Women Davening on Train

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    yeshiva guy

    I ride the train daily and I started noticing this more and more. Although it is complementary that girls make the effort to daven everyday, I don’t believe this is proper. The train is filled with immorally dressed people as well as other filth, and is definitely not a place for tefillah. If a girl does not have time to daven at home (it shouldn’t be that hard for the single girls to wake up a few minutes earlier to daven) then maybe they shouldn’t daven at all as that is why they are not obligated in Mitzvos Asey Shehazman Grama.


    I heard a story about a Rabbi, I believe his name was Rabbi Levi Yitzchak from Berdichav (PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I’M WRONG) who was being driven in a horse drawn wagon. Apparently, a wheel broke off from the wagon and the driver proceeded to fix it while saying his prayers. The Rabbi’s fellow passenger didn’t like that and said, “How can this man fix the wheel while praying?” The Rabbi answered him by saying “G-d, look at Your holy people. Even while working on fixing his wheel, this Jew prays to You.”

    Maybe these girls and women are using their commute wisely and instead of looking at others and at all the filth on the subway, they are praying…think about it.


    I’m sure there is a reliable Posek in the real world who can answer this question. Of course, this being cyberspace, everyone will have an opinion, informed or otherwise.


    Jewess, Your story was the Berditchiver Rebbe indeed.


    Yeshivaguy, if it’s not a place for tefillah, is it a place appropriate for learning?


    i believe Hashem hears us anywhere…

    of course its more proper to daven in a makom Kodesh, but we women don’t pray at shul—-at least not during the week…

    Yossi G.

    You ARE kidding, right?

    With all the “tzuris” going on, with drugs, alcoholism, abuse, fraud, chilul Hashem, and going off the derech, you don’t REALLY mean to attack the ehrlich if time-challenged girl davening on a train?!

    I mean, as you said, she’s isn’t obligated to daven at all, so what’s the difference where she does it? And why the tznius issue at all- that’s a man’s concern, isn’t it? What, she might have bad thoughts from seeing a woman with too little clothing on?

    Yeshiva guy, get a life, find a real issue to work on. There are (sadly!) a lot of them out there!


    yeshiva guy, may I point out that the question of ervah will not apply to women. Additonally, I lived in a different country where sunset was very late and it was common for MEN to daven in the train as they could not do it before then.

    And why do you want to deny women the right to daven? Actually, they are “MECHYOV” in tefillah as tefillah is NOT a mitzvah shehazman geromo. It is just the faxct of the organized, three tefillas that they are not obligated to do, but tefillah itself is part of their chiyuv.


    I like to judge favorable wherever possible, but in this instance, the conclusion I draw is that “yeshiva guy” is uncomfortable by the davening done by these girls. Perhaps it bothers him that a girl is davening and he is reading the times. Perhaps it bothers him that she is davening and he is staring at the walls. Perhaps it bothers him that she is davening slowly despite the place she finds herself and he mumbles through davening in a comfortable shul.

    Whatever is bothering “yeshiva guy”, perhaps he might be best served to stick his nose into a sefer and not worry about what the girls are doing 🙂


    The ma’aleh in these Berditchever stories is that he was always able to point out the zechusim of Klal Yisroel, even when criticism seemed obvious and justified. I have heard a ton of these stories as I had a Rebbe who always foused his pre-Neilah speech on zechus K”Y.

    The fact that he was able to see zechusim in everything does not mean that one should act like those characters in his stories. Obviously, davening at home beats davening on the train. They can use their time on the train to think about Hashem, just like in other m’koymos where davening/learning is inappropriate/assur (i.e. bathroom).

    yeshiva guy

    1)tzippi, I don’t think you can compare learning to davening. As others have noted learning is a way to make your commute productive and davening is something that should be done in a place where one can concentrate and have proper kavanah

    2)native israel, No one is saying girls have to daven in a shul, but not in a mokem teumah like the train.

    3) Jewess, nice story, there is a similar story with Reb Yaakov learning on a lounge chair. However that wasnt a mokem tuema!

    4)Yossi G., You are correct there are bigger fish to fry out there, but your comment applies to every topic in this forum. This forum is not to solve life’s biggest obstacles but rather to vent issues on one’s mind.

    5)Jphone,nice assumption, but you are talking to someone who learns the daf daily on the train! so much for being judgemental

    6) rabbi of berlin, thats exactly my point they dont have to daven on the train as they are not bound by a schedule. Daven at home!


    Yeshiva guy, I still didn’t get an answer. Is it appropriate to learn in a makom tumah that is not appropriate for tefillah? Because if it’s not appropriate for tefillah, why should it be appropriate for learning? Just wondering what are the parameters of a place appropriate for learning.


    yeshiva guy you wrote:

    “1)… I don’t think you can compare learning to davening. As others have noted learning is a way to make your commute productive and davening is something that should be done in a place where one can concentrate and have proper kavanah”

    “5)… you are talking to someone who learns the daf daily on the train…”

    OK, so let me get this straight

    Ladies can not say tehillim or doven in this place that is filled with all sorts of tumah because they will lack concentration kavanah, yet, you who notices these ladies “more and more” (from your opening post) can learn in this immodest and socially immoral environment. Why is this? is it because your idea of learning does not require concentration and kavanah?

    Think BIG

    If anybody on this website is in that position, ie. you are a female who davens on the train among all the tumah, feel free to ask your local orthodox Rabbi if there is a problem with it. Yeshiva guy, you’d probably be best off keeping your eye on that daf.

    yeshiva guy

    lets get it straight: Davening is something that could be done at home and learning is just a way to get through the train ride.


    Learning is “just” a way to get through the train ride? Something very sad about that.

    BTW, it’s possible the women have davened at home and are saying Tehillim on the train, as a “way to get through the…ride” themselves.


    It should be pointed out that in Israel at least there are several trains that regular minyanim on them. I think its the morning train from Beit Shemesh to Tel Aviv, but I’m not 100% sure on that. So it appears that daving in general on a train is not a problem. Now if this girl is off in a corner leave her alone.


    You’d have to ask a Rav, but I think there’s a difference between learning in an unclean place without actually speaking out the words and saying them while davening. I guess the question of tznius for someone “shukelling” and attracting attention to themselves is for a different forum 😉



    please open a shulchan aruch or mishna berura and see

    what the halacha is ,don’t confuse your personel feelings with halacha.


    I work out in an only women’s gym, it gets very warm so I do not dress in a lot of clothing. Only women are at this gym, so it is muttar for me in order to be comfortable. But very often I am on the treadmill and this lovely chosheva lady gets on the treadmill next to me and is saying Tehillim. I asked her if it was okay for her to daven while I am not tznius, she didn’t know the answer. I do not daven on the treadmill because I personally don’t feel it is the proper atmosphere with ladies dressed not tznius and the TV on everywhere. But I don’t know the actual halacha and if anyone knows, can they post it here?


    “Yeshiva guy, you’d probably be best off keeping your eye on that daf.” Think BIG, u hit that nail right on the head. LOL


    I checked the Mishna Berurah. He is definitely not in favor of looking at girls, even if they are davening. Thats why we have a mechitza in shul.

    yeshiva guy

    Thank you jjgirl and eichnaflu!!! People just want to respond with emotion and attack any blogger as holier than thou!! There is a very clear differnce between davening and learning!! there is a differnce when something attracts attention!! and there is a differnce if it can be done at home by waking up 10 minutes earlier!!

    lammed hey

    Girls can do what they want anyway, to a certain extent. So there is a woman (or man) not dressed before them, is it Assur? Is it Ervah?

    Yeshiva Guy, are you talking about an open system where anyone can sit or stand and everyone can see everyone or where there are seats so that you can you can only see your seatmates? There is a difference in the amount of Kavana possible.


    When I went to Brooklyn College for night classes, as I passed through the cafeteria, I would sometimes see a girl here and there standing behind a beam davening Mincha. The truth is that I felt a sense of pride in the Kiddush Hashem that 1. She was davening and 2. she didn’t do it in the middle of the room in front of everyone’s face.


    so you are saying that women should not daven because they are not obligated to??? Should women completely forsake any mitzvot that they are not obligated to do? It still is, I think according to the Ramban, required for women to daven if they have the time. And they have the time on the train! Should men not learn gemarah because it is in an inappropriate environment? And why are you looking at women at all? where is your tznius???


    A year ago, a Choshuve Rosh Yeshiva in E.Y. spoke publicly to a group of very frum women against the common practice of women davening/saying tehillim on buses here in Yerushalayim. His argument was that it goes against “Kevoda bas melech pinima”. When I heard about it, my first thought was that with everything going on out there, it’s a little bit extreme (and ridiculous) to pick on sincere g-d fearing women who are focusing on tefilla throughout the day. But when I thought about it awhile, I realized that he had a point. And for these holy women, on their madrega, this was something that they could work on. They already dress with tznius, do lots of chessed, and aren’t caught up in the materialistic race of the modern world, and this is something they could work on. Everyone has things to work on. It is wrong to ignore issues (no matter how small), just because “there are much bigger problems in klal yisroel”. However, what’s one person’s avodah isn’t always that of the next person. I don’t know if this forum is the proper one for such issues…(which is apparent from most of the comments).


    Women who are not busy with another mitzvah have a chiuv to daven shacharis and mincha. At least that’s what they taught us in school. What’s the problem of davening on a train? I’ve davened in many places and I felt that I made a kiddush Hashem. I’m not saying to daven in the middle of everything but off to the side is not a problem. Don’t make it into one. There are many problems unfortunatly in Klal Yisroel. Don’t make more problems out of something beautiful! Deal with the real ones!


    stick your nose in a sefer, and stop harassing the noshim tzidkonius

    bas kol

    putting aside the sheila of being allowed to daven in a nontznius’dige place, isn’t there a question of attracting unnecessary attention from the goyim?

    It’s a question i’ve had for a while already..a jew isn’t supposed to unduly arouse unwanted attention in front of goyim..

    I know u might answer that the blacks can have no problem reading ‘psalms’ on the train, or the muslims can read the koran..but jews can’t pray?

    Correct me if i’m wrong..i was in Venice some time ago with a group of friends, and right there in the middle of a street, e/o stopped and davened Mincha!! Passerby stared google eyed!! I thought it was inappropriate and decided not to daven mincha at all that day..

    Is a train any different?


    A choshuve rav told women NOT to daven or say tehillim? There has to be more to the story. Did he mean from a sefer, or standing up to daven, etc? They can’t move their lips to daven by heart? Something is missing here.

    Reminds me of a friend who taught in a secular Jewish high school. At a teacher’s meeting one of the teachers railed about how inappropriate some of the boys were by wearing their caps or other headgear in class. Now clearly these weren’t yarmulkes. My friend said, she would never be able to tell a Jewish boy to take off his hat.

    So I can’t believe a rav would say to a group of nashim tzidknonios, don’t daven. Maybe they should stop breathing too.


    Bas Kol: You see no difference between sitting in your seat on a train and standing in the middle of the street?

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