I know that halacha has limits on wearing items of the wrong gender (beged ish or beged ishah, depending on whose clothes we're talking about). Does this extend to people's online projections, i.e. their gravatars? For example, was wearing this item that Stack Exchange gifted me with beged ish?

Monica with polymath hat

If so, does it apply only if the gravatar looks like a person, or does it also apply to animals and monsters?

Baby Seal Scimonster

What about if the gravatar has no obvious gender?

Isaac Moses

Does it matter if the gravatar, while ungendered, is already wearing things that belong to one gender?

Dave Y ez

Does it only matter if the gravatar was created 13 (or 12) years ago or longer?

This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.

  • This presumes that Gravatars are chayiv in Mitzvos, even if they reach a certain age. Also, Gravatar hasn’t even been out for 12 years (barely, but still).
    – DonielF
    Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 4:08
  • @DonielF the Gravatar site hasn't been out for 12 years, but the images people store there could be older. Also, I'm using "gravatar" to mean "those images we use on SE, whether they come from Gravatar or are identicons or were directly uploaded or whatever". Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 4:10

4 Answers 4


The Torah tells us (Devarim 22:5):

ולא ילבש גבר שמלת אשה
and a "GVR" shall not wear the clothing of a woman

GVR here refers to a GraVataR. Therefore, gravatars may not wear female clothing, which leads us to the conclusion that they must wear male clothing no matter their original gender (whether an animal, monster, male, female, or isaac).

However, there is an exception to this rule. The Rema writes in OC 696:8 that in Purim Torah season, it is not prohibited for a gravatar to wear women's clothing, since it is just for fun:

מה שנהגו ללבוש פרצופים בפורים, וגבר לובש שמלת אשה ואשה כלי גבר, אין איסור בדבר מאחר שאין מכוונין אלא לשמחה בעלמא.

There is an additional argument as to whether or not this applies during the yearly "Winter Bash" - see your local Stack Exchange employee.


It is allowed following to the hilchot avoda zara because to draw a human face is allowed without relief because the lack of relief transform the image in symbol. Consequently the beged Isha is also a symbol only and is allowed as in shir hashirim am Israel is symbolized by a woman.


Seemingly, this should be subject to our previous discussion regarding unisex clothing. As quoted there, YD 182:5 says that Lo Yilbash only applies to clothing distinctly worn by one gender.

As the Winter Bash hats are worn by all genders of avatars, the issur would not apply.


A gravatar is a globally recognized avatar; the laws of the former possibly follow the latter. With regards to the latter we find an opinion, describing the sin of Pharaoh’s staff workers, in a Midrash (BR 88:2) which states:

רבנן אמרי שר המשקים זבוב נמצא בתוך פיילי פוטירין שלו שר האופים צרור נמצא בתוך גלוסקין שלו... רבי אביתר אמר בקשו להזדווג לבתו של מלך נאמר כאן חטאו ונאמר להלן ואיך אעשה וגו' וחטאתי לאלהים

According to this opinion of the Midrash, both avatars (“רבי” multiple/plural) of the butler and baker assumed (“אמר” spoke/elicited) princess imagery and that was their sin.

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