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From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Date: Sun, 5 Oct 1997 15:34:59 -0400 Subject: When One SHOULD look at Women Dancing There have been several recent statements about women dancing and whether one can look at them and where possible sources are for the prohibition. I believe there are times when one SHOULD look at women dancing. I also believe the postings so far have ignored a basic tension within halacha. A POSSIBLE SOURCE ---------------- The Talmudic sources on the Holiday, the 15th of Av describe girls going out (borrowing uniform dresses from each other) and dancing in the vineyards for purposes of Shiduchim(getting married). Each group of girls would give different reasons why the boys should pick them... ...lineage, beauty, and spiritual reasons. This is all explicit in the talmud. The talmud explicitly states that some girls stated "Pick us for our beauty". Furthermore only the ugly girls who did not have good lineage stated "Marry for the sake of heaven". I know of no commentator who deplores the activities of the girls A CONCEPTUAL APPROACH --------------------- The requirement of modesty in halacha is well known. There is in fact a Biblical obligation to be holy (e.g. Lev 19:2). BUT..there is also a Biblical obligation to get married. You get married to someone who is attractive to you. The Rambam explicitly states in the Laws of Forbidden Intercourse that >>..if you are thinking about marrying somebody you should look them over >>..to see if they are pleasing to you...provided you don't look lewdly. I would suggest that the Rambam derived this from the EXPLICIT Biblical advice of Moses to the Daughters of Tzlafchad (Nu 36:6) >>...Be wives >>to (men who are) attractive (good looking)>>. Similar phrases occur in Gen 3:6...I believe the phrase doesn't just mean "do what you want" but rather "do what is pleasing". THE POINT: There are two sides