I have a question about yichud – in the law firm where I work, it often happens that I am alone with three (sometimes two) women.* The door is locked, and whoever wants to enter needs to press the buzzer – at which point he is buzzed in and allowed to enter. The door is see-through, but not all parts of the room can be seen through the door. (i.e., There are certain areas that cannot be seen through the door.)

There are certain employees who presumably have keys and can enter at any time, but there are certain times when they obviously will not enter (e.g, b/c they are not coming to work that day, or b/c they are away for lunch, or b/c they are in court, etc).

Obviously, whoever presses the buzzer (clients) will be allowed in immediately.

I need to know if this situation is a problem of yichud.

I did some research and in Igros Moshe EH 4:65-4, Reb Moshe Feinstein zatzal paskened that even if the door is closed but not locked, or even if it is locked but there is a reasonable possibility that people may knock on the door or ring the bell and expect to be answered, yichud is permitted.

Please let me know if I can rely on Reb Moshe’s psak in this case.

Thank you.

*In the early morning hours, I may even be alone with one woman, but at that time, the other employees are on their way and will come in shortly.

Answer:

It is true that Rav Moshe is lenient concerning this question. However, he is only lenient because of the discomfort of having somebody knocking at one’s door and not opening it. It is not clear that the same will apply to an office environment, in particular during hours when it can be expected that there shouldn’t be anyone at home.

However, assuming that people might come expecting the door to be opened, the leniency will apply and can be relied on, and this is the more so true if three women are present, for some poskim are generally lenient concerning the seclusion of one man with three women (see Toras Ha-Yichud 3:13. Nitei Gavriel 22:7), or for two women where one of their husband’s is in town (Otzar Ha-Poskim 22:22:2; Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 6 p.192; Toras Ha-Yichud 8:2).

Best wishes.

 

Share The Knowledge

Not what you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged Prohibition of seclusion (Yichud) or ask your own question.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *