We are continuing in siman 6, discussing the halachos of kol. Today, we will discuss a man hearing his wife sing when she is a niddah.
As we have learned, this question will apply both in the context of hearing her sing in general, and to zemiros. The Pischei Teshuva, in Hilchos Niddah, quotes that the man has an issur to hear his wife sing while she is a niddah. The Pischei Teshuva is referring to the general issur of kol isha. Although he ends off writing tzarich iyun, that he needs to look into the question further, it seems to be his psak.
Rav Moshe Feinstein ztl writes in a teshuva that it is appropriate to be machmir on this question. Even though kol isha is derabanan, it is included in the larger concept of harchakos, the husband distancing himself from interfaces with his wife which may cause him to do something inappropriate while she is a niddah. Chazal enacted a series of issurim to prevent any impropriety, known as harchakos, and Rav Moshe holds that it is appropriate for kol to be included in these issurim as well.
Many have the minhag to be meikil. Rav Moshe himself points out that the language of the Pischei Teshuva is not that it is definitively assur, but implies that it is appropriate to be machmir. Those who have the minhag to be meikil have what to rely upon.
The next question would be whether this leniency would apply when the husband wishes to engage in davening or learning. We have already pointed out that the Mishnah Berurah holds that even in situations where one is allowed to hear a woman sing, he may not hear her sing while davening or learning (shiur 1559). Arguably, the Mishnah Berurah should apply here as well.
If so, when it comes to zemiros, even if one is meikil to hear his wife sing when she is a niddah, it would be an issue when it comes to zemiros. We have the Rabbeinu Yonah to rely upon, but we learned that the Mishnah Berurah only relies upon that opinion in a shaas hadechak (shiur 1564). If a person has a specific concern regarding his family, it may be considered a shaas hadechak; one should discuss the question with a competent halachic authority.
Next, we need to discuss a group of men and women in which some or all of the participants are not related to each other. We have learned (shiur 1559) that there are two potential issurim, the kol being an ervah, and the potential of hirhur. The women in question in the other cases in question (wife, close relative, ketana) do not have the issues of ervah or hirhur, but these issues do apply to a non-related individual.
We learned that the heter of trei koli lo mishtamai is preferably not applied (except possibly for a kiruv situation, see shiur 1562). The heter of Rabbeinu Yonah (shiur 1564) is specifically for the man to be able to learn or daven, and he is not discussing the issur of kol isha in general, so it is even harder to apply this leniency to this case. However, the extension of the Mordechai, that when a person does not have a choice, they can continue what they are doing as long as they do not focus on the kol isha, would apply to this case.
Thus, if a person is in a situation in which women are singing, one should focus on what they are doing, and not on the singing, and they are allowed to continue doing what they are doing. However, it seems quite questionable for a person to do so lechatchilla.
- It is appropriate for one to be machmir and refrain from hearing his wife sing when she is a niddah, both in general and regarding zemiros. (If one has a minhag to be meikel, they may follow that.) If it is a shaas hadechak, one should speak to their rav.
- Either way, it is assur to hear her sing while engaged in davening or learning.
- If one hears a group on women singing who are not related to them, if they have no choice, they may continue what they are doing as long as they are not focusing on the singing. Lechatchilla one should not place themselves in such a situation.