Davening or learning within sight of a daughter, sister or mother who is not fully dressed

May a man Daven or learn within sight of his daughter, sister or mother who is not fully dressed?

Adult relatives: It is forbidden for a man to learn Torah or pray or say a blessing within sight of an adult relative who has part of her body uncovered which must normally be covered due to Tznius. This includes all relatives, whether it be one’s mother, daughter, sister or wife. A girl is considered an adult in this regard when any of the above mentioned signs of adulthood are present, whether age [11 years old], puberty [hair], or maturity [shame]. [Thus, if the legs/feet[1], upper arm[2], or chest of these women are viewable, he may not Daven or learn until he turns away.[3]]

Children relatives: Some Poskim[4] rule it is permitted to learn Torah and Daven in view of a daughter [granddaughter, sister[5]] which is not modestly covered, if the girl is below the age of adulthood, as defined above [i.e. below age 11 and has not reached puberty or maturity].[6] Other Poskim[7] however argue and rule it is forbidden to Daven and learn in view of the improperly clothed female relative just like any other girl.[8] [Accordingly, once a daughter or sister have reached the age of three and above[9] one may no longer Daven or learn in their view when they are not properly covered.]


[1] See Admur 75/1 that this applies even when there is less than a Tefach of revealed skin

[2] See Admur 75/1 that this applies only when there is a Tefach of revealed skin

[3] Admur 75/1

[4] Biur Halacha 75/1 “Tefach” in name of Shulchan Shlomo

[5] Piskeiy Teshuvos 75/9 in name of Birur Halacha

[6] The reason: As they compare the law of learning in front of a Erva [brought in chapter 75] to the law of sleeping together with family [Chapter 73], and just like relatives may sleep together and say Shema even unclothed until the age of adulthood, so too he may Daven and learn in view of her until the age of adulthood. [See also M”A 74/9 towards end who also suggests such a connection]

[7] Chazon Ish 16/9; Neziros Shimshon; Or Letziyon 2/6; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 75/9; See Birur Halacha

[8] The reason: As the allowance of 73/3 is only regarding learning and Davening while skin is touching and not regarding seeing the unclothed part. [ibid]

[9] See Q&A regarding the age of Tzenius, and Issur of learning/Davening for a Ketana

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