I maintain a long list of Google Alerts which pepper my inbox with mostly useless and easily ignored press releases, news clippings and blog posts on a variety of topics that line up with the curious contours of my mind. One of them has to do with the keywords “Cross Dressing”. 99% of what comes across the transom takes the form of the latest Cross Dressing Bank Robber fiasco, or a transparent traffic fishing tactic from somebody in the business of aggregating clicks for bucks, but every now and then something cute and relevant shows up.
Today, therefore, I direct your attention to The Daily Torah Thought Blog where our thoughtful correspondent Mordecai went out of his way to find a justification for Cross Dressing during the always happy and madcap season of Purim. Purim dates to Persian times and commemorates a positive turn of the grinding gears of history for the Tribes of Israel. Food and drink and general license apparently were very much the vogue amongst celebrants of antiquity, and this remains true for contemporaries. It seems as though this license extended from time to time to men costuming themselves as women.
There must have been a fair amount of this class of Purim oriented Cress Dressing carry on. Enough at least to to move respected 15th Century Italian Rabbi and scholar on matters Talmudic, R’Yehudah Mintz to scratch out a word or two on the matter:
"So, too, in our case, one does not intend to wear this for immorality, but rather to enhance the joy of Purim."
I delight in seeing the reference to joy here, front and center, and a considered opinion that our shared interests did not then breach any reasonable standards of morality. I concur wholeheartedly.
For those of you in need of a hall pass with the stamp of approval from at least one faith tradition, I then urge you to start planning an outing on or around February 28. If your behavior raises any eyebrows, just smile, look ‘em in the eye and wish them a Happy Purim.
And for other friends here who cannot wait the couple of weeks, perhaps, like me, you will enjoy a little Mardi Gras fun tomorrow en femme.