For an enlarged, easier to read index click here . To "google search" this site, scroll to the bottom of this page. (This site is best viewed with "Firefox")

(Tips: F11 key enables full screen viewing & Ctrl-F to search the index)


HALACHA-----opposite gender conduct 2

Eliza Posted - 30 October 2000 15:18

One of my closest and oldest friends happens to be a guy. We've been friends since we were four years old, we have done everything together. He is like my brother that i never had (I'm an only child) and I can't give up this relationship because i grew older. Is that so terrible??

MODERATOR Posted - 30 October 2000 15:20

It doesn't matter whether its so terrible. It's simply not permitted.

Eliza Posted - 31 October 2000 16:33

Can you come up with something a little more satisfying???

MODERATOR Posted - 01 November 2000 17:02

Sigh. Eliza. I know that your relationship with this boy happened innocently. I also believe you that you have no bad intentions with this boy. I know.

People think that boy/girl associations are wrong only if they are not 100% innocent, and it is the lack of innocence that is the problem. Therefore, they will often allow 4-year-old boy and girl neighbors to grow up and become teenagers together because they became associated in a totally innocent way.

This is a problem. Because the Torah does not want boys and girls to be friends, even if they grew up together since they were 4. That is why, after a certain age, we separate them. That’s what should have been done in your case.

Imagine, for instance, if you and your 4 year old little boy neighbor used to go swimming together, which is not an altogether impossible assumption. Would you say that it would be OK for both of you to continue this practice throughout adolescence with the justification that you have been doing it since you were four?

It’s the same thing with being friends. Friendships between boys and girls are prohibited by the Torah.

The reason why people have a difficult time seeing this comparison is because with a friendship, the bond that was created while you were still innocently young is what connects you today as well, in other words the friendship was already created in an innocent way. It’s not as if you are deciding to be friends today. That innocent friendship lasts even into adolescence. So it seems innocent even now. As opposed to the swimming, where each time you jump into the pool you are making a new decision to do so.

That is true, but it doesn’t matter. The friendship is prohibited now, even if the decision to create it, and its creation, happened innocently. Your relationship was OK then, but not now.

segev48 Posted - 08 November 2000 14:32

I think that it is clear from the teshuvot of the the poskim that the issue is not black/white. To answer someone that it is just plain forbidden without reservation and without knowing the girl and what her life is like is just plain wrong.

For the moderator to present his own practice as the final halachah is misleading. We have no idea who this girl is and what her life is like and since the halacha does NOT preclude inter-gender relationships as a rule but rather takes great pains to provide for the regulations of those relationships i.e. yichud, negiah etc, the girl should be referred to a rabbi who can answer her based on his knowing some details about her.

MODERATOR Posted - 08 November 2000 15:01

What "teshuvot of the poskim" are you referring to? How come nobody knows about them? Can you please tell us where they are?

The issue, actually, is indeed black and white. It is prohibited for boys and girls to be involved in friendship relationships with each other. It's like eating a cheeseburger. This is not "the moderator's practice" but the Halachah. The fact that in certain communities this is ignored does not make it right.

The unfortunate evolution of institutionalized misbehavior is that it begins by being tolerated (you wouldn’t want to “turn anyone off”), then people grow up believing that it is OK since nobody ever objected. Then they say that nobody has a right to say it’s not OK.

Your derivation from the laws of Yichud and Negiyah that the Torah merely “regulates” opposite-sex friendships rather than prohibiting them is a mistake in logic. Yichud and Negiyah are prohibited even if you are not friends with the other person. Friendships are Asur without Negiyah or Yichud and Negiyah and Yichud are Asur even without friendships.

hpvnm Posted - 29 November 2000 14:04

Mr. MODERATOR! What do you have to say about stories from Gemora about girls and boys walking together and not sinning? From the mere possibility of such stories we clearly see that Torah does not prohibit friendship between boys and girls.

MODERATOR Posted - 29 November 2000 14:18

There are no stories in the Gemora of boys and girls who were friends. They don't exist.

We do have stories, for instance, of a man asking a woman (the wife of R. Meir) directions to Lud and she responded by giving him Mussar for talking to women. (Even if he needed directions, he should have asked in the quickest and least wordy way possible, she said.)

There are also stories of Tzadikim who interacted with women in ways that would normally be considered forbidden, because those particular Tzadikim had destroyed their Yetzer Horah anyway.

But stories that show men and women legitimately being friends? Nope. There is no such thing in the Gemora anywhere.

And even if you could find such a thing - which you cannot - you would merely have a question on Chazal and the Rishonim that prohibit inter-gender friendships. You cannot rule Halachicly against the halachic ruling of the Rishonim because you think the Gemora says differently.

ker Posted - 01 December 2000 18:19

Moderator ... before you said that friendship between boy and girl is wrong well...... my rabbi said that talking with guys is fine?

MODERATOR Posted - 01 December 2000 18:26

It's not me who says it, it's the Chazal, the Rishonim, and poskim. Most well known for ruling thusly is Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT"L. Please see the "Why do only care about Tznius?" topic in this forum.

Perhaps your rabbi figures that for the audience he is talking to if he gets them to the level where all they do is talk, then that's an accomplishment. So maybe he tells you (plural) to limit your connection with guys to talking, but does not mean to say that it is OK, rather, that it is where you are holding now.

But the Halachah is clear that boys and girls cannot be friends. Please ask your rabbi to clarify. If he does indeed mean to say that boy/girl friendships are perfectly OK according to the Torah, please respectfully refer him to Rav Moshe's teshuva cited above.

Lizard Posted - 10 December 2000 2:15

The closest thing to what he may have been talking about is the gemarah in Succah (53?)where rav (i think) sees two people walking as friends and not sinning.

MODERATOR Posted - 10 December 2000 2:34


None of that effects the Halachah.

whatheheck Posted - 10 December 2000 22:05

What about talking to boys younger than you?? or a lot older than you???

MODERATOR Posted - 10 December 2000 22:07

If you would not touch them you can not talk to them. The prohibition is from the same posuk.

whatheheck Posted - 11 December 2000 15:52

Well how old does the boy have to be before I cant touch him anymore?

basyisroel-613 Posted - 11 December 2000 15:53

What about a rav or a teacher though? Although there isn't any permissible touching here, I know of BY-type schools where a rav teaches the girls.

MODERATOR Posted - 11 December 2000 15:58



But the prohibition of talking is not exchanging words per se, but the friendliness involved. I don't think you'd want to be friends with a 9 year old.

MODERATOR Posted - 11 December 2000 16:01


It's Ok for a Rav to teach girls. Remember, the prohibition of "talking" to boys is not the same as let's say Loshon Horah where the words themselves are the prohibited. It's the friendship that is the problem. Interaction between men and women for practical purposes - such as teaching Torah - is permitted.

whatheheck Posted - 14 December 2000 2:16

Well isn't there a problem with this website then?? i mean there are boys and girls that write on here and write replies to each other. Isn't that the same as talking online??

MODERATOR Posted - 14 December 2000 2:22

No, because you can't get any personal information from anyone else online here. No personal or contact information is posted, including email addresses, and zero direct contact is made between parties on these boards.

Me Posted - 18 December 2000 20:44

When my 11 yr old brother's friends come over here and try to get my attention and jeer at me then what am i supposed to do?? Should I let them no right then and there that it's assur min hatorah?

MODERATOR Posted - 18 December 2000 20:49

If you think it will stop them, go for it. But it might just make them do it even more since they got your attention. It may be more effective to ignore them.

jj Posted - 18 December 2000 21:21

but moderater, why are you allowed to talk to these girls who post on this forum, shouldn't a lady run this site instead? because the issur of talking to girls is even for rabbis, no? So even though you may be able to help them, a lady could help them also as you told people that their boyfriends aren't the only ones who can help them, but other people as well

MODERATOR Posted - 18 December 2000 21:37

We discussed this already. Being a teacher of girls is not the same as being their peer. There is no Issur of Lo Sikravu to be their teacher, just their peer.

You are correct however, that if we would have women teachers who could take the place of the rabbis in the Bais Yaakovs then we would certainly prefer that. But as a rule, the women teachers cannot duplicate the knowledge of the rabbis, and especially nowadays, if the girls do not get the proper answers, there could be trouble.

So if we could deal without men teaching the girls, it would be wonderful. In some communities they don't. But in others men do teach girls - even via live interaction in a classroom - certainly electronically.

whatheheck Posted - 19 December 2000 4:24

I'm not allowed to talk to boys over 9??? I baby sit 9 year olds. I might be friends with a 9 year old because hes a cute kid but not because I am having a real friendship. What's wrong with that?

MODERATOR Posted - 19 December 2000 4:31

You're correct - the friendship isn't a real friendship. But there is a different issue with your babysitting. There is a prohibition of Yichud of a girl 12 and up with a boy 9 and up.

rachel2001 Posted - 19 December 2000 17:13

Yeah well yichud only applies at night or with the doors locked, and since only ppl in nyc lock their doors during the day, it probably isn't a problem most of the time. right?

MODERATOR Posted - 19 December 2000 17:31

Depends. An unlocked door helps where people would walk in unannounced, such that those inside would be afraid to do anything lest they get caught by someone walking in. But if there is nobody likely to just walk in and surprise someone - such as a case where people knock before walking in - Yichud would still apply.

Plus, babysitting usually takes place at night when thee are not many people passing by in the street. At such a time it is more difficult to have the likelihood of someone walking in unexpectedly.

Me Posted - 20 December 2000 3:03

How about if there are other kids in the house besides that nine yr old like girls or boys younger than you???

MODERATOR Posted - 20 December 2000 3:25

If the boy has a sibling there there even if he is over 9 it is permitted during the day for sure; and at night it is better to have one more sibling if possible.

If there is a younger sibling, meaning a boy between the ages of 6 and 9, or a girl under 12 but old enough to recognize inappropriate behavior, it is not a problem.

Me Posted - 20 December 2000 17:44

That's good to know b/c I always babysit... :)

jj Posted - 20 December 2000 18:37

Moderator, what I meant wasn't about stam teaching, I meant something davka like this where you're doing more than teaching, you as you said before, getting personal information from them to help them

MODERATOR Posted - 20 December 2000 18:39

That doesn't matter either. As long as it's not a friend relationship theres no lo sikravu. Women are allowed to come to rabbis for sholom bayis and other personal issues as well.

Ashira LaHashem Posted - 16 January 2001 17:07

So let's say learning with a Rabbi on a one on one basis-is that allowed? Lichatchilah. Bc for some reason it feels weird to me.

MODERATOR Posted - 16 January 2001 17:23

That is pretty weird, and it's not done. There's a difference between a woman coming to a rabbi to speak to him about a problem what comes up versus l'chatchilah just doing it.

Think of a rabbi kind of like a doctor in this way. Doctors, including psychologists, are entitled to do what they need to do to get their job done, but there are still boundaries that a doctor may not cross with a woman patient. Same thing with a rabbi. They are entitled to deal with personal issues, especially Halachic ones such as Taharas Hamishpochah issues, because that's what they're there for, but there also has to be boundaries that aren't crossed.

Where the boundaries are is not always quantifiable. It depends on the particular rabbi, the particular woman, and the particular case. And even then there will be grey areas. And different communities have different approaches to this.

In Yeshivishe circles, it is common for men to teach in Bais Yaakovs. In Chassidishe circles it is not done. I remember I was once at a meeting of Rabbonim where the issue was how to improve standards of tznius. One of the Rabbonim suggested that all the Rabbonim should speak about it in their Shuls a certain way etc. Rav Schwab ZT"L vetoed his idea. "For a young Rav to speak about Tznius is not Tznius!", he said.

I would suggest whenever in issue like this comes up you should consult a big rabbi whose sensitivities are well trained by his Torah education and lifestyle, since this is often an issue of sensitivity and the Torah's sensitivities are what we would like to use.

queen Posted - 16 January 2001 19:26

Sorry, just out of curiosity which Rav Schwab? Rav Shimon Schwab?

MODERATOR Posted - 16 January 2001 19:27


grend123 Posted - 08 May 2002 17:08

"There are also stories of Tzadiim who interacted with women in ways that would normally be considered forbidden, because those particular Tzadikim had destroyed their Yetzer Horah anyway."

Uhm.... Al taamin beatzmecha ad yom moscha? We jews don't have a concept of saints so great that they cant sin. You're basically saying that these tzaddikim were so good that they could violate the Torah??

Not a very viable statement - the more likely assumption, and the one more in keeping with jewish thought, is that tzaddikim are MORE careful than others - ergo, if they interacted with women in these ways then presumably such interaction is muttar.

MODERATOR Posted - 08 May 2002 17:53

The Gemora in Kesuvos disagrees with you. There it says that if the girl is similar to an inanimate object as she is to Tzadikim of sufficient holiness, such as certain Chazal, the normal laws of Tznius do not apply.

curleysue Posted - 16 June 2002 19:24

I don't understand my rabbi specifically told me that I am allowed to hang out with guys my age like at their houses or mine as long as their a chaperon. So I make sure a aren't is around when i hang out with them (guys) so should I not be hanging out with them at all??

MODERATOR Posted - 16 June 2002 19:27

You cant be friends with guys and you cant talk chatter with them. Please ask your rabbi what he does with Rav Moshe's psak, and the sources he quotes to that effect.

nree613 Posted - 24 June 2002 17:56

I saw this old post and wanted to comment.

Mr. MODERATOR! What do you have to say about stories from Gemora about girls and boys walking together and not sinning? From the mere possibility of such stories we clearly see that Torah does not prohibit friendship btwn boys and girls.

There are no stories in the Gemora of boys and girls who were friends. They don't exist.

My comment is as follows:

The Gemara Baba Basra 91b quotes Rav Yochanan as saying "I remember when young boys and girls aged 16 and 17 Metalin in the market and they did not sin. The previous poster translated M'talyin as walking. as in tiul = trip. The Rashbam translates M'talyin as Mesachakim which can either mean laughing or playing.

If they were laughing and playing with each other what does it mean they did not sin? And if they were laughing and playing separately why does Rav Yochanan even mention that they did not sin?

JewBoy4Stern Posted - 24 June 2002 17:56

Let me ask you this question: Do you think that in the Midbar, after leaving Mitzrayim, within Klal Yisrael, boys and girls hid their eyes from each other and never spoke with one another?

They knew the existence of the other, and i am sure had many fun and friendly conversations with each other, and this may have continued for a long time,until it got carried away,because hashem place a yetzer harah for bad things, so chazal then decided to make gezairos.

I can understand that,but nowadays,it is much different, many ppl just are friendly with one another,and Hashem has removed that strong yetzer harah. How should you know how they were back then?

It's a different world nowadays,and it cannot apply exactly the same! (We know there used to be yetzer harah of Avoda Zara,and Geyloi Arayus,now there isn't, maybe its the same for boy/grl conversations and being friendly)

MODERATOR Posted - 24 June 2002 17:59


They were obviously playing separately, and the praise is that even though the boys knew that just "around the corner" the girls are playing, they didn't join them and do aveiros.


Yes, the boys and girls in the midbar followed the Torah.

Hashem never removed the Yezter Horah for arayos. It's still here - just look around.

nSMe912 Posted - 28 August 2002 0:35

With that Gmorah with comparing the girl to a piece of wood, bottom line whats the answer to "Al taamin beatzmecha ad yom moscha"

MODERATOR Posted - 28 August 2002 0:40

Because al taamin b'atzmecha means do not believe in your ability to pass a nisayon. But if there is no Yetzer Horah - as in the case of the girl being like wood - then there is no nisayon to begin with. It would be like you picking up a piece of wood - would you say "al taamin b'atzmecha" means that you should not touch the wood?

insomniac Posted - 11 October 2002 3:20

Yo jewboy let me ask you this do you think that sara or rivka or leah or rochel measured four inches below their knee or made sure their skirts were above their ankle you can't compare now to then cuz we're different then them
not that I understand this at all

MODERATOR Posted - 11 October 2002 4:16

Yes, the Imahos did keep the Halachos, including Tznius.

grend123 Posted - 12 May 2003 19:09

The Gemora in Kesuvos disagrees with you. "There it says that if the girl is similar to an inanimate object as she is to Tzadikim of sufficient holiness, such as certina Chazal, the normal laws of Tznius do not apply."

You mean, of course, the famous dancing gemarah - and that was specifically for a kallah on her wedding day, and even so his talmidim questioned him. The point of that gemarah is that for him, since he was doing it for simchas kallah and had no other possible intentions, it was not an issue of derech chiba, since he intended only for simchas kallah.

It does not mean that in GENERAL he had no yetzer hara, just that he could be very medakdek with the halachos of derech chiba since he knew his own intentions perfectly and therefore knew the exact bound of halacha and needed no extra geder.

MODERATOR Posted - 12 May 2003 19:14

Rashi says differently: "she is like a beam that you have no hirhurim about". The point of the Gemroa was not that the touching was permitted due to not being derech chibah but rather that she was like a piece of wood that men do not think of in lewd ways.

No comments: