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Shabbat Parashat Haazinu/ Yom Kippur| 5771

Hemdat HaDaf Hayomi: The Prohibition of Yichud (Avodah Zarah 25b)

Rav Ofer Livnat

Elul 26 – Tishrei 3, Avodah Zarah 22-28

   This week in the Daf Hayomi, one of the issues the Gemara deals with is the prohibition of yichud. The basic prohibition of yichud is for one man to remain alone with one woman. The Gemara (25a-b) quotes the Mishna in Kiddushin (80b), which states that yichud is prohibited also in a case of one man with two women, but one woman with two men are permitted to be alone. However, the Gemara states that this is only in regards to kosher people, but for promiscuous people, even one woman with ten men is prohibited.

The Gemara in Kiddushin (81a) tells a story of two Amoraim who were walking in a secluded place and saw a woman approaching. One Amora told his friend that they should hurry and leave in order to prevent yichud from occurring. The other Amora asked that, since the situation is two men with one woman, there is no prohibition. The other Amora responded that who is to say that they are defined as kosher people. Perhaps only exceptional Tzaddikim are defined as kosher people, and that is why he is concerned with the possibility of yichud.

The Rishonim disagree as to how to rule. The Rambam (Issurei Bi'ah 22, 8) rules that yichud is prohibited even for one woman with many men. The Magid Mishne explains that, since the Gemara said that only exceptional Tzaddikim are defined as kosher people in this regard, and today there are no such Tzaddikim, the Rambam prohibited completely. However, the Ran (Kiddushin 33a in the pages of the Rif) writes that those Amoraim were stringent beyond what is required, and regular people are defined as kosher.

 

Summary and Ruling:

The Mechaber (Even Ha'ezer 22, a) rules like the Rambam that yichud is prohibited for one woman even with many men. The Remma rules that one may be lenient like the Ran that regular people are defined as kosher people, and yichud is permitted for one woman with two men. However, for promiscuous people, yichud is prohibited even for one woman with many men.

 

 

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Dedication

This week’s Hemdat Yamim is dedicated in loving memory of
R' Meir ben
Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld

o.b.m 

Hemdat Yamim is endowed by
Les & Ethel Sutker of Chicago, Illinois in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker and
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l.

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