Ear piercing plug
28 February, 2011
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:
Mine is an 8 Gauge, the smallest size
The plug does not hug my ear and is longer than my ear lobe is thick.
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.
This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.
For further questions or comments:
The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.
Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under yoatzot.org.