Cross dressing for plays and for fun

Cross dressing out of jest and fun/Purim/Chasana:[1]
It is accustomed on Purim [and by Chasunas[2]] to allow males to wear the clothing of females and vice versa.[3] [However many Poskim[4] challenge this custom[5] and thus practically one is not to do so. Some write it is to be avoided even by children.[6] If it is recognizable that the person is a man or woman, and he or she merely wears a single clothing of the opposite gender, there is room to be lenient.[7] The Rebbe in one letter expressed contempt for those who cross-dress for playful purposes.[8]]

May children cross dress for a skit, play and the other purposes of the like?
This matter is subject to the same dispute mentioned regarding cross-dressing on Purim or for a wedding. Practically, if it is recognizable that the person is a man or woman, and he or she merely wears a single clothing of the opposite gender, there is room to be lenient.[9] Nonetheless, the Rebbe expressed contempt for children who cross-dress for school plays and the like.[10]

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[1] Rama 696/8; Mahriy Mintz 16; Hisorerus Teshuvah 500

[2] Yireim 96, brought in Taz Yoreh Deah 182/4; Shach 182/7

[3] The reason and other opinions: This is not forbidden due to the cross-dressing prohibition as the intent is for mere joy [as opposed to promiscuity]. Nevertheless, according to some opinions, there remains a prohibition for a man to wear women’s clothing, or vice versa, even in such a case. Practically the custom is like the lenient opinion. [Rama ibid]

[4] Bach brought in Taz Yoreh Deah 182/4 [Taz concludes “One who is stringent is blessed”]; Shach 182/7; Yireim 96; Teshuvas Harambam; Shalah; Kneses Hagedola; M”B 696/30; Kisei Eliyahu 696/3; Birkeiy Yosef 696/13 and Yoreh Deah 182/3; Beis Oved 696/10; Kaf Hachaim 696/57; Aruch Hashulchan 696/12

[5] The reason: As the allowance to wear clothing of the opposite gender for mere playfulness is only in a case that one does not appear like the opposite gender, being that he/she remains wearing clothing of also his/her gender. [See Shach ibid and Atzei Levona 182]

[6] Piskeiy Teshuvos 696/14; Nitei Gavriel 75/7

[7] P”M 696 M”Z 4; M”B 696/30 in name of P”M; Implication of Shach 182/7 as explained in Atzei Levona

[8] Igros Kodesh 10/238, printed in Shulchan Menachem 5/56

[9] P”M 696 M”Z 4; M”B 696/30 in name of P”M; Implication of Shach 182/7 as explained in Atzei Levona

[10] Igros Kodesh 10/238, printed in Shulchan Menachem 5/56

 

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