From the Rav’s Desk: Does the presence of a mother break Yichud for her son and another woman


I am a young Bochur and need to go to a private female practitioner who works from her home for a certain medical procedure. Is it Yichud for me to go if I visit her together with my mother? She is not married.



This matter is disputed in the Poskim. Practically, the custom is to be lenient to permit you to go together with your mother, as the widespread custom is to follow the Poskim who rule that a mother breaks Yichud. This, however, only applies so long as you go during daytime or at night prior to the time that people normally go to sleep. [Even if you do not go together with your mother this would only be considered Yichud if the woman you are seeing is not married or her husband is out of the city, and the clinic is not viewable to the public and they do not have free entrance to it.] Nonetheless, some [especially of Sephardic origin] are stringent in this matter to not consider a mother as a valid Shomer and would require another man to go with them or make sure that the area is open to the public, and are only lenient in a case of great need.

Explanation: It is disputed amongst the Poskim if a person’s mother is considered a Shomer to help break Yichud between him and another woman and practically the main opinion follows to be lenient, and hence it is fine for a son to visit a female in the presence of his mother even if it will be in a closed room and the woman is not married if there’s no other easy option available. However, at nighttime after the time that people normally go to sleep two Shomrim are required as is always the law.

Sources: See Nitei Gavriel Yichud Shut 3 p. 381; See regarding a mother breaking Yichud: Lenient: Mahariy Viyal 55; Beis Shlomo O.C. 48 [lenient in time of need]; Chaim Veshalom [Falagi] 19; Rei Chaim Parshas Vayeishev; Devar Halacha 8:4 in name of Chazon Ish; Igros Moshe 2:15; E.H. 4:65-8; Tzitz Eliezer 6:14; Nitei Gavriel Teshuvah 3 and 40:1; Stringent: Yosef Ometz [Chida] 26; Pischeiy Teshuvah 22:2 in name of Zechor Leavraham 3 Os Yichud; Nesivos Leshabbos E.H. 22:4; Sephardic Rabbanim; Ezer Mikodesh E.H. 22 leaves this matter in question; See Maaseh Eliyahu Mani 107; Taharas Yisrael 22:6; Shaar Shimon Echad 5:8; Orchos Habayis 14:30 footnote 71;  See in general regarding the concept of a Shomer breaking Yichud: Michaber 22:10; Kiddushin 81a; See regarding requiring the necessity to have two Shomrim at night: Rama Y.D. 192:4; Raavad; Devar Halacha 8:7; Nitei Gavriel 27:8

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