Women must not wear men's clothing

The Literal Commandment

A woman shall not wear man's clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman's clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 22:5)

 

The literal commandment is that women should not put on (i.e. wear) men's clothing.

It is one of only about two dozen or so things that G-d calls an abomination.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

Pictures of Messiah

This commandment indicates that we should not depart from the way G-d has ordered His creation. Birds do not put on scales and attempt to be fish. Snakes do not put on fur and attempt to be bears. This commandment pictures Messiah's complete obedience to G-d's order for creation.

Even in His greatest grief (Matthew 26:38) He sought the Father's will:

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will." (Matthew 26:39)

 

Messiah knew His role in Creation and stood firm even in the face of execution to remain in that role and perform His work.

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

This commandment is directed at women and is not applicable to Messiah.

 

Traditional Observance

This commandment is observed in various ways by different sects.

Some sects simply require that women not wear men's clothes (hence different button and zipper patterns between women's and men's clothing) focusing on the intended audience of the clothing when it was made.

Some sects require that women wear dresses and men wear pants focusing on the form of the clothing and with which sex it is traditionally associated.

Targum Onkelos (an Aramaic translation of Scripture dating to around the first century CE) renders this commandment as "A weapon of a man shall not be on a woman." This is culturally understood to mean "those things which adorn a man should not be upon a woman."

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment today and women should not wear men's clothing.

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 71
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 1
  • Mishneh Torah Book Knowledge
  • Mishneh Torah Category 4- Idolatry and Gentile Customs
  • Reference Deuteronomy 22:5
  • Scripture Book Deuteronomy
  • Chapter 22
  • Verse 5
  • English A woman shall not wear man's clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman's clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.
  • Hebrew ה לֹא-יִהְיֶה כְלִי-גֶבֶר עַל-אִשָּׁה, וְלֹא-יִלְבַּשׁ גֶּבֶר שִׂמְלַת אִשָּׁה: כִּי תוֹעֲבַת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, כָּל-עֹשֵׂה אֵלֶּה. {פ}
  • Greek 5 Οὐκ ἔσται σκεύη ἀνδρὸς ἐπὶ γυναικί, οὐδὲ μὴ ἐνδύσηται ἀνὴρ στολὴν γυναικείαν, ὅτι βδέλυγμα κυρίῳ τῷ θεῷ σού ἐστιν πᾶς ποιῶν ταῦτα.
  • Parashah 49- Ki Tetze
  • Positive/Negative Negative
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 542
  • Sef. Hach. Command That a woman is not to wear a man's finery
  • Category Personal Appearance
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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