Inspired by Curiouser here:

Is getting a "fake" (temporary) tattoo a violation of halacha? I'll define this broadly as any tattoo that doesn't permanently show on your body. This includes transfer tattoos, henna, etc.

I did go to a Bat Mitzvah where transfer tattoos were given out.

  • 4
    Matthew, welcome to Judaism.SE, and thanks very much for the interesting question! I look forward to seeing you around.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 3:23

2 Answers 2


In this answer, Rabbi Moshe Leib Halberstadt concludes that:

in a case of temporary henna tattoos which are placed on top of the skin and do not last for more than a few weeks, there is no prohibition, neither from the Torah nor from rabbinic law. Because even according to the Minchat Chinuch that rabbinically prohibits external writing on the body even without a scratch, that is only with none-erasable ink, but in our case the henna tattoos are very temporary and are erased after a very short time.

So in a case where the ink is temporary and no scratch is made in the skin it's okay.

He also goes on to write that there's no prohibition of Maris Ayin in such a case because it is well-known that such temporary tattoos exist (where no prohibition is violated).

[thanks to jake for the link in the comments above...]


On the Beit El Yeshiva Center site (originally posted by jake, and used by yydl in his answer), someone asks about:

a new tattoo ink called freedom-2 that is permanent, but when you want to remove it, there is a formula that breaks it down and the body absorbs it."

Rabbi Yitzchak Grinblat says:

Halachikly even this tattoo is Asur because of Marit Ayin.

Another person asks:

Is it permissible to have permanent make-up done? Permanent make-up is applied with a needle under the first skin layer and usually stays for about a year. Does this fall under the prohibition of getting a tattoo or is there a Heter for this?

Rabbi Chaim Tabasky replies:

Several important Poskim have forbidden the use of permanent make up because of the similarity to tattooing. Because there are different methods, one should consult a halachic authority in the specific case.

  • If I may, it seems @jake found the link first in the comments on the question.
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 3:05

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