Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

According to the gemara in Makkos 21a, it seems that the biblical prohibition of tattoos only extends to tattoos made for religious purpose. However, the vast majority of poskim all seem to imply that there is at least a rabbinic prohibition of tattooing anything else. Where is the rabbinic prohibition recorded?

share|improve this question
    
    
What's the chronologically first opinion to say there's a rabbinic prohibition? –  Avram Levitt Mar 19 at 0:06
    
I saw a tosafot in Gittin that says this clearly. I also recall seeing sommewhere on this site that even a tatto that say 'I am Hashem's' is prohibited. –  Baby Seal Mar 19 at 0:26
    
Rashi in your source says it too –  Baby Seal Mar 19 at 0:32
    
judaism.stackexchange.com/a/11794/4682 doesn't source it, though... –  Baby Seal Mar 19 at 0:34

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Mishnah Makkos 3:6 and Gemara 21a;

Yerushalmi Makkos 3:6

Rambam (Avodat Kochavim 12:11) and Shulchan Aruch (YD180:1; Shach 180:1) both rule that one has only done an aveira if one both pierces the skin and adds colour.

share|improve this answer
    
Do they specifically say that there is a difference between any sort of tattoo and one containing religious references? –  Avram Levitt Mar 24 at 11:50
1  
that isn't one of Rambam's criteria: "כתובת קעקע" (ויקרא יט,כח) האמורה בתורה, הוא שישרוט על בשרו וימלא מקום השריטה כוחל או דיו או שאר צבעונין הרושמין; וזה היה מנהג הגויים שרושמין עצמן לעבודה זרה שלהן, כלומר שהוא עבד מכור לה ומורשם לעבודתה. ומעת שירשום באחד מדברים הרושמים אחר שישרוט, באי זה מקום מן הגוף, בין איש בין אישה--לוקה. –  Zvi Mar 24 at 20:36

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.