Tradescantia Zebrina .:. The Wandering Jew

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tales and opinions of the wandering Jew

Bad ears, bad!

On the bus today, a chasidic man put his hand on my elbow to stop me from passing down the aisle towards the empty seats. He pointed at me, then at his ears, then at me, and said tasur (forbidden)! He was referring to my earrings. I wasn’t in the mood for a debate, nor was I feeling confident in my rudimentary Hebrew, so I just said lo, lo… (no, no…) and walked away. The amazing part was that he actually turned around and sat there slowly shaking his head and glaring at me. Wow.

This isn’t the first time frum/haredi/hasidic men have commented on my earrings. There was the rabbi in Montreal who told me that I really ought to take them out, that clearly I had never studied Torah if I thought it was okay to wear them. There were the men who stopped me at the rest stop along the interstate in NY to question how I could wear a kippah, tzitzit, and have earrings too. (I’ve actually been questioned at rest stops along the I-87 and I-89 on several occasions.) There was the grandfather of an acquaintance who suggested I shouldn’t return to their shul until the earrings were out (his wife tried to disagree, saying that, sure, I was wrong in wearing earrings, but at least I wore tzitzit; grandpa didn’t buy that). … But this was the first time someone put so much effort into it, even after I’d walked away.

I’m going to come back to this post, hopefully discussing the various teshuvot (responsa; opinion papers on issues relating to Jewish law) that I’ve found over the years that deal with piercings and body modification (body piercings, tattoos, branding, intentional scarring, etc).

שבת שלום

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Filed under: israel, judaism

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