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Who cares if the Torah says 'no'?

Ever want to get a tattoo, but refrain from doing so? Fear no more! A reform “rabbi” has now ruled that “there is no blanket prohibition on tattoos,” and rabbis should consider why a person wants to scar their body before ruling out a tattoo.

According to Evan Moffic, Senior Rabbi of Congregation Solel in Chicago, Judaism maintains a “nuanced” view of tattoos. After all, says the “rabbi,” if Jewish law banned tattoos outright, then “survivors of Nazi concentration camps—whose arms were branded with a number—[would be banned] from residing in a Jewish cemetery.”

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To back up his peak halacha, the rav cites two ideas: One, that tattoos smack of idolatry. “Some groups in the ancient Near East used tattoos as a way of worshipping gods. Egypt in particular had several gods whose images were frequently tattooed onto bodies and household items,”

Second, he writes that tattooing, does not serve the purpose of “devot(ing) out body to sacred service. Rather, like smoking or drinking, it involves unnecessary dangers, such as harming our skin or causing infection.

The halacic conclusion? “According to this point of view, the content of the tattoo is not as significant as the act of branding itself. The Law is not Black and White.” 

Funny enough, Harav Hagaon Moffic fails to cite the Torah verse (Lev. 19:28): “You should not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor imprint any marks upon you: I am the Lord.” Generations of rabbinic authorities have interpreted this verse as… how did the rabbi put it?… as a “blanket prohibition.”

But, hey, what’s an explicit Torah verse when you’re trying to make “Judaism” attractive to non-Jewish society?

 

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84 COMMENTS

  1. Imho Moffic is ignorant of Jewish law and deficient in logical reasoning. The comparison of concentration camp numbers to voluntary tattoos is beyond odious, actually quite stupid. Additionally I have no idea of the source for excluding anyone tattooed from burial in sacred ground (with possible exception of some suicides). Getting a tattoo is a sin but so are many other violations such as Shabbat or kosher laws etc. Repentance for all of these is possible; also for permanent marking of one’s flesh.

  2. There are too many tattoos
    Too many ” excuses”
    Reform ” revisionists” as this are totally wrong ,
    Yet I know of Orthodox Rabbis who encourage drug abuse ( not talking about Kosher Marihuana either)
    Tattoos are Kaka !
    Kaka !
    I loathe them.
    To each his own,
    Henna ” tattoos” can be ok ,they wash off !

  3. While I don’t support this decision there are many other ‘explicit’ commandments that the Rabbis chose to ‘modify’ or ‘interpret’ especially when it comes to penalties like ‘stoning’ etc, but as always people will ignore those and focus on the ones they wish to implement. I find his arguement about Shoah survivors obscene but so do I find putting reform in “parenthesis” indicating the same prejudice and stupidity they accuse the man of!

  4. The holocaust survivor argument is atrocious. There is a difference between being forced to the point of torture and death and doing it by choice. You need no other argument to show how low the reform movement has sunk

  5. Imho Moffic is ignorant of Jewish law and deficient in logical reasoning. The comparison of concentration camp numbers to voluntary tattoos is beyond odious, actually quite stupid. Additionally I have no idea of the source for excluding anyone tattooed from burial in sacred ground (with possible exception of some suicides). Getting a tattoo is a sin but so are many other violations such as Shabbat or kosher laws etc. Repentance for all of these is possible; also for permanent marking of one's flesh.

  6. Reform rabbi or a liberal pretending to be a rabbi? The reform movement tried to replace Jewish Torah values from Sinai with progressive liberalism and failed. Their own followers have assimilated and their movement has self destructed. The Torah forbids tattoos in Parashat Kedoshim and if this joker wants to say they aren’t forbidden then he is dishonest.

  7. While I don't support this decision there are many other 'explicit' commandments that the Rabbis chose to 'modify' or 'interpret' especially when it comes to penalties like 'stoning' etc, but as always people will ignore those and focus on the ones they wish to implement. I find his arguement about Shoah survivors obscene but so do I find putting reform in "parenthesis" indicating the same prejudice and stupidity they accuse the man of!

  8. I don’t want a tattoo and I certainly don’t consider the Torah a ‘pesky nuisance’. But other than that, how are you my friend? BTW, I was thinking of our conversations last week and I KNEW the stoning and death penalty was going to come up sooner or later. If I am correct, aren’t those only sentences that can be passed by the Sanhedrin and since it is no more, even though the penalty is stated it can’t be enacted?

  9. I don't want a tattoo and I certainly don't consider the Torah a 'pesky nuisance'. But other than that, how are you my friend? BTW, I was thinking of our conversations last week and I KNEW the stoning and death penalty was going to come up sooner or later. If I am correct, aren't those only sentences that can be passed by the Sanhedrin and since it is no more, even though the penalty is stated it can't be enacted?

  10. Using concentration inmates having tattoos is definately not to be used as an example as they were tatooed not by choice but by force. Tatoos as far as halacha goes is taboo and we do not have to follow non-Jews for them to be attracted to us. As far as my belief and learning the law is very clear tattoos are forbidden to Jews.

  11. Using concentration inmates having tattoos is definately not to be used as an example as they were tatooed not by choice but by force. Tatoos as far as halacha goes is taboo and we do not have to follow non-Jews for them to be attracted to us. As far as my belief and learning the law is very clear tattoos are forbidden to Jews.

  12. I live in Cincinnati the home of Hebrew Union College and the ‘reform’ congregations are fading away as their congregants intermarry and self destruct out of existence. In Hebrew there is a saying that falsehood has no leg to stand on and the ‘reform’ movement is falsehood.

  13. Concentration cam inmates did not have a choice to have numbers tattooed on their arms. Evan Moffic (Is he even Jewish?) is insulting the holocaust survivors with is idiocy.

  14. I live in Cincinnati the home of Hebrew Union College and the 'reform' congregations are fading away as their congregants intermarry and self destruct out of existence. In Hebrew there is a saying that falsehood has no leg to stand on and the 'reform' movement is falsehood.

  15. I am praying for the boys safe return to they family. there is no closing door for my Lord, no hidden place that he can not see. Have faith in GOD. For everything; “He is the same yesterday to day and for eve”r

  16. If that is the case, that is much like our churches who have watered down the message of salvation, and now almost no one enters those churches, their pews are empty. beside the Jewish it was inflicted upon them they had no choice.

  17. @monica did you know that tattoos are very addictive if you have one, you will want more than one, just notice some people with tattoos that they have usually more than one

  18. @ Judith McKinley Hogan My King James version says nothing about tattoos. “One shall say “I am the Lord’s and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord and surname himself by the name of Israel.” Isaiah 44;5 Nothing about tattoos, Isaiah would not go against the Lord G-d of Israel. meaning of subscribe “to sign one’s name: winston dictionary

  19. Meira Yolanda Lettieri Oh it does, but was referring to Isaiah 44:5 I wasnt thinking about Leviticus 19:28 and she was saying that Isaiah was okay with tattoos in her version of King James. sorry about that

  20. Sientje Seinen Isaiah was a prophet and of course he obeyed Torah but no, he wasn’t ok with tattoos. Subscribe does not mean to INscribe. it means to underwrite or sign one’s name

  21. Sientje Seinen Isaiah was a prophet and of course he obeyed Torah but no, he wasn't ok with tattoos. Subscribe does not mean to INscribe. it means to underwrite or sign one's name

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