The great celebration of the Water Drawing was held in the Women’s Courtyard. The Mishnah (Sukkah 2:5) teaches that the Priest and Levites would make a great “remedy”. The Talmud explains that this remedy was the installation of the balcony for the women to sit on and look down at the men. “The Land will eulogize each family by itself- the family of the house of David by themselves and their wives by themselves” (Zach. 12:12).
If at a time that they are mourning you say that the men and women are to the themselves how much more so at a time when they are joyous . . If at a time when the evil inclination does not exist you say that the men and women are to be to the themselves how much more so at a time when the evil inclinations does exist?! (23b)
Is it permissible for men and women to go into a beth mishteh or to perform Gemiluth Hasadhim and eat mixed together? This is the ruling: If this is when the women and men are sitting separately they are permitted, but on the condition that men and women do not mix together. The same applies to the apportioning and desserts. However, they are not permitted to have a meal when they are mixed for one not permitted to mix with women at a meal unless it is with his sister, the sister of his father, his mother or his wife’s sister so long as his wife is at the meal so that she restrains him from sin.