I recently came across an article on Din Online which discusses various issues relating to mixed gender zoom mingling.
The answer mention a number of violations of Torah law that are relevant. Most notable for me were: ושמרתם מכל דבר רע. As well as ואל אשה בנדת טומאת לט תקרבו לגלות ערוה.
The full article can be found here:
And now for my question. I have been dating a Jewish girl for a little over two years, and in that time we have both grown spiritually and have eventually over a long period of time come to observe the laws of Shomer Negiah, Yichud, and anything else that we would think would not be allowed between us.
It would seem obvious to me that if a mixed gender zoom meeting is a violation of a number of lavs, kal v’chomer most interactions with my girlfriend such as talking on the phone, hanging out (in public), going to a restaurant together, would all be in violation of a number of Torah laws.
If this is so (which is also part of my question), How or what is allowed for kosher shidduch dating, or any potential couple getting to know each other?
In my case does it make a difference that I have intention to get married to this girl? Is the time period significant? It may be worthwhile to note that due to being a student at the moment part-time University study and part-time Torah study, I am not in a position where I am able to get married for at least 1.5 years from the time of writing.
I understand this is a sensitive issue, but I believe I truly am looking for the emet of the Torah, because I sincerely believe that the more of Hashem’s Torah I follow the more meritorious I will be for Hashem to put the appropriate zivug in my life and I do not want to ruin that by violating Torah prohibitions.
It is wonderful to hear that both you and your future spouse have grown so much, and overcome many obstacles. H-shem should bless your future home with much spiritual, financial, and physical success, and you should have a wonderful family.
You are asking a very valid and important question. The Torah, which is H-shem’s will, wants us to build our homes, properly and correctly, so we will live stable, happy, successful lives. This is why the Torah prohibits mingling between the genders in a way that will lead to decadence, lowliness, and purposeless self-gratification. On the other hand the Torah is keenly aware of our hormonal instincts and needs, and this is why we are commanded to marry, cleave to our spouse, and build a solid, secure home. The Gemora (Kiddushin 41a) says that a man may not marry a woman before he has first seen her that she is befitting in his eyes. This is also written in Shulchan Aruch Even Haezer 21-3, that it is permitted to look at a prospective date to make sure that she is befitting for him. Talking to her to get to know her personality etc. is included in this.
It makes all the difference if you are planning to marry her or if it is just for friendship, because one is building and one is detrimental.
This doesn’t mean that after you have decided to marry her that you may not talk to her at all, rather you may talk to each other because you have to keep up the momentum of the relationship to a degree- otherwise it can fall apart. In general it is very much preferred that once the two of you decide to get married that you should do, within a reasonable amount of time and not stall off the wedding. This is for a number of halachic and practical reasons. The halachic reasons are because both of you are emotionally involved, but on the other hand, the two of you are still prohibited to each other, and have to make sure not to do anything that you shouldn’t. Getting married solves all of that, then you will belong to each other, and live a happy life together. The practical reason is that until a couple have actually married each other, there is still a certain uncertainty if this is the right thing to do. Each of the two are looking at the other, analyzing, and scrutinizing each other’s actions. If one of them says something by mistake, even if it isn’t insulting, the other is going to be thinking all night”, is this really the type of person he/she is”? “Does this mean that he/she has this character trait…..?” These natural thoughts, can often ruin and break up engagements, because of over speculating. Additionally, the more time that elapses, the more time disagreements will crop up etc. which will not be helpful for your future marriage. For these reasons if it is at all possible, you should try to get married soon.