Transgender Questions

Question

What are the Jewish laws for transgender people? Are they considered according to Halacha to be their birth or assumed gender? In what gender’s side of a synagogue do they sit? Which gender’s ritual laws are they required to follow? Does a woman who became a man put on tefillin? Is a man who became a woman exempt? What gender person is one supposed to marry? Must a man who became a woman dress according to modesty laws of women? Is there a problem seeing members of one’s assumed gender dressed immodestly or having members of one’s assumed gender seeing one dressed immodestly? Is there a problem being isolated with members of one’s birth or assumed gender? Must one refrain from physical contact with members of one’s birth or assumed gender? How are these issues addressed?

2 months

Answers

  1. Transgenderism is a very sensitive subject. While I am not belittling the difficulties that a transgender person faces, Judaism believes that both the body and the soul belong to God and that they have been placed together by God for the time that they spend in this world. That means that the body and the soul of each person has been Divinely matched to allow us all to reach our potential. God gives each and every one of us the tools that we need to be able to reach the highest levels of connection to Him and for us to be able to make the greatest impact that we can.

    Due to the extreme sensitivity of the issue the Rabbi of each community should be consulted as to what the correct thing to do is in each individual situation.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team