One of the more intriguing mitsvos is yichud, or better said, the mitzvah from refraining to be mesyachid (seclusion) with the opposite gender. This is in order to avoid people from stumbling into sin.
The basic idea of yichud is that no man and women be secluded together in private for even a very short amount of time. This applies to everyone young and old (besides certain heterim). What, you mean absolutely nobody? What if the man has never met that women before, does it still apply? How about a rabbi, do we really suspect him of immoral conduct? And even more how can we label everyone with this suspicion?
In order to understand yichud we must first expound a bit on a certain idea that chazal teach us. Chazal tell us that when Hashem created the world it was with ‘’histakel beoraysa ubara alma’’ loosely translated it means that Hashem looked into the Torah and created the world. Meaning the torah is the blueprint for the world. Whatever is in the Torah can as well exist, however if it’s not in the Torah then it simply doesn’t exist. Let’s take it a step further, if the Torah tells us about the laws of yichud in order to guard our sanctity, then there is no other way to be safe, except with these laws, for that is what is stated in the blueprint. In essence we are being taught a very deep understanding about the human psyche. That given the circumstance of yichud, in which a man and women are secluded, it’s a recipe for disaster. No matter who that person is, weather someone very great and pious, or even if the secluded couple never met before, if they fail to abide to the laws of yichud they are stewing disaster!
A few months ago I had the privilege to spend Shabbat as part of a seminar by tzohar, down south in the resort city of arad. One of the esteemed speakers of the seminar was the world renown Rav Zamir cohen. Rav Zamir shared with us a personal story that took place not to long before the seminar and the rav added “it’s not a rare occurrence’’. A middle aged man approached him after one of his recent lectures begging for the ravs help, what’s the problem inquired rav zamir, Rabbi, the man states blatantly, ‘’ I cheated on my wife.’’ “ Well how did that happen”? asked rav Zamir? I don’t know answers the man, I never thought it would happen to me, I really am a great guy and an honest one too, I don’t know what happened to me, and I can’t even believe that it happened to me! The Rav Kindly explained to the poor man, even if you are not actually a bad person, if one fails to live up to the laws that the torah set forth for us to safe guard our sanctity he’s naturally bound to stumble. For since the torah states that these laws are necessary, it becomes an undisputable fact that a person who does not abide by these laws will naturally stumble, even if he’s not a terrible dishonest guy.
So No matter who the person is, the laws of yichud apply, and they are there for our own benefit, to maintain our holiness and sanctity, so we can live up to our high standard of being a goy kadosh (holy nation).