Appropriate Interaction between Men and Women

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There are numerous biblical and rabbinic injunctions restricting the interactions between men and women in order to preserve appropriate conduct and the dignity of everyone. touching, staring inappropriately, speaking together inappropriately, listening to her voice, or even thinking about women inappropriately.

Specific Restrictions

General Issue

Miscellaneous interactions

  1. A man may not ask a woman to make his bed in front of him, pour his cup of wine, or wash his hands or feet because these lead one to think inappropriately about women (Hirhur).[1]
  2. If it forbidden for a man to interact inappropriately with a woman who is forbidden to himself, even just signaling or winking at her inappropriately is forbidden.[2]
  3. A boy having a girl friend that isn't for the purpose of getting married is forbidden for many reasons.[3]
  4. It is forbidden for a married woman to eat from the same bowl of food with other men other than her husband, father, brothers, and sons.[4]


  1. Gemara Kiddushin 70a, Rambam (Isurei Biyah 21:5), Shulchan Aruch EH 21:5. See the Rama EH 21:5 who writes that there is a lenient practice to allow it in a public place if that if the common practice, however, the Bach 21 s.v. VeAsur vehemently opposes.
  2. Shulchan Aruch EH 21:1
  3. Igrot Moshe EH 4:60
  4. Rav Chaim Palagi (Kaf Hachaim 4:8) writes that it is forbidden for a married woman to eat from the same bowl with men other than her husband, father, brothers, and sons. His proof is the gemara Shabbat 13a which establishes a comparison between a niddah and a married woman for purposes of how we should be cautious not to violate any prohibition. Just like with a niddah it is forbidden to eat from the same bowl so too it is forbidden for other men to eat with a married woman from the same bowl.