Wedding rings and Orthodox Jews

I was recently at a sheva brachos that was also attended by JewishCube. We got to talking about personal and spousal preferences to Orthodox Jewish males wearing wedding rings. I know that in the more yeshivish crowd, wedding rings are practically unheard of, whereas in the more modern orthodox crowd, it is pretty common. I don’t really consider myself to be in either of these categories, but I do not wear a wedding ring. Nor does anyone in my immediate family. I was curious as to the background of the wedding ring and how the practice came about. With women, it obviously goes back several thousand years. This is how Jews married from the beginning.

The Wikipedia article on wedding rings gives some interesting background. According to the article, the double-ring ceremony was started in the late 19th century by jewelers as a marketing tool. If everyone would do a double-ring ceremony, the jewelers would get more business. But it never became widespread until after the Great Depression. By 1940, double-ring ceremonies made up “80% of all weddings as opposed to 15% before the Depression.”

So this really is a recent phenomenon amongst non-Jews, and even more so, amongst Jews.

After doing a quick search on the subject, I came across this thread on a discussion board. It says there that according to R’ Moshe in Even Ha’Ezer 3:18 and Even Ha’Ezer 4:32, giving a ring under the chuppah or shortly thereafter should not be done. However, “even though perhaps it is repugnant for a God fearing person, one apparently should not forbid it in my humble opinion.”

What it boils down to, in my opinion, is personal preference.


9 Responses to “Wedding rings and Orthodox Jews”

  1. bots member Says:

    I don’t see why men wearing a wedding ring has to be a religious issue. I wear a ring and I didn’t have a double ring ceremony. I just put it on when I got to the yichud room. I wear it because I think it’s a nice symbol of my bond with my wife and it acts as a constant reminder that I am married which makes me think about my wife which in turn makes me feel good.

  2. aishel Says:

    I’m not trying to make it into a religious issue, in fact, all I was saying is that it is NOT a religious issue, and its all a matter of personal preference.

  3. bots member Says:

    Sorry, I wasn’t trying to imply that you were making into an issue, but I do think that in the wider world of opinion it is generally viewed as a religious issue. That’s why you see very few right-wing men wearing them and much more MO-type men wearing weddings bands. When people discuss it they invariably bring up the R’ Moshe opinion which basically says you can do what you want but if you decide to wear one you’re a bum.

  4. Rebecca Says:

    For single people it definitely helps to know who among the men is married and when they don’t wear wedding rings, it makes the process all the more challenging. People should still go with their preference, but it does eliminate the potential for awkward questions.

  5. Jewbou Says:

    I thought about getting a wedding ring so women in law school would know I was married. I never got one, and the funny part is that while I had never had a problem at school, I got hit on at frum wedding in New York.

  6. Erica Says:

    “I don’t see why men wearing a wedding ring has to be a religious issue.”

    Everything is a religious issue. If this wasn’t, Rav Moshe wouldn’t have to say anything about the subject. If tying your shoes is a religious issue then I don’t see why this is any different.

  7. aishel Says:

    Erica, welcome. You’re right. Perhaps a better way to phrase it would be, what is the religious hashkafah (outlook) on men wearing wedding rings?

  8. SephardiLady Says:

    I have heard it said that a certain RY (can’t remember who) specifically recommends a wedding band for married men who work in certain environments that are highly co-ed, like doctors in hospitals.

    While some make this issue into a religious issue, I’d say it borders more on social lines and is probably akin to wearing tuxes at weddings.

  9. anon Says:

    There is a guy who started wearing a ring while attending college. He always said that he got hit on by women much more when he had the ring than when he did not.

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