Why Does Judaism Forbid Tattoos?

A Man in White Shirt Doing a Tattoo

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The word “tattoo” comes from the Tahitian word “tatau” which means “to mark something.” Tattoos have been around for centuries, with different cultures having unique ways of creating them. In some cultures, tattoos were seen as a way to mark someone as belonging to a specific tribe or group. In others, they were seen as a form of art or self-expression.

However, in Judaism, tattoos are generally forbidden. This is because the Torah (the Jewish holy book) specifically prohibits them. Leviticus 19:28, it says, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.”

This commandment is taken very seriously by many Jews, and they believe it should not be violated. There are a few different reasons why Judaism forbids tattoos.

First, it is seen as a form of self-mutilation. The Torah prohibits any kind of self-harm, and tattoos are considered to be harmful to the body.

Second, tattoos are permanent. They are meant to be permanent markings on the body, and this goes against the Jewish belief that the body is a holy vessel that should not be marred or damaged in any way.

Third, tattoos can be associated with paganism and idolatry. In the past, many people who worshipped false gods would get tattoos of their deities to show their devotion.

What is the Jewish history of tattoos and body art?

The history of Judaism and tattoos is a long and complicated one. For many centuries, Jews have been banned from getting tattoos by the rabbinical authorities. This ban was first put in place in the year 1290 by Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, also known as Maimonides.

In the 16th century, the ban was lifted for a short period of time. During this time, some Jews did get tattoos, usually as a way to show their faith or devotion to Judaism. However, the ban was quickly reinstated and has been in place.

Despite the ban, there are still some Jews who choose to get tattoos. This is usually done as a form of rebellion against the rabbinical authorities or as a way to express their individualism. In recent years, there has been a growing movement of Jews who are getting tattoos as a way to connect with their heritage and culture.

Can Jewish people bury with tattoos?

Jewish people can bury with tattoos. While Judaism generally forbids tattoos, this prohibition is not seen as so severe that it would prevent someone from being buried in a Jewish cemetery. This is because the primary purpose of burial is to return the body to the earth, and tattoos do not interfere with this process.

What did the bible think about tattoos?

The bible does not explicitly mention tattoos, but it does prohibit self-harm and damaging the body in Leviticus 19:28. This commandment is taken very seriously by many Jews, and they believe it should not be violated. There are a few different reasons why Judaism forbids tattoos.

What do rabbis think about tattoos?

There is no one answer to this question, as rabbis can have different opinions. Some rabbis may believe that tattoos are permissible if they are for religious reasons, while others may believe that all tattoos are forbidden. Ultimately, it is up to each individual rabbi to decide what they believe about tattoos.

What does Judaism think about ear piercing?

Judaism does not explicitly forbid ear piercing, but it is generally seen as a form of self-mutilation and therefore discouraged. This is because the Torah prohibits any kind of self-harm, and tattoos are considered to be harmful to the body.

What does Judaism think about cosmetic surgery?

There is no one answer to this question, as rabbis can have different opinions. Some rabbis may believe that cosmetic surgery is permissible for religious reasons, while others may believe that all cosmetic surgery is forbidden. Ultimately, it is up to each individual rabbi to decide what they believe about cosmetic surgery.

Do any Jews have tattoos?

Yes, some Jews do have tattoos. While Judaism generally forbids tattoos, this prohibition is not seen as so severe that it would prevent someone from getting one. This is because the primary purpose of Judaism is to worship God and live a moral life, not to have a perfect body.

What does the Talmud say about tattoos?

The Talmud is a collection of rabbinic writings that discuss Jewish law and tradition. There is no explicit mention of tattoos in the Talmud, but it does discuss the prohibition against self-harm. In general, the Talmud takes a dim view of tattoos, as they are seen as permanent markings on the body that can be associated with paganism and idolatry.

Let me sum it up for you (as a Jew)

Judaism generally forbids tattoos because they are seen as a form of self-mutilation, they are permanent, and they can be associated with paganism and idolatry. However, this prohibition is not seen as so severe that it would prevent someone from being buried in a Jewish cemetery. Ultimately, it is up to each individual rabbi to decide what they believe about tattoos.

Shmulik Dorinbaum

Shmulik Dorinbaum

A musician, a father, a former cancer person, not a tattoo artist, but a tattooed person indeed.