Jul 10, 2018

Interesting Psak: modesty on separate beaches

Chief Rabi Rav Yitzchak Yosef paskened in his weekly shiur this week that even on a separate beach, women are not allowed to swim unless they are wearing a robe, in the presence of a male lifeguard. Wearing a regular bathing suit would be causing the male lifeguard to stumble.

Rav Yosef stressed that this is not a chumra or a midas chassidus, but is the basic halacha. It is absolutely prohibited.

The best would be to have a female lifeguard, but if the lifeguard is male, it is a problem for him, and a problem for the women of "lifnei eever".
source: Kikar

I would not put words in Rav Yosef's mouth, but presumably the modest bathing suits that are common now, sometimes known as the frumkini or the burkini, would probably be ok as well.

I am a bit surprised that Rav Yosef doesn't take into consideration that the lifeguard is "osek b'melachto" - women see, for example, male gynecologists, and other doctors, and it is ok because he is busy with his work. He might say that isnt enough, but it should at least be a consideration. Perhaps in the expounding on the topic he considered it though it wasnt brought in the article linked above.

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  1. I thought that female lifeguards aren't usually strong enough to be effective in the ocean.

    1. almost all, if not all, lifeguards on beaches are male, so this psak basically applies all the time on every beach


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