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Rabbi Krakowski: Parshas Ki Seitzei

Among the many Mitzvos of this week’s Sedra is the command that a man should not wear a woman’s garb nor should a woman wear a man’s garb. The Torah ends the description of this mitzva by adding that it is an abomination to Hashem for someone to do so.

Rashi explains that the reason the wearing of garments of the opposite gender is revolting to Hashem is because such acts are often connected to an intent of committing inappropriate acts.

In modern day society there are many garments that were once worn only by males or only by females but having been adopted by both without distinction have become gender neutral. In such situations wearing the opposite gender’s garment would seem somewhat ok and definitely not ‘repulsive to Hashem’. How is it that Rashi attempts to explain this mitzva by giving a reason that doesn’t always apply?

Men and women are very similar to one another. Despite all these similarities, however, they are also distinctly different from each other. As such, most of what men and women do is intended for each gender and for its particular needs.

Since each gender’s garments are custom-tailored to each one’s needs, switching them around would by default draw attention to these very differences. This act of drawing attention isn’t tznius and can only result in people committing inappropriate acts.

Everything in our world has its place but when we tamper with that appropriate order we run the risk of perverting those very roles.

We are now well into Elul with Rosh Hashana rapidly approaching. Perhaps now is a time to evaluate whether we are fulfilling our roles or whether we are attempting to fulfill the role of someone else.

A very warm Good Shabbos, Rabbi Y. Dov Krakowski

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