Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Listening to Women Sing

Some are lenient to allow listening to a woman's voice on a tape or radio (and not seeing her image) if one doesn't know what the singer looks like. But if one does know what the singer looks like it is prohibited listen to her voice. Some say that it is only considered knowing what she looks like if one saw her in person and not having seen her picture.[12] Of course, this is only when the song isn't a sexual or inappropriate song.[13]

So the general consensus is that a woman's singing voice is ervah, and during Shema, even a man's wife's voice is ervah. What do our gedolai hador have to say? As found in an article by Rabbi Chaim Jachter aptly named, "The Parameters of Kol Isha", it asks if רגילות takes away the prohibition, since female singing is everywhere nowadays. Rav Ovadia Yosef says that in no way does it lessen the problem- he says that if both the Gemara and the Shulchan Aruch talk about this halacha, then we have no right to say it doesn't apply. When asked about females singing on the radio, one of today's most common questions, he felt that as long as the listener has never even glimpsed a picture of the singer, alive or dead, then listening is permitted. (Rabbi Jachter cites Teshuvos Yabia Omer 1:6).

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