Do men do the Tahara on the transgender who is currently a male and viceaversa for a women? I am asking about a transsexual person who died and who had changed his physical sex using surgery.

Or do we say that the change in gender is not recognized and we follow the birth sex for purposes of the Tahara? i.e. a born man will be attended to by men...

  • 4
    Chirurgical transgender is not a status. He is only a castrated man
    – kouty
    Apr 9, 2019 at 19:19
  • 2
    This is an interesting question, unlike the typical "is gender change recognized" questions because even accepting that birth sex determines gender no matter what physical changes are involved, the reasons for same-sex Tahara would still seem to be a problem if the corpse looks like the opposite sex, so there is no obvious good answer. @JustWondering, if you put that in the question, it would be better.
    – Yishai
    Apr 9, 2019 at 20:45
  • I believe a transgender person has to do the post mortem Tahara.
    – Loewian
    Apr 10, 2019 at 0:27
  • @Yishai, since when do looks matter? I believe any questions about the halachical implications of a gender change should all be rerouted to one question about if halacha recognizing transgenderism at all.
    – Rafael
    Apr 10, 2019 at 1:19
  • 3
    @Rafael for matters of hirrur looks mater.
    – Yishai
    Apr 10, 2019 at 2:03

1 Answer 1


Rabbi Dov Linzer, head of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in Riverdale, addressed this briefly in this video. He says that these issues are more minhag and appropriateness questions than strict halachic ones. He adds that the issue is currently being discussed by the New York Board of Rabbis, but he offers a suggestion as follows: for a transgender woman that has male genitalia, women should do taharah while the genitalia are covered. Then men should deal with the genitalia, since it would be uncomfortable for women to deal with male genitalia, and then leave the rest to women. This affirms the person's gender identity while leaving genitalia issues separate. For the case of a post-op transgender woman, the implication seems to be that women may do the full taharah.

I would an additional comment that according to Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 352:3, we are more lenient on women taking care of men than the reverse, but I've heard that this is not generally done in practice.

  • Why are genitalia unique? Any part of the body that looks male should be done by men
    – Double AA
    Apr 29, 2021 at 16:00
  • @DoubleAA You could argue that genitalia is the only uniquely "male" feature, but sure, yours is also a reasonable comment. Take that up with Rabbi Linzer!
    – magicker72
    Apr 29, 2021 at 16:27
  • Such an argument would be pointless since we're apparently just trying to make the women feel comfortable. Why is he even trying to prescribe what would make them uncomfortable?
    – Double AA
    Apr 29, 2021 at 16:32
  • @DoubleAA I don't think he's prescribing anything, but rather offering a suggestion.
    – magicker72
    Apr 29, 2021 at 16:42

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