Is there any halachic reason that a man may not wear a wedding band (ring)? Possible reasons to forbid it would include beged isha and chukas hagoyim.


Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was strongly opposed to a two-ring ceremony in which he says "harei at mekudeshet li" and she says "harei ata mekudash li", but in a later responsum -- EH4:32b (addressing R' Elyakim "Getzel" Ellinson, who was questioning men wearing bands and Rav Moshe defending the practice) he clarifies that for a man to simply wear a band is not prohibited; as for "chukas akum" - it's neither pagan nor risque, nor is it "senseless" as some people feel it's decorative and it's a sign this guy is married. ("Senseless imitation of the non-Jews" is actually his critique of two-ring ceremonies; Rav Moshe says we don't worry that if Shmerel is seen wearing a wedding band, people will suspect him of having had a two-ring ceremony!)

Rav Moshe says for a married man to wear a wedding band is something to the effect of "perhaps distasteful for someone G-d fearing", i.e. the mildest of mildest preferences against it; but staunchly proclaiming that those who do are halachically justified.

  • citing the teshuva would greatly enhance your answer – user2110 May 23 '13 at 15:01
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    EH 4:32 Shalom, you have a weird way of remembering things. – Double AA May 23 '13 at 15:02
  • @DoubleAA Thanks for the citation! Did I misquote? – Shalom May 23 '13 at 15:47
  • @Shalom I'm just flabbergasted that you identified the responsum by remembering the identity of its recipient! – Double AA May 23 '13 at 15:57
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    Clarify - if you're riding the subway and accidentally bump into a woman, apologize profusely and make sure she's not hurt! I just meant don't worry about the halacha of violating "affectionate touching." – Shalom May 23 '13 at 16:28

From the Mishna Brurah 161:19 writes that women who are makpid to take off her ring before doing work holds she needs to take it off before washing.He then writes but men who don't take their rings off don't have to since they leave them on unless it has an expensive stone which he would take off.From here it seems like it was normal to wear a ring.

Regarding a wedding band I think it is a machlokes.I think Reb Moshe was against exchange of rings ceremony by weddings.

  • Who said there would be an exchange of ring ceremony? What does male clothing habits of +100 years ago matter? We know men wore jewelry in Tanach, but that isn't relevant. It's current society that matters. – Double AA May 23 '13 at 14:44
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    As far as I know, the common practice among orthodox men who wear wedding rings is for the woman to give the ring to the man after the reading of the ketuba, during yichud, or perhaps the next day without any kind of spoken formula, and not as a ring exchange. A rabbi who I know allows this as long as it is made clear that the giving of a ring to the man is not a part of the official wedding ceremony. – Daniel May 23 '13 at 15:09
  • Plus R Moshe's position on this is rather strange. (though there are other opposers who are more cogent.) – Double AA May 24 '13 at 3:34
  • R Moshe disagrees to it being part of the ceremony but is ok with a man wearing one post-event albeit it is discouraged (but not strictly forbidden). – CashCow Feb 18 '15 at 17:30

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