Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is a man allowed to wear a "dog tag" type of thing? Is it beged eesha?

share|improve this question
    
Why do you think this would be seen as women's clothing? Are you likening it to a necklace? –  Monica Cellio Dec 21 '11 at 16:34
5  
I think the bigger question is "can women wear them?" –  Double AA Dec 22 '11 at 5:50
    
See also judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/12659 –  msh210 Jan 2 '12 at 18:04
add comment

2 Answers

Most forms of "beged isha" (the prohibition on men wearing women's clothing) all depend on a given society's norms of what's called "men's clothing" vs "women's clothing." (E.g. a kilt is okay in places where men wear them!) While certain actions or categories may be objectively off-limits as "beged isha", I've never heard anything about a necklace-like thing being one of them. (Didn't people use to wear money pouches around their necks? Or better yet, in the Gemara they had amulets that you wore around your neck -- for men or women.) If armies have been using dog tags for all their men for (how long has it been?), it's hard to call this a "feminine practice."

Even if it were, I don't recall the sources but the conclusion on this topic I always heard was that if it's still clear that you're a man, to wear one item of women's clothing for some functional reason (non-decorative) is permissible -- e.g. stuck when it's pouring and all you have is a woman's rainhat, yet no one will mistake you for a woman; Rabbi Frand gives the example of a bearded man in a normal suit, wearing a sheitel just for the sake of Purim silliness. The same should apply here.

But as always, ask your rabbi.

share|improve this answer
    
i agree with shalom. if a man wears woman's clothing people will see that as abnormal behavior. unless you wear it in places men do were beged esha. –  my rebbi's talmid Apr 26 '10 at 3:36
    
I understood beged isha as being based on the intent of the manufacturer. If the manufacturer intended clothing to be uni-sex, then it was. If not, then you'd go by who the clothes were marketed to. –  Bruce James Mar 20 '13 at 16:33
add comment

"Dog tags" are worn primarily, and until recently almost exclusively, by men. It would be very difficult to justify labeling them a womens garment.

A more likely problem is that when one wears them outside of their intended purpose, i.e. as a style rather than to to identify a soldier, it may be similar to wearing a sword which may present a problem of Chukas Hagoy.

Regarding the leniency of some permitting a single garment many poskim disagree and many/most illustrate the prohibition by cases where the person is not entirely dressed as the opposite gender. I would remind people that this is an issur d'Oraisa and not to be quick to follow lenient opinions without consulting their Rav.

share|improve this answer
    
For more on Chukas HaGoy, see mi.yodeya.com/questions/535/what-makes-something-chukat-goyim –  Shalom Apr 26 '10 at 14:12
    
This shouldn't be an issue of chukat goyim, as the Jewish army also uses dog-tags. zahal.org/groups/military-army-dog-tags –  avi Jan 2 '12 at 18:21
    
The jewish army also used swords. –  Yirmeyahu Jan 3 '12 at 3:45
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.