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Ask the rabbi Family and Society Modesty in Dress

Noserings and local appropriation

Rabbi Ari ShvatIyyar 2, 5772
658
Question
Dear Rabbi, I have putting some research into the issue of noserings as I am a BT but have had mine long before I became frum and am very attached to it. I have read about the machloket regarding them, and my question is more about the flexability of Dat haMakom. From where I stand now, I believe that if it does not make one stand out dramatically in one’s community, a nosering is not a problem. However, I do understand that in some communities it is seen as completely un-frum. Is it appropriate to take my nosering out in some places but leave it in in others? Just as I wouldn’t wear a floor-length skirt in some communities as I would in others. To what extent may I appropriate my dress if the dat hamakom varies substantially in different places I travel to? Many Thanks, Chodesh Tov, Liviah Sarah Landau
Answer
Shalom, First of all, I appreciate your honesty and idealism, for it's not easy to be willing to part with items that are dear, even if temporarily. Your suggestion is fine, and you may continue wearing a nose-ring in places where it doesn't stand out among the religious girls your age, and take it out in places where it isn't customary. I might just add, as food for thought, that eventually, when you decide that it's time to get married and settle down, you may want to take into account that the nose-ring may bother some guys who are otherwise, totally suitable and exactly what you are looking for in a soul-mate. They may be somewhat apprehensive just because of the connotation the nose-ring may have in their locale or yeshiva. It would be a shame to limit your suitable suitors, just because of a tiny external piece of gold, especially when you already do understand that in some places it's seen as problematic. Best Wishes, and please continue asking! With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat
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