Is it permitted to Daven in a public place if there are women there?
If there are women that are Tznius, it is permitted as long as they are not in your view (provided this isn’t an official shul).
עיין חתם סופר בתשובותיו חו”מ סימן ק”צ.
If there are women that are not Tznius and you are in an open place or in the same room, you should turn your face away and not daven while they are directly in front of you even if you cannot see them.
If you are not in the same room (like in the tent outside 770 during Tishrei), it is permitted as long as they are not in your view.
ראה שאלה 5970 וש”נ. ובמחיצה – שוע”ר עה, ח.
Q. Is there a Halachic issue with Davening outside without a roof?
A. One may Daven in a secluded area without a roof.
שו”ע צ, ה. שוע”ר שם, ה. שע”ת שם, סק”א.
Q. In general: Are there situations when we are not Makpid on a Mechitzah by Davening (I’ve been in shuls where they started Maariv (Kadish and Barachu) after Shalosh Seudos, before putting back the Mechitzah)?
No, by Davening a Mechitzah is required.
ראה חת”ס שם. ועוד.
Can you please define what’s the difference between “not in your view” (by tznius women) and “directly in front of you even if you cannot see them” (by not tznius women).
If the women are dressed tzniusdik as long as they are not in your view, for example, if you close your eyes, it is ok.
If they are not dressed tzniusdik, you should turn around so they are not in front of you.
Regarding the last question, am I allowed to answer Kadish, etc. in such a situation?
I wonder then, why do we ever need a Mechitzah at all?
In a shul, especially when the women are usually tznius?
What then was the Rebbe’s strong insistence and “milchama”, to have a proper Mechitzah in shuls?
Is this a kulah?
I would think that even if allowed, but by 770 there should be higher standards, being the Rebbes Shul, especially as it is in public…
Looking forward to your reply.
The difference is that a Shul is a permanent house of Hashem used for Davening, thus it needs to be set up in a proper way.
Davening outdoors is usually set up only for men. When women pass by we are required to follow the Halachos stated earlier.
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