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Newly married, husband has teenage boys, questions of yichud at their mother’s home/baby sitter

Question:

Hi

I am newly married and my new husband has teenage boys, and I have a few yichud questions.

  1. Yichud for a baby sitter/cleaning lady at their mother’s home of many years to hug and kiss an almost 12 year old boy?
  2. Yichud for almost 12, & an almost 14 year old boy to stay home alone with step sister age 13 at their mother’s home?
  3. Yichud for baby sitter (non-Jewish 54 year old) and/or their new step-mom being in car alone with almost 12 and almost 14 year old boys to give rides to and from Yeshiva.
  4. Yichud for step-mother to be in a 3 bedroom apartment with husband and his two sons almost 12 and almost 14 years old.
  5. Yichud for baby sitter (non-Jewish 54 year old) to sleep in same room (living room space subdivided temporarily) with two teenage boys almost 12 and almost 14 years old, if father and stepmother sleeping in the other room.
  6. Is it advisable to spend Shana rishona Shabbosos alone, not in the company of the first marriage’s children, sons of almost 12 and 14 years old.

Answer:

Answer:

 

 

  1. If it is only her and the 12 year old boy, yes it is yichud, and even if the cleaning lady is not Jewish, the boy may not be in such a situation. Especially since we see that she is not careful with him! She is not allowed to kiss the boy, and she should be told that he is already too old, and that there can be no physical contact, between the two of them.
  2. During the day, it is not yichud because two men and one woman is not yichud during the daytime. At night when one of the boys would be sleeping, they would need another boy there to prevent yichud.
  3. This is permitted, because it is two men and one woman, during the daytime, or even if it is at night, but it is not at a time when they would be going to sleep.
  4. Yichud will not apply when the woman’s husband is in the city, because she is nervous of her husband’s presence. This heter is called “ba’ala be’ir”.
  5. Technically it wouldn’t be yichud because the couple are sleeping in the other bedroom and they can come out at any time and can walk right in to the dining room. However, such a situation, that two teenage boys are sleeping in the same room, as their babysitter. This is especially so because the babysitter is a little too friendly with them, as you mentioned in question 1.
  6. It is hard to give a clear answer to such a question, because it depends on the individual situation, the relationship between the husband and wife, and the relationship between the step mother and the children. On one hand, you definitely need time you forge your new marriage, which will take time, and you need the quiet time for yourselves, without he kids. Especially since a second marriage with step children can be very challenging. However, on the other hand you don’t want the children to get a feeling that their new step mother is infringing on their relationship with their father. You have to reassure the children, not merely with words, but with actions, that they still have their father, as much as they had until now, but that they only have an added mother. Other than that, it is a bit of a juggling act between both of your responsibilities.

May Hashem help you in your new marriage, and give you much hatzlocho in all areas.

Sources:

  1. Even Haezer 22-11, Shevet Halevi 8-204.
  2. Dvar Halacha 9, that even if the two men are l’ibo gas bo, ( if they aren’t prutzim) it is permitted.
  3. Even Haezer 22-5.
  4. Kiddushin 81b, Even Haezer 22-8.
  5. Dvar Halacha 6-11.

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