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    Cross-dressing – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Pantomimes are a well-known feature of the end of year entertainment scene. Is it permitted for Jews to attend them since they have men dressing as women and women as men?

    A. The rule in the Torah (Deut. 22:5) is that men must not wear women’s garments and vice-versa. However, Moses Isserles in the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayyim 696:8) says it is permitted on Purim “since the intention is purely for fun”. Hence when there is no evidence of any immoral purpose, as in a pantomime, and everyone is well aware that the principal boy is a girl and the dame is a man and the cross-dressing is purely for fun, there does not seem to be a problem.

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