Education

261. It is incumbent upon every father to educate and guide his household and make each family member aware of the issue of Yichud.1

262. Both men and women should from time to time review the laws of Yichud.

The Guard At A Women’s Dormitory

263. A man should not be employed as a guard for a women’s dormitory, even though he is standing outside, for there are no guarantees when it comes to these matters.2

Dating and Shidduchim

264. A man and a woman who are dating must be extremely careful not to be in a Yichud situation. Therefore, they should not go to a secluded park or quiet country spot. This applies even more after they become engaged, for then there is a case of Libo Gas Boh. See Chapter 1 for more details.

265. If a man and woman meet in a private home, there must be a shomer in the home. If only the woman’s mother is at home and has the status of Baaloh B’ir, there is no Yichud. However if her husband is not in the city, then the front door should be left closed but not locked.3 If other family members are in the house, then the couple may be in a room alone even if the door is closed but not locked, although it is a middas chassidus to leave it slightly ajar. If the household members are sleeping, then they should leave the door open.

266. Strictly speaking, it is permitted for an engaged choson to sleep in the family home of his kallah if there are other family members present who serve to prevent Yichud. However, it is correct that he sleep elsewhere, e.g. at a friend’s house, for tznius considerations.4

Taking Employment

267. Before parents allow their children to take a job, they must make sure that the job does not pose Yichud or other tznius issues.

268. In the workplace there should be clearly delineated areas for men and women.

269. A father is obligated to teach his daughter a profession.5 However, the daughter must be educated in a kosher environment — one which ensures the highest standards of tznius and precludes any question of Yichud.

What to Do if One Detects a Yichud Situation

270. If a person finds a man and a woman in a Yichud situation, he must do something to avert Yichud. Therefore, if one enters a house and finds that two people in the house are accidentally in a Yichud situation, one must leave the door open and inform the people of the situation so as to prevent further Yichud.

271. If a woman finds herself in Yichud with her male employer, she should inform him immediately of the situation and do something to mitigate the Yichud. She should certainly not be embarrassed to mention the issue. Furthermore, she should not be afraid of losing her job because of the issue. On the contrary, her employer may regard her with more esteem because of her righteousness.

272. If a man does not know that the door has been left open, then the woman should inform him that the door is open so that he should not think that he has transgressed the prohibition of Yichud.6

273. One who is in doubt as to whether he/she may be in a Yichud situation should make inquiries and try to ascertain to the best of one’s ability that there is no question of Yichud.7 For example, let us look at the case of a man who enters an office for an appointment, and a female secretary lets him in and shows him to the waiting room. If the visitor is unsure as to whether or not the man he wants to see is in the office, then he must inquire if he is actually there. If the secretary replies that he is not in the office at present but is expected shortly, then the visitor must not remain in Yichud with the secretary; he must return later when the other man arrives.8

Swimming

274. A woman should not go swimming where there is a male lifeguard, even if there is no question of Yichud.9

Brother and Sister in Separate Bedrooms

275. It is preferable that a brother and sister who have reached the age of Chinuch (age six and above) should not sleep in the same room.10

Children’s Friends Visiting and Sleepovers

276. When children invite their friends over, it is important that the boys do not fraternize with the girls. If the parents are not present, care must be taken that there is no question of Yichud, particularly if the friends are sleeping over. This can often become an issue at the time of a family simchah when many cousins are present and their parents are out at the simchah.

Tzedakah Collectors

277. It often occurs that a tzedakah collector comes to the door and only a girl is at home, with no other shomrim present. If the collector wants to wait inside to see the girl’s father, then she should either ask the man to return awhile later (when other shomrim will be present), or else she should leave the door open (if it is an effective Pesach Posuach).

278. However, collectors should not go from door to door during hours when only the women are at home because of the potential for Yichud. Furthermore, women are not obligated to open the door to such collectors.11

The Internet

279. Leading halachic authorities have strongly suggested that one should keep the laws of Yichud when online. Their opinion is that one should only go online in the presence of a shomer or when there is a Pesach Posuach, in which case someone could enter at any moment. The presence of a shomer or having a Pesach Posuach will prevent a person from downloading or viewing forbidden material or visiting a non-kosher website.12

Asking a Rav

280. If a woman enters a Rav’s home to ask a Shaalah and the Rav’s wife is not present, then some other heter of Yichud must be in place, e.g. Pesach Posuach, Baaloh B’ir, Shomrim, etc.

Permanent Situations

281. It should be noted that many of the heterim of Yichud mentioned in the previous chapters only serve to permit Yichud in a temporary situation. However, these heterim may not be used on a permanent basis. Therefore, the question of Yichud is magnified if the Yichud is in a permanent situation. In each case a Rav should be consulted.13