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Erva from family member while davening/ learning

Question:

Shalom rabbi, I know there is a halacha that one can’t daven with erva in front of him. Can one daven or learn with erva of a mother/sister/ wife near him? Also what’s the parameters for that? Meaning, if that would be the case if I just see her elbows can I not daven when she’s there or is it more erva that I would need to see. Thank you

 

Answer:

Thank you for your question.

It is forbidden for a man to daven when he can see a part of woman’s body that needs to be covered, even if the amount uncovered is less than a tefach. Regarding a person’s wife, if it is less than a tefach if it permitted, with the exception of seeing her thighs. The poskim say that this would also apply to a person’s mother, daughter and sister, that it is permitted to daven even if less than a tefach of their body i.e., hair upper arm is exposed.

It is understood that this exception only applies when this will not cause the person any improper thoughts. However, if it will cause him to have improper thoughts then this exception will not apply, and it would not be permitted.

Best wishes

Sources:

Rema O:CH 75-1, M:B 75- 5, 7, Biur Halacha 75 D:H Tefach, Birur Halacha 1 pg. 160, Levusha shel Torah 16-7, 17-8, PiskeiTeshuvos 75-2.

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