Rav Moshe Feinstein: Prohibition of social dating

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  • #592769
    Ben Torah
    Participant

    Rav Moshe Feinstein: Prohibition of opposite gender friendship

    Igros Moshe(E.H. 4:60): Concerning the issue of a young man who is not ready to get married and has no interest in getting married and he is interested in having social dates with young women who also are not ready to get married and have no interest in getting married. They say that since they are careful to avoid the prohibition of yichud (seclusion) there is no prohibition in dating. Even though they know that this is not nice but they say they are not interested in issues of piety and extra measures of modesty and they don’t want to listen to lectures of mussar and rebuke. However they say that they will stop if they hear from me that this is prohibited according to the halacha. Therefore I am forced to respond immediately because this applies to a current activity… There is also a severe prohibition from the Torah in close friendships between a young man and woman. That is even if they avoid hugging and kissing as well as touching and yichud. The problem is that he talks with her for extended times in expressing love and he gets pleasure from this and stares at her. Even according to the Ramban who disagrees with the Rambam and holds this is only a rabbinic prohibition nevertheless agrees that this is a severe prohibition since it has an asmachta from a verse and that it is punished with rabbinic flogging. It is clear that dating is done because of love of women and not because of ordinary friendship since he clearly prefers being with a woman then with male friends. Why is he interested in this woman when it doesn’t give him greater respect or a good name? It is obviously because of love of a woman because she is a woman. In addition even though she is unmarried, she is a nidah which is prohibited with the punishment of kares…

    #705640
    WIY
    Member

    Ben Torah

    Thank you for posting, but I think we all know this.

    #705641
    Sacrilege
    Member

    I dont get that part.

    #705642
    WIY
    Member

    Sacrilege

    Touching a Niddah is assur. If they have intercourse it is Kareis for both, which is all the more reason why they should avoid such a relationship.

    #705643
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    My husband and I started dating when both of us were 19. Neither of us had any intention of getting married.

    Had I not “dated” I would never have started with real dates and never have been married. WADR to R’ Moshe, its not a blanket rule. Because “dating with no purpose” usually leads to purpose, at least in my experience and those of the people around me.

    #705644
    apushatayid
    Participant

    Whats the point in posting this?

    Oh, right, Toeles Harabim.

    #705645
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    Sacrilege, he means that while normally only close relatives or married women are considered an ervah (say, for the purpose of negiah), whereas other women are considered to be a penuyah (unattached) who have more lenient rules, that would not apply to women older than about 12. After that they are considered to be nidos, and the more stringent rules kick in.

    #705646
    Moq
    Member

    Gevaltdik. Viter in Shas. How about those jets?

    #705647
    apushatayid
    Participant

    I’m flabbergasted.

    #705648
    Tut
    Member

    I think it is more important that you remind people that Rav Moshe said no to smoking! That is what is killing us…

    #705649
    myfriend
    Member

    SJS, perhaps you overlooked this part:

    “There is also a severe prohibition from the Torah in close friendships between a young man and woman.”

    No posek disputes Rav Moshe on this. (The only question is whether it is m’doraysa like Rav Moshe paskens based on Rambam, or if it is like Ramban that rather than m’doraysa it is “only” a severe rabbinic prohibition, which even according to this shitta is still punished with rabbinic flogging.)

    #705650
    Sacrilege
    Member

    WIY

    Yea, I knew that.

    I was wondering how that last sentance and the previouse one juxtapose with eachother.

    PY

    I think you cleared it up. Thanks!

    #705651

    I’m happy you posted this – I was wondering what the source was for not stam dating the other day for use with a person I work with.

    You never know who these topics can reach.

    #705652
    apushatayid
    Participant

    Lo sikrivu ligalos erva.

    #705653
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Myfriend,

    Obviously, our friendship was not just friendship. And we started out l’toeles – as lab partners in Computer Science.

    #705654
    NoNonsense
    Participant

    “Because “dating with no purpose” usually leads to purpose, at least in my experience and those of the people around me…. Obviously, our friendship was not just friendship. And we started out l’toeles – as lab partners in Computer Science.”

    I think you only strengthen R’ Moshe’s psak- You were originally only “socializing” for school purposes and look how far it led (B”H to a wedding!) Certainly boys and girsl who socialize “just for fun” can have the relationship turn to so much more (and unfortunately, it’s not always a wedding first!)

    #705655
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Ben Torah,

    So, then, what derech of teshuva do you recommend for those of us who met our future spouses in this manner?

    Obviously I don’t have (and never can have) charatah because it led to my meeting my wife, with whom I have been happily married for almost twenty years and with whom I have three wonderful children. If I had to do it again, I would in a heartbeat — I can’t imagine life without my wife and kids.

    So, in my situation, how does one do teshuva? Or am I burdened to live with the sin for the rest of my life?

    The Wolf

    #705656
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    Reb Moshe seems to be assuming there are no platonic relationships between members of opposite genders. If you read the tshuva and related ones, he is fairly clear that the issur of talking devarim bteilim to women is that of an intimate nature, as a prelude to forbidden acts. Asking how’s the weather is not what is meant. In addition, his chidush that mere talking is d’oraisa is certainly not pashut pshat in the Rambam or Maggid Mishna there.

    But if one believes there are no platonic relationships or friendships, then this will eventually lead to forbidden talk.

    #705657
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    Obviously, there are situations which are platonic, such as a family that takes care of the needs of an elderly widow, and members stop by from time to time to check on her or bring her food. One can ask how she is doing and speak for a few minutes so she won’t be lonely.

    As with all things, one needs seichel when applying halacha.

    #705658
    apushatayid
    Participant

    An interesting side note is that the questioner notes the young mans acknowledgement that his behavior is not proper, but as long as he is not violating anything, he doesn’t want to stop.

    #705659
    Helpful
    Member

    And Rav Moshe responded strongly that it is assur m’doraysa.

    #705660
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    SJS, If it was a computer science lab, I guess there was no chemistry.

    #705661
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    SJS, If it was a computer science lab, I guess there was no chemistry.

    PY,

    That’s AWFUL!!! (but clever) 🙂

    The Wolf

    #705662
    Dr. Pepper
    Participant

    Pashuteh Yid-

    Reminds me of a post in the “Funny Shidduch Stories” thread about a friend of SJSinNYC who fell in love with her step-brother while inhaling the strong chemicals in the cleansers while cleaning for Pesach.

    They got married.

    #705664
    cshapiro
    Member

    @ben torah thanks for posting, but many people who casually date, dont care about yichud or negiah, yet they will call a rav to ask if the girl is permitted to take a morning after pill…..true story.

    #705666
    D9
    Member

    I may be naive, but what you post here is scary. I myself am a baal teshuvah and I met my husband the old – goyishe – way. But, truthfully, I never dated without the purpose of finding a spouse and even then dating didn’t mean “relationships.” I know it was 20 years ago, but it was in a non-frum world. I have children who not yet, but coming closer to the age of shidduchim. It really never entered my mind that they should start dating to get “used to it”. Or that a frum girl could be not a virgin (unless she was married before). I’ve heard something about “tefillin dates” and other stuff, but seriously, isn’t this the BASIC of frumkait? I mean, you could be sloppy with hashgohas when it comes to parev or milchig, or wear skirt that is too tight, etc. But even many goyim choose not to have relationships before marriage. What is going on?

    #705667
    WIY
    Member

    D9

    Most girls in the Yeshivish or Chassidish community are Kosher and have not been touched and wouldn’t allow it. However I can’t speak for more MO or for girls who were at risk at some point in their life.

    Do a lot of research that’s all I can tell you.

    #705668
    mazal77
    Participant

    When you look at the only simchas website and you see some of the pictures of MO couples(sorry but sometimes it’s obvious they are MO), they are not being shomer negiah and don’t realize the consequenses.

    #705669
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Ben Torah,

    So, then, what derech of teshuva do you recommend for those of us who met our future spouses in this manner?

    Ben Torah? Can I take your lack of answer for an affirmation that there is no teshuva possible for one such as I?

    The Wolf

    #705670
    Sacrilege
    Member

    Wolf

    Maybe we’ll be neighbors in the fiery inferno.

    #705671
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    Wolf, can I try to be as diplomatic as possible? You’re finished.

    Seriously, I met my wife at somebody’s Shabbos table, as well.

    #705673
    Darchei Noam
    Member

    It may be fun to joke about it now, but gehenim is a real place with real people in it.

    #705674
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    It may be fun to joke about it now, but gehenim is a real place with real people in it.

    I was not joking. I was 100% serious. How can I do teshuva for this if I have no charatah? How can I possibly have charatah?

    And I fully expect to end up in the worst place in the afterlife anyway.

    The Wolf

    #705675
    squeak
    Participant

    Wolf, I don’t believe you. If you have no charata it is because you don’t believe anything was wrong.

    If you believed the folks who are telling you it is wrong, you would want to do tshuva, correct? If so, you would regret having met in *that* way and not through some other, glatt kosher v’yosher way.

    #705676
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Wolf, I don’t believe you. If you have no charata it is because you don’t believe anything was wrong.

    Is that so? I don’t think so. I have no charata because *if I had charata* I would take steps to correct it. But I don’t want to do that. I may regret doing things the way I did, but I’m still happy that, in the end, they *did* work out that way.

    Even if I regret the manner, I don’t believe I can have charatah if, in the end, I’m happy with the end result (which, being happily married, I am).

    The Wolf

    #705677
    WIY
    Member

    Sacrilege

    “Maybe we’ll be neighbors in the fiery inferno.”

    Please dont talk that way. Its not a place you want to go and not something we should take lightly.

    #705678
    Sacrilege
    Member

    WIY

    You know, some people say that there is no such a thing as Hell in the fiery sense…

    #705679
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    not something we should take lightly.

    I agree. It should not be joked about.

    The Wolf

    #705680
    WIY
    Member

    Sacrilege

    “You know, some people say that there is no such a thing as Hell in the fiery sense…”

    Ill assume you mean that there are various pshatim (Rishonim Achronim) to what Gehinnom means. True not all take it to mean a place of physical fire although many do, but everyone agrees there is a Gehinnom. Regardless, whatever and wherever it is, there is a burning that takes place there and its beyond anything we can imagine on this world and not a place anyone wants to have to experience even for a second.

    (Its probably a lot better if Gehinnom was in the fiery sense because that means that we experience it in some physical way, because if its in the spiritual sense, well souls are infinite, so the pain can be infinite…I dont want to thank about that)

    #705681
    Shintav
    Member

    WIY – Can you list for me one place in Tanach the explicitly mentions Hell?

    #705682
    Helpful
    Member

    Shintav – The Gemorah is not believable to you?

    #705683
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Shintav – The Gemorah is not believable to you?

    Helpful — you misspelled the word “no.” 🙂

    The Wolf

    #705684
    oomis
    Participant

    How did we get from social dating to Gehennom (oh, wait…is this supposed to be about SHIDDUCH dating, maybe?)

    #705685
    Helpful
    Member

    Oomis: How? Violating an issur d’oraysa is on the pathway to gehenim.

    #705686

    -SJSinNYC “My husband and I started dating when both of us were 19. Neither of us had any intention of getting married.

    Had I not “dated” I would never have started with real dates and never have been married”

    do u not believe in g-d??? where is hashem in your life??? Do u not believe that hashem can do nething?? shiduchim ccome from left field! If u didnt meet him early and he was your true bashert hashem would have made u met a different way!!

    #705687
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    How did we get from social dating to Gehennom

    It’s a natural progression from dating to marriage.

    #705688
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Gehennom is:

    ?????? ??”? ?? ???? ???? ??? ????? ????? ??? ??? ???”? ????? ??? ??????? ?????? ??????? ?? ?????? ??????? ?? ????? ????? ??? ???? ??? ??? ???’ ??? ??? ??? ???????? ?? ????? (????? ?) ?????? ????? ????? ???? ??????? ??????? ?? ???’ (????? ?) ??? ??? ?? ???? ????? ???’

    (Nedarim 8b)

    I heard Pshat that Gehennom will be (like) a Geshmak shiur. Tzaddikim will love it, and Reshaim will wish it was over.

    #705689
    squeak
    Participant

    WolfishMusings

    The Wolf

    Is that so? I don’t think so. I have no charata because *if I had charata* I would take steps to correct it. But I don’t want to do that. I may regret doing things the way I did, but I’m still happy that, in the end, they *did* work out that way.

    Even if I regret the manner, I don’t believe I can have charatah if, in the end, I’m happy with the end result (which, being happily married, I am).

    I had a feeling you would reply this way, and I disagree with you. There is cetainly nothing halachically wrong with you and your wife being happily married. No one, even on this site, would say that you need to repent for that. But *if* we determine that the way you met is something that needs tshuva, then you could have charata on that aspect alone. The charata would be only on the fact that the outcome (marriage) happened in that particular way and not in a way that would make even Helpful happy.

    Unless you think G-d *could not have* brought the two of you together in any other way?

    #705690
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Hashems Princess, I also believe in hishtadlus.

    I turned down every shidduch suggestion that came my way even “the great guys who are going to be off the market really quickly.”

    I had zero interest in getting married and settling down. I wouldn’t have started dating if not for meeting my husband on my own. I didn’t do blind dates. I turned down every guy who asked me out. I had zero interest.

    Until I spent time with my husband.

    So I would have blocked myself from dating. That’s the point you are missing. We do have control over our lives and I would have gone in a different direction.

    #705691

    SJSinNYC,

    I DONT MEAN TO PUT U DOWN OR NETHING BUT MAYBE U JUST DONT UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT THAT U ARE NOT ALOUD TO BEFRIEND A MALE OTHER THEN REAL DATING PERPOSES…!!!!! Y CANT DO SOMETHING ASSUR FOR HISHTADLUS… IT JUST DOESNT WORK THAT WAY… I’M SORRY IF U CANT UNDERSTAND!!! IF U ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING AND DOING WHAT U ARE SUPPOSE TO BE DOING HASHEM WILL DO THE REST… DONT WORRY ABT…WELL MAYBE I WOULD HAVE PREVENTED MYSELF FROM MEETING HIM ETC….

    Please princess, drop the all-caps

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