If a Sefer Torah became self-aware and conscious, would such a Sefer Torah be Halachically allowed to get ink tattooed into it when needed (such as correcting cracked letters)? Or would this constitute getting a tattoo?

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  • 1
    Can't letters get erased or chipped? That doesn't sound like a tattoo.
    – Harel13
    Feb 17, 2021 at 8:18

2 Answers 2


The Vilna Gaon says that the klei shares in the mishkan were sentient. He says that this is so because sentience is a function of kedushah, and therefore since the klei shares had the kedushah of the benei yisrael they too were sentient.

See for example: enter image description here enter image description here

(Note: I think I saw this gr"a concerning the klei ha'mishkan but I can't find that reference at the moment.)

Furthermore, see Rashi https://he.wikisource.org/wiki/%D7%99%D7%95%D7%9E%D7%90_%D7%9E%D7%94_%D7%90

ובכלי שרת - בלבוש בגדי כהונה

And we know there was writing on some bigdei kehunah, such as the tzitz. Therefore it is evident that there is no issur of tattooing for a sentient sefer torah.

It may be advisable to consult the sefer torah's therapist beforehand, however.

  • The proof from the tzitz is weak, though. First of all, the writing was done before it had its kedushah (the question would be whether letters can be corrected on it later on). Second, they were protruding, and the issur of כתובת קעקע is when they're etched into the skin.
    – Meir
    Feb 17, 2021 at 5:34
  • @Meir I had a vague recollection that for some reason there were some klei shares that were marked with a letter, but I couldn't find it. Not sure if I imagined this.
    – The GRAPKE
    Feb 17, 2021 at 5:36
  • Maybe you're thinking of the choshen. I think it says that they inscribed the letters on the stones with ink and then had the shamir go over them to engrave them, though I can't find that at the moment.
    – Meir
    Feb 17, 2021 at 5:42
  • @Meir No, I was thinking of some klei shares that they marked so they would what type of blood it had in it.
    – The GRAPKE
    Feb 17, 2021 at 5:44
  • 2
    You have got to find that Gr"a about klei shareis; I would love to see it.
    – MichoelR
    Feb 24, 2021 at 23:13

As shocking as it may sound, a sentient sefer torah was not part of the bris at Sinai, and consequently is not obligated in Mitzvot, so giving it a Tatoo would be no problem. However, if the torah undergoes milah and tevilah, it would be a problem.

  • How could a sentient sefer torah undergo tevilah? It would violate the prohibition to erase the name
    – b a
    Feb 18, 2021 at 11:15
  • This is all well and good for an Ashkenazi sefer Torah, which very clearly has a yesod upon which Brit Milah may be performed, but what about a Sefardi one? Feb 18, 2021 at 21:54

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