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soc.culture.jewish FAQ: Jewish Childrearing Related Questions (12/12)
Section - Question 21.10.2: Growing Older: What other forms of body modification are allowed? Tattoos? Earrings?

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                                  Answer:
   
   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.

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