We are discussing the halachos of tznius for a girl. We left off discussing the age at which the issur ervah applies to a girl. The Mishnah Berurah holds it begins at age three, while the Chazon Ish holds it begins around age six or seven. Yesterday, we learned how this machlokes applies to learning, and to girls going to shul.
Another application of this machlokes regards when adults must stop hugging, holding or otherwise touching a girl not related to them. According to the Mishnah Berurah, they must stop when the girl turns three, but according to the Chazon Ish, one may be meikil until age six or seven. Rabbi Reingold’s mesorah from the Telzer Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Chaim Stein, ztl, is to be meikil until age five or six.
The second question we brought up is regarding the appropriate age to begin training a girl to dress appropriately. It is important to note that the question exists even when there are no men around, nor when she is not planning to go to shul. Rather, it is for the inherent training of this girl to do what is correct. This chiyuv begins from age six or seven. As always, a chiyuv of chinuch is to dress the girl in a completely appropriate manner, as she would as an adult. As we have learned (shiur 1262), the mitzvah of chinuch does not apply partially, but only when one teaches their child to fulfill a mitzvah properly.
Dayan Weiss ztl points out that there is an issur sefiya on parents regarding items which do not follow the guidelines of tznius (see shiurim 1290 and 1291). Thus, even before a girl has reached age six, the parents cannot actively dress her in something which does not follow the guidelines of tznius. The minhag seems to be meikil on this issue, but it is not clear why.
Regarding a boy, once a boy reaches age nine, other women cannot expose themselves in front of him, and are chayav to dress appropriately around him from that age.
We will discuss yichud in the next shiur, be’ezras Hashem.
- The issur ervah (i.e., to speak torah or tefillah around a girl not properly dressed) begins from age three (according to the Mishnah Berurah) or age 6-7 (according to the Chazon Ish).
- One must stop touching a girl who is not their relative when she reaches age 5-6.
- The chiyuv chinuch to dress properly begins at age 6-7.
- Once a boy reaches age nine, other women must dress appropriately around him.