Question:

  1. In a city where most of the inhabitants work locally, is a repairman/specialist allowed to assume that a husband is located in the city and therefore work in a Yichud environment for/with a married woman? (This is based on the fact that he is unable or uncomfortable finding out if he is located in the city.)
  2. If one should be careful in such a circumstance, if the time is either before or after work hours, would there be room for leniency?
  3. Also, can the above individual just assume a woman who covers her hair is in fact married? Again, asking or finding out would be uncomfortable.

Thank you

Answer:

 

  1. A few points. First of all there is a difference between when the man can’t find out, or if he doesn’t want to find out. If he can find out easily, such as by asking her then it isn’t considered a safek, and he is obligated to find out, however if the situation is such that he can’t find out then it would be different. As a side point, without knowing your situation; when asking a frum woman if her husband works in the city, that in a way is sending a message to her, that we have to be careful about yichud, which is healthy for everyone’s ruchnius.
  2. It is hard for me to understand your question. Please be specific as to what case you want to know. Is it an office setting, or a home setting? An office has more of a yichud issue after hours then during hours because during hours there are more people that can come inside. In a home setting, after hours can be more lenient, depending on the situation, because she might expect her husband to come home any minute. Regarding before work hours, I don’t understand what you mean.
  3. It is hard to give a rule without knowing the situation, but in general, a frum woman that has her hair covered is usually a sign that she is married. Although there are occasionally divorced or widowed women that cover their hair, but that is a very small minority, and it can be assumed that she is married.

 

Best Wishes

Sources:

Yoreh Deah 98:1-3, Poskim.

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