Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach: Piercing Ears of Young Girls


rav-shlomo-zalman-auerbachA rov‘s daughter wanted to pierce her ears, but her father was uncomfortable with the idea. However, he agreed that they would go to Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, the renowned posek hador, and do whatever he says. The father went to the home of Rav Shlomo Zalman to pose the question and share his concerns. Rav Shlomo Zalman did not understand the question. He said, “What is the shailah? By us, we give the boys a bris milah and pierce the girls’ ears.”  (Aleihu Lo Yibol, YD 34)

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  1. the story is about R. Aharon Lichtenstein, who repeated it at a shloshim for RSZA ztl. BUT, it was his daughter, not R. Lichtenstein who accompanied her father and asked the question at the age of 12. RSZA spoke with her and said that he has no precise reason why her father’s concern about unnecessary chavalah is incorrect; however, girls traditionally had pierced ears. There is much to learn from the accurate version of the story both about how a Gadol treated a young girl with serious attention and respect one accords to a mimetic tradition.

  2. This whole thing doesn’t make sense

    The Torah clearly describes how our holy mothers wore ear rings and nose rings and other such jewelry (at ALL ages – particularly around marriageable age: 12yo and under)

    Let’s focus on real issues and learn from the stories of our Rabbis about how to stop snobbery in the frum world which leads to so many other problems.

    Let’s learn how each and every Jew is a holy image of G-d whatever the level of practice of Yiddishkeit he is on and find a mutual respect.


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