Should Married Men Wear a Ring?

Tzohar Rabbis Head issues halachic favoring rings at workplace. Objectors say the custom is un-Jewish and rings are feminine.

Gil Ronen ,

Wedding ring (illustration)
Wedding ring (illustration)

Should married Jewish men wear a wedding ring? The matter is a controversial one, with many rabbis objecting in the grounds that wedding rings are a non-Jewish custom that does not originally belong in the wedding chuppah ceremony anyway, and that rings are feminine jewelry and thus forbidden to men.

However, Rabbi David Stav, who heads the liberal Orthodox Tzohar Rabbis organization, has penned an article in the Tzomet Institute's annual periodical, Tchumin, favoring the custom. The article is cited in Wednesday's Israel Hayom.

The rabbi admits that rings for men are “not necessary” in some communities, and therefore, the custom does not belong in those communities, but adds that “among those who go to study and work in places that are mixed for men and women, it is right and proper to make it a custom, that they wear the ring on their finger to remind them and their environment of their commitment to their wives, and to avoid misunderstandings and unpleasantness.”

If a wife asks her husband to wear a wedding ring, adds Rabbi Stav, he should do so “joyfully and willingly.”

The rabbi explains that although the custom is not a Jewish one, there is no reason not to adopt a Gentile custom when it serves a purpose. He noted that many rabbis even allow the bride to give the groom a ring in the chuppah ceremony.