Soc.Culture.Jewish Newsgroups
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

[SCJ FAQ Logo]
< Q21.10.1 TOC Q21.10.3 >

Question 21.10.2:
Growing Older: What other forms of body modification are allowed? Tattoos? Earrings?


In general, Judaism does not approve of the purposeful damaging of the body or the making of permanent marks. Thus, tattoos, branding, and the punching of holes through the body are not generally accepted.

Earrings are a special case. The Torah does record that wearing an earring in the upper cartilage of the ear is a mark of slavery, and thus is not allowed. Wearing an earring in the fleshy lobe of the ear has a long history and has been allowed, but only for women. There is also a history of Haredi Jews wearing earrings, and there are records of Chassidic Jews wearing earrings to prevent or cure poor eyesight.

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at

[Prev ?]
[Sect Index]
[Next ?]
[Prev Sect]
[Global Index]
[Reading Lists]

© (c) 1993-2004 Daniel P. Faigin <>