Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Ear piercing plug

28 February, 2011

Question:

I recently got an ear piercing known as a plug, they come in different sizes but mine is small and discrete not gaudy. Although it looks rather like a regular earring it is in fact the same width all the way through the middle but somewhat flared at the ends, that is to say the ear heals around it and as a result removal is not easy. Now my question is concerning Mikva-use, I am under the assumption that the Halacha considers anything which is on the body 30 days, and which is not planned to be removed to be a part of the body. So am I correct in presuming that it should not pose a chatzitza problem for the purposes of tevilah?

Here is a picture from the net of what one looks like:
http://www.freshtrends.com/mas_assets/full/OR-24.jpg

Mine is an 8 Gauge, the smallest size
The plug does not hug my ear and is longer than my ear lobe is thick.


Answer:

There is a range of opinions as to how long a substance needs to be on the body before it is considered permanent.  Regardless, there is an extensive halachic literature discussing earrings and chatzitzah, also with a range of opinions.  Common practice nowadays is not to put in a plug such as this, which cannot be easily removed.  After the fact, when you already have an earring such as you describe, and for as long as you have no plans to remove it, you may immerse with it.  Prior to each immersion, you should clean the ear around it very well and make sure the plug is not adhering to skin outside of the piercing hole in which it is embedded. 


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