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Mishna Berura Summaries

Siman 74 – Issur Ervah

  1. There are five categories of Issur Ervah in Siman 74 and 75:                                                                              His eyes see his own ervah – this is ossur min haTorah.                                                                                      His heart “sees” (due to lack of seperation) his own ervah – d‘rabbanan.                                                       His ervah is revealed – even if his eyes and heart are seperated from it, but the ervah is revealed to  others, were they to be present – min haTorah.                                                                                                      His eyes can see someone else’s ervah – min haTorah.                                                                                         His heart “sees” another person’s ervah – d’rabbanan. (BeH “Na’atik”)
  2. In any of these cases, you are not permitted to say divray kedusha or divray Torah. Even listening to someone being motzi you is like you are saying it yourself. (BeH “Na’atik”)
  3. If you have a robe on with no pants, you are forbidden to say words of Torah or any berachos until you press your robe against your heart or under it so there will be a seperation between your heart and the ervah. (MB 1)
  4. Putting your hand on your bare head does not count for a head covering to permit you to say berachos or recite other holy words. Other people’s hands are considered a covering. (Rama 2 – MB 9,10)
  5. Clear water up to your neck is a covering for ervah but you must still hold a cloth against your heart or under it so you won’t have leebo roeh es ha’ervah. If the water level is below your heart there is no problem. Don’t look at the ervah through the water. (ShA 2 – MB 7,13)
  6. Both male and female ervah are considered revealed while they are standing. The difference is when sitting – the female ervah is now covered but the male ervah is still considered revealed. (MB 15,17)
  7. When a woman is in the mikva waters up to her waist (between the ervah and her heart) she can recite the beracha according to all opinions. But if the water level is above her heart, in order to fulfil all opinions she should hug her arms around her torso to cause a separation, then say the beracha. Another option could be for her to stir mud on the mikva floor with her feet. She should be careful not to face other unclad women who may be around her. (MB 16)
  8. Make sure the male ervah does not touch the thighs while saying holy words. Those who are particular make sure that the scrotum also does not touch the thighs. (ShA 5 – MB 20)
  9. It is incorrect to be bare chested when saying any beracha and certainly while reciting Krias Shema. (MB 22)
  10. Iit is forbidden to daaven tefilla unless your entire body is covered. (ShA6 – MB 21)

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