Religion Magazine

Interesting Psak: Woman Wearing a Tallis and "Lo Tilbash"

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
Behadrei is reporting on a weird story involving Corona, quarantine, police and a tallis led to an interesting psak.
An avreich in Bnei Braq needed to be in quarantine after an alleged exposure to someone infected with CoronaVirus. The fellow claimed that the exposure detection was a mistake in the GPS signal tracking by the Ministry of Health from his cellphone and that he was never actually exposed.
Because he felt it was in error, he did not keep strictly to the quarantine. he went out one day to go to shul. While he was in shul, his wife at home answered the phone and it was the police checking that he was keeping to the rules of quarantine. They asked to speak to him, to make sure he is home, but she explained that he is in the middle of davening, at home, and cannot come to the phone. The police officer said he is downstairs in front of the building and will wait a bit and check in again soon.

Interesting Psak: Woman Wearing Tallis Tilbash

no, it likely did not look like this

Several minutes later they called again and she answered again that he is still davening. By now the police doubted the veracity of her story and said that he should stick his hand out the window, while davening, and wave to them so they can see him. This way they would not come up and disturb him during his prayers, but at the same time confirming visually that he is at home as per the quarantine orders.
Mrs Quarantine came up with an idea quickly. She found her husband's Shabbos tallis and wrapped it around herself, went to the window and stuck out her hand and waved. I guess the police accepted that and moved on. It is a good thing she probably was not wearing nail polish.
The question was then raised and sent to some local rabbis if by doing this she had transgressed the prohibition of a woman wearing the clothing of a man. I don't know why she did not also ask if it is permitted to lie in such a situation to avoid a fine, but so be it.
According to Behadrei, the rabbis did not want to answer the question so it should not appear that they are supporting people breaking quarantine, even if the claim is that the need for quarantine was mistaken. In the end they did issue a psak that the wife had not transgressed the prohibition of Lo Tilbash, of a woman wearing the clothing of a man.
The Women of the Wall and other women who like to wear the tallis for davening surely all apreciate the psak of the rabbis from Bnei Braq...
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