Men and Jewellery

My son is turning 12 very soon and on his wish list amongst all the iPods and laptops and Nintendo DSs (dream on kiddo) was this “a Magen (Star Of) David on a chain.”

I have no problem with men wearing jewellery – my Dad wore at least two gold chains around his neck, and he wore a pinkie ring too – it suited him. My grandfather on the other hand didn’t even wear a wedding ring and would never have worn a necklace.

A certain male of my acquaintance has said to me that real men don’t wear jewellery. I think he is full of hot air in this regard. If the kid wants to wear a Magen David under his shirt, what’s wrong with that? My eldest bought himself one when we were in Israel 18 months ago. I bought him a long chain to go with it so he could tuck it under his tee-shirt when at school so as not to get into trouble. (Don’t go there, please!)

What are your thoughts?

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22 Comments

  1. batya from NJ says:

    Men wearing jewelery is not done among the men in my family except for my father-in-law who wears a wedding band. if my nearly 15 year old son wanted to wear a magen david chain, i would probably find it odd b/c it is not something that i am accustomed to for Orthodox men & boys but if you are cool with it, then that works. luckily for me, it’s never come up with my son & that works just fine for me :)!

  2. Jess says:

    Nothing wrong with it at all. When I get married (I pray I meet my own KoD ASAP) I would want my husband to wear a wedding ring. In fact, the Mishnah Brurah in discussing hand-washing laws specifically mentions a man taking off his ring, which would indicate to me that men in fact wore some sort of jewelry.
    My dad wears a Magen David around his neck, he got it when we were in Israel for my bat-mitzvah and it means a lot to him to wear it.
    As far as it being “feminine,” men’s jewelry and women’s jewelry are made differently, you can tell the difference. There is no way of mistaking a magen david or ring or chain or any other jewelry that a man may wear for “women’s jewelry”

  3. Chanief says:

    I think you’re right about it. If you’re comfortable and he (obviously) is, then let him.

  4. KoD says:

    QoH, very nice saying that your beloved is “full of hot air.” :-)

  5. Baila says:

    My husband used to wear a “chai” necklace given to him by his grandfather for his bar mitzvah. I didn’t like it, not because of religious reasons, but because I thought it looked kind of trashy. But it certainly wasn’t an issue I would fight over.

    I’d let the kid be. Pick your battles, my mom always said.

  6. Gitty Levi says:

    I dunno, my husband wore one while we were dating but I made him take it off after we got married. I don’t like the look of it. I kinda thought he looked a little “pimpy”. Please don’t kill me.

  7. Ari says:

    I like that boy! Not afraid to do his own thing. Don’t discourage it, but if you aren’t enthralled with the idea of a necklace, you might suggest magen dovid cufflinks, where it would be visible for compliments and his own enjoyment. You might also suggest a discreet bracelet of some sort that could blend in next to his watch.

  8. Tuvia says:

    I have worn a Chai or Magen David almost my entire life. Chavi brought me a Chai back from Israel in 2008, and I have worn it everyday since

    • HSaboMilner says:

      and it does look good on you, I will say!

      • Chaviva says:

        Although, sometimes it’s just too blingy. Especially with the REALLY LONG chain he got for it. With the kippah and tzitzit out and the chain, I sometimes feel like it’s too much. Girls at the shul call him “man jewelry.” He looks *so* Jersey sometimes!

        I dig the necklace, but typically under the clothes.

        LOVE YOU TUVIA!

  9. Z! says:

    I think that it is important for a child to express their individuality and spiritually in many different ways. This is an easy and somewhat private, way for him to connect to Judaism. I am all for it!
    There are some really handsome pieces out there. May he wear it in good health!

    That being said- my hubby wouldn’t be caught dead in a necklace and thinks it’s “weird”! LOL!

  10. I’m Dominican. If you’re not wearing gold, I think they revoke your membership. doesn’t matter if you’re male or female!

  11. don stugots says:

    everyone is different. it has nothing to do with being a “real man” or not.

    Sammy Davis Jr and Mr T wore LOTS of chains and such and they were real men.

    I do not wear any, not even a wedding ring. it doesnt make me more of a man then them.

    its just like someone how likes to wear leather and someone that doesnt.

  12. Lion of Zion says:

    i don’t see anything wrong with men wearing (masucline) jewelry (i did), but i’m use to it because i went to school for 12 years with sephardim

    “A certain male of my acquaintance has said to me that real men don’t wear jewellery. ”

    i was thinking along with don. try telling this to mr. t, who wore (wears?) more jewelry around his neck (including a mogen dovid iirc) than most men can lift in their arms

    “I bought him a long chain to go with it so he could tuck it under his tee-shirt when at school so as not to get into trouble. (Don’t go there, please!)”

    i definately want to go there

  13. Talia says:

    So… funny I should see this today… I was just writing a blog about wedding jewelry the other day. Well… I mean it wasn’t ABOUT wedding jewelry but I was talking about how is Chabad, women don’t get an engagement ring. They will get a necklace or watch so it isn’t viewed as a wedding right there when the ring is given. And that traditionally, in Judaism, we don’t have a double ring ceremony because a husband has to give his wife a gift that is worth something and if a kallah gives a ring back to her chosson, it could appear that the refused the gift or it is nullified with an even exchange. What is even more fascinating is that it is now minhag to give a diamon engagement ring to the kallah AFTER the wedding so she looks comparable to her secular peers.

    Anyway, sorry for the ramble. I don’t think it is wrong for a guy to wear a necklace. Both my brother and father wear them under there shirts (near their hearts/ tallit katan). My father’s is a gold dogtag like piece that my brother and I were told as children would go to us when he passed. We were to break it in half along the perforation and each wear half. My broth wears two. One chain has our grandmother’s wedding ring on it and the other has a beautiful piece that our grandfather designed for his synagogue. It says Kidoshim T’hiu, which is our family Torah portion.

    Clearly these all have a lot of meaning to them but you wouldn’t know they were wearing anything. It should be his personal choice. If he feels that connection then go ahead. There really isn’t a stigma any longer with men and jewelry… but I could do without the giant, bling-blingy stuff… :)

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