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Laws of ‘yichud’ still very relevant today



Michele Engelberg, Johannesburg

These laws are not irrelevant, archaic laws. They are as relevant now as they were two thousand years ago. They protect the potential “victim” from being violated and they protect the potentially accused “perpetrator” from being accused of something that he did not do.

If there are only two people secluded in a room together and they both emerge from the room telling different stories of what happened in that room, there is usually no way to verify the story. It is one person’s word against another person’s word. Therefore, avoiding these situations is what the halacha prescribes.

This law applies to a woman not being alone in closed quarters with a man (that she is not related to) whether that man is a rabbi, a doctor, a teacher, etc. (It is my understanding that for the last few years, Dr Levy did hire an additional employee specifically for this purpose of not being alone with patients.)

There may be situations where avoiding solitude with a person of the opposite gender (who is not closely related) is difficult or even unavoidable, but knowing the laws creates an extra level of sensitivity that certain conduct should be vigilantly observed. Boundaries become clearer.



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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. David B

    Nov 3, 2017 at 3:28 am

    ‘I have , until now never heard the term " YICHUD" –  however , understanding the benefit of this process is without doubt an improvement to the process of non friction via ‘He Says – She Says’  . 

    Presumably the third person will always be a ‘Married ‘ Qualified Woman who will oversee any specific procedure , be it medical , social ,educational , religious or any other.

      For those who choose this path there would obviously be a cost involved as there is in basic Kashrut , which would invariably be born by the female consumer of the service.   There is obviously always in the modern world the service which is offered by a female professional , who requires similar protection from male consumers’

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