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May a Jewish Orthodox wife stop wearing her wedding ring after marriage? Can she specify that she will not wear it untill she has children?

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    Martin, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for bringing your question here! I hope you'll get good answers to your question, and that you'll also look around and find other information of interest, perhaps starting among our hundreds of other marriage questions. Please consider registering your account, to enable more site features, including voting. – Isaac Moses Jun 22 '17 at 17:59
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    Why must she ever wear a ring? I'm confused. What if she doesn't even have a wedding ring? – Double AA Jun 22 '17 at 18:08
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For a good review of the significance of the wedding ring in Judaism, I recommend the section entitled "The Marriage Ring" of the book The Jewish Way in Love & Marriage, by R' Maurice Lamm. As R' Lamm explains, the technical purpose of the wedding ring is to serve as part of the binding transaction that establishes the marriage.

While there's plenty of literature on the significance of using a ring, in particular, for this purpose, there's no requirement in Jewish Law for the wife to actually wear the ring;1 all she needs to do is to accept it for the purpose of marriage at the wedding itself.


1. At least, there isn't one mentioned in this piece by R' Lamm, and there isn't one that I've ever heard of in my 3+ decades as an observant Jew.

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    Heck, she could even give it back to her husband afterwards. – Daniel Jun 22 '17 at 20:01
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Halachically speaking a person does not have to use a ring for kiddushin (thus the woman need not wear it). Additionally, after the ceremony is over, the wife does not have to keep whatever object that she was given (unlike the kesuvah).

However, it has become a standard custom in our society for the wife to wear a wedding ring as a sign that she is married. On the other hand, there are times when a woman (or man) would not wear a ring for practical reasons. As an example, consider someone who deals with delicate machinery or some other situation in which wearing metal could be dangerous.

What does need to be considered would be if people think that she is not married and treat her as an unmarried woman. Also if she is seen with her husband (acting as a wife), it could be a matter of mar'is ayin. If she does stop wearing the ring, people may think that the marriage is in trouble or, chas veshalom, even that they have been divorced.

Laws of the Ring

According to most poskim, it is permitted to effect Kiddushin with a borrowed ring if the person you are borrowing it from knows that you’re using it for Kiddushin.17 However, to avoid a dispute one should borrow the ring from the third party as a matana al menat lhachzir (a gift given on condition that it is later returned).18

If the ring gets lost, it is possible to do the Kiddushin with a coin.19

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    The ideas you've presented about there being a standard for women to wear wedding rings, that people set that aside for practical purposes, and the possibility of an appearance issue all make intuitive sense and fit with general practices and considerations in contemporary Western society. Do you have any reason to believe (e.g. sources) that these ideas are based on Jewish tradition? – Isaac Moses Jun 22 '17 at 19:01
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    @IsaacMoses The only halacha I know of is that the ring (or other object) just has to be available at the time she accepts it. IIRC it does not have to stay in her possession any time after that. – sabbahillel Jun 23 '17 at 23:41
  • @IsaacMoses yes, the saifer hachinuch respected a book quoted by the commentaries on the shuchchan aruch (see my answer) – hazoriz Jun 24 '17 at 0:00
  • @Sabbahilel Would Maris ayin really apply here? Besides the question whether Maris ayin can be extended beyond whatevers in the gemara, what exactly would "acting like a wife" be? And what issur is there that people think they're doing? – Orion Jul 31 '18 at 17:45
  • @Orion Acting like a wife could include holding hands in public. Also if people see that they are living together as man and wife but think that they are not married. – sabbahillel Jul 31 '18 at 18:42
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the only possible problem that comes to mind in stopping to wear it is that she already started to do it and might have done it with the plans to continue to do it (similar to the case of washing the whole hand see halacha 8 here

It is, however, correct to stipulate that one is not accepting this practice as an obligation, but rather as a voluntary act. Thus if on a given occasion, he does not have sufficient water, he need not observe this stringency as is his ordinary practice. Indeed, it is proper to make a similar stipulation regarding all stridencies that a person desires to accept upon himself.

and the end of halacha 13 here) (as the Saifer Hachinuch suggests her to do
Mitzva 552

...Israel is accustomed to preform the betrothal with a ring, so that it be a constant commemoration on her hand)

so to stop wearing it she might needs to nullify the possible vow by a Rav

it seems that by specifying that she will not wear it until she has children
she might be making another vow/oath which is not advisable.

PS obviously if her husband wants her to wear it, it is good for her to continue to wear it, even if by law she is not obligated to do so (see other answers), see halacha 20 here and end of halacha EH 69:7 here

PPS if it is bothering her for example when she is kneading the dough obviously she can take it off
see halacha 7 here

if the person is particular about removing the ring at times, e.g., the ring has a precious stone and he is careful about removing the ring before washing so that the water does not soil it. Women are careful to remove even a ring that does not have a precious stone when kneading dough.

  • Is this a stringency though? What is she being stringent on? – Orion Jul 31 '18 at 17:47
  • @Orion she is folowing the opinion of the minority – hazoriz Jul 31 '18 at 17:48
  • What minority are your talking about? – Orion Aug 2 '18 at 16:25
  • @Orion the opinion of the Saifer Hachinuch – hazoriz Aug 2 '18 at 16:27
  • That's not a minority opinion. That's talking about a general minhag to use a ring when getting married. Not a minhag to always wear it. Basically everyone uses a ring during marriage but not everyone wears it. Besides he says people are נוהג to. Doesn't neccesarily mean a binding minhag. – Orion Aug 2 '18 at 16:37
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As for the accepted presentation of a ring at the time of Kedushin, originally any item with a value of at least one PRUTA was the norm. A ring probably became the prefered item was because it can be worn, while performing many other household tasks. However in today's world, probably a more practical item would be a wrist watch. Why? so that the wife knows how to schedule her day in order to get the meals on the table at the proper time. But there is no real obligation to actually wear the gift used at the time of Kidushin.

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