Q. Mishneh Torah relates that the kohen removes the kupah from the head of the women in the Laws of Sota 3:9 [11]  and that she is not wearing a redidh or mitpahath; yet Numbers 5:18 says “…and he exposes the woman’s head”  (Num. 5:18)  when it describes the kohen removing the kupah from her head.  Doesn't this prove that her head isn't regarded as exposed (paruwa), even if her neck is showing, as is the case when only wearing a kupah

 

 

A. First of all, the Torah passage at hand mentions neither the word redidh, mitpahath, or kupah, so the question assumes a false premise.  The text of the Torah does not indicate what head-garment must be removed in order that the woman’s head be regarded as exposed (paruwa’). 

 

However, at whatever point her head is to be regarded as exposed (paruwa), Numbers 5:18 shows that her head is made "paruwa" even before the administering of the oath that is mentioned in Numbers 5:19.  Hil. Sota 3:5-10 explains that the woman is administered the oath even though she is still wearing a kupah; but Hil. Sota 3:5 informs us that her redidh and mitpahath were already removed; so I don't know what Numbers 5 can prove, other than that her head is already regarded as exposed (paruwa) even though she still wears a kupah, being that the oath is administered before the kupah is removed, as Hil. Sota 5 explains.  If anything, this indicates that her head is already regarded as exposed (paruwa) while wearing only the kupah.   This is in harmony with Hil. Ishuth 24:11 which states that the woman's head is regarded as exposed (paruwa) if she is not wearing a redidh, even though her hair is covered in a mitpahath.  Needless to say, this indicates that the redidh covers more than just the hair.

 

 

ENGLISH:

(Laws of Suspect Women) Hilkhoth Sota 3:5-10

(Laws of Women) Hilkhoth Ishuth 24:11

 

 

 

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Q.  We know that “dath Mosha” doesn't require the neck to be covered from the Laws of Hovel u-Mazziq 4:13.  There it describes a woman’s neck as being in the category of what is exposed (galuy).  According to the Laws of Ishuth 24:9, “dath Mosha” prohibits the woman from going out in public with her head exposed (paruwa).  It seems to me that when one takes the Laws of Hovel u-Mazziq 4:13 into account while reading the Laws of Ishuth 24:9, it should be apparent that the neck is not required to be covered by the extra covering that the upper veil (redidh) provides.

 

 

A.  We do not claim that dath Moshe requires the neck of a woman to be covered.  That is a misunderstanding of our views.  Rather, we teach that this is a requirement of dath Yehudith (see: Ishuth 24:11).

 

Also, you write that the Laws of Ishuth 24:9 teaches that dath Moshe prohibits a woman from going out in public with her head exposed.  The Laws of Ishuth 24:9, which you reference, only prohibits a woman from going out in a market-place (ie: in public) with the hair of her head revealed (galuy).  The emphasis of this halakha is specifically on the hair of the head, not the head itself.  What you stated as being taught in 24:9 as a part of dath Moshe is actually what is taught in the Laws of Ishuth 24:11 concerning dath Yehudith - not dath Moshe.

 

The Laws of Hovel u-Mazziq 4:13 states:  "One who injures a married woman [...] if in exposed places, such as her face, neck, hands, or arms..."

Hovel u-Mazziq 4:13 is in reference to parts of a woman's body that are exposed, even if they are exposed only in places other than the market place, such as in her home or courtyards.  Otherwise, it would mean that she's allowed to expose her arms in the market place as well, since this same law in Hovel u-Mazziq 4:13 mentions arms along with its mentioning the neck.  But we know from the Laws of Ishuth 24:11 that exposing the arms in public is not allowed: "If she does one of these, she transgresses dath Yehudith [...] she sews in the market-place and exposes her arms to people."

So, if Hovel u-Mazziq 4:13 were a valid proof to show that a womon need not cover her neck in the market-place, then we should also use it to show that she need not cover her arms in the market-place either.  But we know that this is certainly not the case.

 

Hovel u-Mazziq 4:13 is in references to those parts of the body that are exposed, whether they are exposed in the market-place or whether they are exposed indoors or in courtyards.  It is, therefore, not a proof for showing that a woman can expose her neck in the market-place.

 

ENGLISH:

(Laws of Women) Hilkhoth Ishuth 24:9 [11]

(Laws of Women) Hilkhoth Ishuth 24:11 [12]

(Laws of Injury and Damages) Hilkhoth Hovel u-Mazziq 4:13 [15]

 

* DorDeah.com is an independent organization.  DorDeah.com is not affiliated with www.mechon-mamre.org, the "Torath Moshe Society," nor Chabad-Lubavitch.  Though we are grateful for the contributions of these organizations in providing Mishne Torah resources, we do not endorse all the views espoused by these organizations.

 

Q.  Dath Yehudith requires married women to wear a redidh, but unmarried girls are exempt, right?

 

A.  It is true that the concept of "dath Yehudith" is brought up within the context of kethuboth (marriage contracts); but if we were to conclude that this means the concepts of modesty discussed therein refer, therefore, only to married women, we would then have to say that unmarried girls can go around exposing their arms in public and flurting with young men, that this is forbidden only to married women.  But to the contrary, Hil. Ishuth 24:11 begins by saying "What is dath Yehudith?  It is the modest behavior that the daughters of Israel practice..."   The halakha then goes on to clarify that, among other parameters of modesty practiced by the daughters of Israel, a woman should not go about in a market-place or in a lane with openings at both ends while her head is exposed (paruwa), even though her hair is covered with a mitpahath.  It is clear from this that when only the hair is covered, the head is still regarded as exposed (paruwa).  So when Hil. Isurei Bi'a 21:17 informs us that "The daughters of Israel should not go about in the market-place with their heads exposed (paruwa), whether they are married or unmarried," it should be clear that they are covering more than just their hair.  And if there were any doubts before, Hil. Isurei Bi'ah 21:17 also lets us know that unmarried girls are included among the modest "daughters of Israel" referred to in the beginning of Hil. Ishuth 24:11.

 

ENGLISH:

(Laws of WomenHilkhoth Ishuth 24:11

(Laws of Forbidden RelationsHilkhoth Isurei Bi'a 21:17

 

* DorDeah.com is an independent organization.  DorDeah.com is not affiliated with www.mechon-mamre.org, the "Torath Moshe Society," nor Chabad-Lubavitch.  Though we are grateful for the contributions of these organizations in providing Mishne Torah resources, we do not endorse all the views espoused by these organizations.