; Toras HaYichud 8:8.

  36. (Back to text) Otzar HaPoskim 22:41:3; Toras HaYichud 8:9; Minchas Ish 10:5.

  37. (Back to text) Dvar Halachah 4:7; Minchas Ish 10:6.

  38. (Back to text) Nitei Gavriel 27:9. The same would apply when traveling on a journey with a non-Jew with a child as a shomer. Lechatchilah this should not be done. In difficult circumstances, one may be lenient; however, a Rav should be consulted. The Rav should be informed if there is the possibility of two children accompanying the man and woman on the journey — see Dvar Halachah 4:9:31. An example of this would be a woman and a child shomer taking a taxi from one bungalow colony in the country to another. This would involve driving through country roads in a secluded area. Lechatchilah, such a journey should be avoided, but if necessary one may be lenient. In such a case, great effort should be made to find another shomer who can travel along. In this case there is also the mitigating factor that the driver comes from a reputable company and would not want to lose his license. However, as previously mentioned, a Rav should be consulted in such a case.

  39. (Back to text) Dvar Halachah 4:9.

  40. (Back to text) Ibid.

  41. (Back to text) Ibid.

  42. (Back to text) Nitei Gavriel 27:10. Most certainly he would be permitted to be in Yichud with a boy and girl of this age.

  43. (Back to text) Nitei Gavriel 27:11; Minchas Ish 10:8.

  44. (Back to text) Nitei Gavriel 27:13.

  45. (Back to text) Ibid. 27:13.

  46. (Back to text) As regards a mother being an effective shomer, see Nitei Gavriel Teshuvah 3. In practice, based on the ruling of Igros Moshe Vol. 2:15, Vol. 4:65:8, one may be lenient. However, the mother is only an effective shomer during the day; at night an additional shomer is required. If, therefore, a man goes to visit his mother who lives together with another woman, he may not stay overnight unless another shomer is present.

    As regards a son being an effective shomer for his father at night (without the need for an additional shomer), see Nitei Gavriel p. 386, who is stringent.

  47. (Back to text) See Nitei Gavriel 27:4; Dvar Halachah 8:4; Igros Moshe, Even HoEzer Vol. 2:15, Vol. 4:65:8; Toras HaYichud 8:3.

  48. (Back to text) Ibid.

  49. (Back to text) Ibid.

  50. (Back to text) A woman may not be in seclusion with two prutzim even if one of them is her brother. Since he is a parutz, he will not be a good shomer for the other man. Likewise, a woman may not be in seclusion with a parutz even in the presence of his sister — Toras HaYichud 8:4.

  51. (Back to text) See Dvar Halachah 8:4,5,6; Igros Moshe, Even HoEzer Vol. 4:65:8. Note: These shomrim are effective even if the man is a Libo Gas Boh, Asoko Im Hanoshim, or Parutz — Dvar Halachah 8:5. A woman would be allowed to be in Yichud with a Libo Gas Boh, Asoko Im Hanoshim, Parutz or even a non-Jew if her father, son or brother is present, even if they are prutzim — Dvar Halachah 8:6.

  52. (Back to text) Nitei Gavriel 40:4.

  53. (Back to text) Pischei Teshuvah 22:2; Dvar Halachah 8:7. As regards going on a journey, Dvar Halachah states that an additional shomer is necessary. However, he quotes various opinions in the case of a son and his mother as to whether an additional shomer is necessary. In practice, a Rav should be consulted.

  54. (Back to text) Dvar Halachah 8:7. Toras HaYichud 8:18 rules that a man may be in Yichud with a woman in the presence of his daughter, for a daughter is extremely vigilant of her father.

  55. (Back to text) Igros Moshe, Even HoEzer Vol. 4:64 (end) writes that it is obvious that a man may be in Yichud with a mother and her daughter or a mother and her granddaughter. Minchas Ish 11:6 takes issue with the Igros Moshe and is not sure why this is so obvious. Nitei Gavriel 21:13 quotes two opinions, one lenient and one stringent. Therefore, in practice a Rav should be consulted.

  56. (Back to text) Igros Moshe, Even HoEzer, Ibid.

  57. (Back to text) Shulchan Aruch 22:10; Pischei Teshuvah 11. See Taharas Yisroel 22:23. The reason for this halachah has already been explained in the source material. It must be pointed out that even if the two women have an excellent relationship and there is no animosity between them, the halachah still applies, for we deem that subconsciously they are wary of each other. Minchas Ish 11:28.

    Further points:

    1. Yichud with a woman and her mother-in-law is forbidden if the woman's husband is now dead. After his death, the natural animosity is deemed to exist no longer. The same prohibition would apply with a divorcee and her ex-mother-in-law, sister-in-law or step-daughter — Dvar Halachah 5:22.

    2. Yichud with such women is permitted even if the man is a parutz, Libo Gas Boh, Asoko Im Hanoshim or a non-Jew — Dvar Halachah 5:23,24.

    3. Yichud with such women is even permitted at night or on a journey. However, two such women should not go on a journey or into the fields with a non-Jew — ibid.

    4. A man may even live on a permanent basis in the house of two such women — ibid.

    5. Yichud is permitted with two such women even if they are prutzos — ibid.

  58. (Back to text) This refers to the mother of her husband. However, it would not apply to her father-in-law's second wife — Dvar Halachah 5:9. Dvar Halachah 5:13 also states that a man may be in Yichud with an engaged Kallah and her future mother-in-law.

  59. (Back to text) A sister-in-law includes both a husband's sister and a brother's wife. As regards two brothers who married two women, there is a dispute among the Poskim as to whether one man may be permitted to be in Yichud with these two women or not. See Toras HaYichud 8:15. In difficult circumstances, one may be lenient.

  60. (Back to text) This refers to the daughter of her husband from a first marriage, after the daughter's true mother has died. However, if he divorced his first wife and then remarried, the daughter from the first marriage is not considered to be a relative with whom the new wife has a negative subconscious relationship. Thus, the daughter's presence would not serve to permit a Yichud situation— Dvar Halachah 5:14.

  61. (Back to text) Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 6:40:10; Minchas Ish 8:28. Shevet Halevi Vol. 5:202, however, limits this shemirah only to a case where her husband is in close proximity; otherwise he is stringent. There are other opinions that disagree and do not allow a woman whose husband is in the city to act as a shomer for other women — see Nitei Gavriel 35:8.

  62. (Back to text) The shomer must be able to enter at any time uninvited. Hence, Toras HaYichud 8:31 states that if there are closed circuit cameras through which the person inside the house can see anyone approaching the house, giving a key to a neighbor would not help to prevent Yichud.

  63. (Back to text) See Dvar Halachah Hosafos Chadoshos 3:3. He also discusses there the case of a man and a woman who are locked inside an office together for security reasons (e.g. in a diamond bourse), and where a guard has a key and may enter at any time, as to whether this serves to permit Yichud. See also Toras HaYichud 8:29.


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