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The Somewhat Litvshe Yid

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The belly button ring post

Appropos to my last post on the Kashrus of swimming pools here's my post on going to the mikve with your belly button/ear/nose/lip/eyebrow/other rings in.

Subject: navel piercing
Message: if a woman gets a navel ring:

1. is that considered a chatzitza, or can she dip with it on?

2. if technically allowed, would you know if the average mikve lady would still insist its removal?


Reply: 1) If she never takes it out, it's Ok to leave it. Must be tough going through the metal detectors at the airport.
2) ...joke...

We don't hold like that l'halacha. There are two main sources for not holding this way.
1) The Rem'a in the first sa'if in YD 198 says: לכתחלה לתטבול אפילו בדברים שאינן חוצצין (ואינן מכסים רוב גופה) גזירה אטו דברים החוצצין
Though I personally don't understand the Rem"a since that is mamish a gezairah l'gezairah, but that's the accepted p'sak.
2) This is based on whether or not women are makpid on their jewlery. The baseline for this is rings and whether or not women remove them when kneading dough. The Ra'avad (see Ta"Z 23, Be'er Heitev 24) holds that since most women take their rings off to knead dough, jewlery in general is Chotzetz. This comes out l'halacha in YD 198:23 where the Mechaber says any jewlery that is closely attached (which would be piercings, by definition) are chotzetz. (See also Chidushei R' Akiva Eiger 6 and 7 and Pischei Tshuva 13 and 14 which goes into detail about rings/jewlery with gems as compared to without).

B'dieved if a woman goes to mikveh with this or that type of piercing and already returned home, she has al mi l'smoch and doesn't have to go back to tovel.

My personal opinion on belly button rings will have to wait for another post.


  • remember he is sefardi and paskens acc. to the mechaber

    By Blogger anonymous, at Thursday, November 24, 2005 10:35:00 AM  

  • Yes. And the Mechaber says...jewlery that is tight against the skin is chotzetz.

    By Blogger Litvshe, at Thursday, November 24, 2005 12:48:00 PM  

  • remember he is a maverick and paskens accordingly (thats why i love him)

    By Blogger AMSHINOVER, at Thursday, November 24, 2005 7:08:00 PM  

  • "Yes. And the Mechaber says...jewlery that is tight against the skin is chotzetz."

    And R Akiva Eger brings the tashbetz who is m'chalek between nizmey ha'af and nizmey ha'ozen, and says that things that one never take out are not chotetz even by mehudakin, and that the m'chaber is only discussing ones that are taken out sometimes. He also brings a bach who says otherwise, but he has on what to rely for this is if he is not following rema.

    By Blogger anonymous, at Thursday, November 24, 2005 8:55:00 PM  

  • Remember, his outlook is that in addressing a community where taharas hamishpacha is not a given, that one should minimize the difficulty for women, and make it as easy as possible. I think that is a defensible position. Within that framework, I haven't found him relying often on kulos with no basis. That doesn't mean that everyone should rely on such kulot, just that he may (and IMO does) know his clientele and what works with them.

    By Blogger anonymous, at Thursday, November 24, 2005 11:38:00 PM  

  • It happens that I don't necessarily disagree with you on that point. With the belly button ring thing there certainly is what to be somech on for a kula. The swimming pool issue is much more serious, since that's based in the Mishnah and I can't see anywhere to be meikil. What I do see is the fact that the Abadi's are, in many cases, trying to be mavrericks specifically to be mavericks. That is, there are no caveat's with their p'sakim. They don't state that, yes, there is on who to base this kula, but if possible one should follow this opinion as it is the accepted minhag. Or as Rav Aviner always ends his tshuvas, when there is more then one way to learn the halocho: HaMeikil Al Mi L'Smoch, V'HaMachmir T'vo Alav Bracha.

    By Blogger Litvshe, at Sunday, November 27, 2005 10:25:00 AM  

  • I don't think he is being a maverick to be a maverick, he is aiming at a very different audience.

    My problem w/ his website is that the folks who answer questions are very cavalier, and they fail to put caveats in all their posts - they'll sometimes be very detailed, but other times toss off "that's ok" or something short, and the questioner won't get the list of caveats unless he searches the database. Too sloppy.

    By Blogger anonymous, at Monday, November 28, 2005 3:42:00 AM  

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