7 of the Second Month 5768
I'm talking about Jewish men, and their wedding bands. There isn't anything in the LEAST bit Jewish about men wearing wedding bands.
Oh, I can hear it now....
"But I CHOOSE to wear a wedding band. My wife doesn't make me. I like it."
"I want to fit in, and not look out of place [in the U. S.]"
Fine. You wanna wear your precious wedding bands? Do NOT try to pretend that it is something Jewish. Be honest with yourselves.
It is a goyshe custom.
"Oh, but Ya'aqov, you don't understand. You're not married. When you find the right woman, and she wants you to wear a wedding band, you will realize it is small compromise to make, and you'll end up appreciating the custom in the long-run anyway...(blah, blah, blah)"
Oh, I understand alright. I understand that if I meet a woman who wants her husband to wear a wedding band, I will know for certain that she is NOT the right woman for me.
OK. Fine. You in hu"tz la'Aretz (outside of Israel), due to the goyshe influences surrounding you (some assimilationist "rabbis" included), you are hopeless cases,...for now.
You here in Israel, what's your excuse?
"What's the problem? It's no big deal. It lets everyone else know that I'm married. What's wrong with showing pride in my marriage?"
Oh, puh-leaze! Why do you have to "show pride" in the fact that you're married, for goodness sakes?
Look, Ya'aqov. You're just causing problems. Everyone knows that 'Shalom Bayis" means to listen to your wife, just like Avraham listened to Sarah."
Um,...how 'bout "NO," Scott.... It doesn't. Furthermore, the next time there's an issue of you having to decide whether to throw out your concubine and her some because he's a bad influence on your wife's son, AND HaShem personally tells you to listen to your wife, then, yeah, I highly recommend that you listen to your wife, and do exactly what she says.
However, if your wife wants you follow a goyshe practice, then, no, I highly recommend that you do not listen to her.
I mean, really, if you're married to a woman who's going to cause you THAT much of a problem over a wedding band, then you may want to take a serious look at what's REALLY going on in your marriage.
After all, you want to live a Jewish life, and raise your children with a proper Jewish education, right?
Then what does a wedding band have to do with that?
"But, my wedding band makes me feel spiritually connected to my wife...."
(serious eye rolling)
Spiritually connected? I guess you're not THAT spiritually connected, if need a material object to assist you. Hey, why don't you try talking to her [and listening] once in a while? Also, see above for my previous response.
And what about all of the other totally non-Jews practices in Israel?
Oh, don't worry. I intend to tackle those, too,...all in due time.
Now, let's see if "Haredi" men come out of the wood work and support me on this one.
I doubt it.
For more on this issue, see the t'shuvah (responsum) of Rabbi David Bar-Hayim.