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Women Only Function at Batmitzvah

Rabbi Jonathan Blass9 Adar II 5763
574
Question
It is our daughter`s Bat Mitzvah coming up shortly. We are modern orthodox /Bnei Akiva type frum. It seems to be the accepted norm within our community for Bat Mitzvah functions to be women only events with no men present. I find it hard to accept that I cannot attend my own daughter`s Bat Mitzvah reception/party and if I do attend to be relegated to a table at an adjoining room outside the main reception area. I am rather confused on this point as I have attended many mixed men/ woman seating events -Shiurim, Brachot & even Bar Mitzvahs within my community, sometimes mixed seating and some times separate seating. Why is it now that a Bat Mitzvah is different and only a woman only event? What about the sensitivities of the father and male members of the family to attend the function? What is the Halacha on this point? Would it make a difference if there is no female singing /dancing at the function?
Answer
If there is no women's singing or dancing in the presence of men, there is no halachic problem in men attending a Bat-Mitzva. It may be that your daughter prefers an all- women's simcha so that she and her friends can sing and dance without restriction. You should discuss it with her so as not to cause unhappiness at a time of joy.
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