July 17, 2018 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm #1560664
In a few weeks the local library is having a fair. They had on last year with a silly hat contest and mini golf among the stacks. They decided to do it again, and this year the circular says they’re going to offer henna tattoos. My 14 year old wants to know if I’d let her get one. On the one hand, it’s only temporary. On the other hand, according to Wikipedia it comes from Hindu practices. But then again, I remember reading in a Rachel Pomerantz novel where a Yemenite Jewish girl gets married and she and her friends get henna tattoos on their hands before the big day.
I would rather save my “No’s” for when I need then, instead of saying “No” as a first response.
Any thoughts?July 17, 2018 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm #1560700
If you just called it a henna and left the word tattoo out , im sure you woyld have no isdues . Correct? I think the title “tattoo” is what is making you think twice, not the hindu aspect.July 18, 2018 12:09 am at 12:09 am #1560716
Why not ask your Rov?July 18, 2018 8:33 am at 8:33 am #1560719
As far as I understand, if I remember correctly, assuming it’s actually temporary it’s not osser as a tattoo. It may be a חוקס הגוJuly 18, 2018 10:32 am at 10:32 am #1560808
Its not any more goyish then say eating ice cream or doing s BBQJuly 18, 2018 1:43 pm at 1:43 pm #1560920
getting a temporary tattoo is one step closer to getting a permenant tattoo which is assur min hatorah, so i would stay away from that.July 18, 2018 3:55 pm at 3:55 pm #1561132
That is like saying eating beef is only one step away from eating pork.July 18, 2018 5:06 pm at 5:06 pm #1561233
What about maris ayin?July 18, 2018 5:06 pm at 5:06 pm #1561249
ask your rav not coffee room, ours said noJuly 18, 2018 5:39 pm at 5:39 pm #1561276
14 years old is old enough to make this decision.July 20, 2018 6:36 am at 6:36 am #1562255
Reb Yidd, you have a good point. Maybe if I tell her everything I know about henna tattoos, then she’ll decide on her own that it’s a bad idea.
But I’m still curious about the Yemenite aspect. I need to do more research.July 20, 2018 6:31 pm at 6:31 pm #1562522
Years ago we knew a young couple where the wife was a Yemenite and the husband was an American ger. When they were married in a traditional Yemenite ceremony, they both got henna tattoos. We saw the photos. I believe it was only on their hands. So presumably it’s a custom of Yemenite Jews. That’s not an endorsement of your daughter getting one. As others have said, ask a rav.July 23, 2018 2:57 pm at 2:57 pm #1563233
First off these are not tattoos. They are merely non permanent decorations. These decorations go back centuries and were not limited to Indians, or Arabic peoples. As mentioned above they are common among some Yemenite Jews. Why not look at some images of them on google to form an opinion? IMHO it’s easy enough to learn how to do these at home.July 23, 2018 2:57 pm at 2:57 pm #1563208
The book was “As Mountains Around Jerusalem.’ The ceremony is called a ‘chinna’.
I haven’t asked a Rav about this because I’m not looking for a psak. This isn’t about whether it’s prohibited or permitted – it’s about standards. It’s sort of like asking whether we should allow the Princess Plonies to wear denim skirts, or allow Little Prince Plony to wear jeans. Do we allow nail polish, and if yes, then which colors? Is it okay for them to view carefully selected children’s’ videos from secular sources? Or videos about nature and history?
Parenting is full of decisions. Every single day. Some people are able to adhere to absolutes. (NO videos. ONLY books from frum publishers. ALWAYS this! NEVER that!) And if they’re able to adhere to them, then good for them.
I decided to tell Princess all the facts, including the fact that I would NOT like for her to get the henna tattoo. She 100% saw my concerns, and we’ll see what happens at the library fair.
Who knows, the HT stand might be something like “Chinnas by Chana – book now for your wedding!”
And I’d like to thank everybody for their input. I needed some outside perspective.July 23, 2018 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm #1563290
“it’s about standards”
If it doesnt meet the torahs standard it is prohibited, if it does, it is permitted. why do you need a standard different than the torahs? who better than help define the torahs standard for you, than your rav?July 23, 2018 5:30 pm at 5:30 pm #1563353
There happens to be another concern here. Some henna tattoos include other, less safe ingredients.July 23, 2018 6:31 pm at 6:31 pm #1563384
Jeans, nail polish colors and secular videos all likely include halachic questions. Not realizing that can be a problem.July 23, 2018 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm #1563476
Thank you for your thoughts, apushatayid, but just because something is permitted doesn’t mean that it’s good. There’s a concept of ‘naval birshus haTorah’. There’s a concept of ‘es past nisht’.
BaltimoreMaven, I know that there are some shomrei Shabbos kosher-keeping yidden who wear denim and blue nail polish, and who watch carefully chosen kiddie videos. Just because I don’t do those things doesn’t mean that people who do them are oiver.
We each have to adhere to the standards that are right for ourselves.July 24, 2018 1:55 pm at 1:55 pm #1563805
Mrs. Plony: Thank you for a voice of reason and moderation. We spend far too much time worrying about whether what the other guy does is assur, and far less time than we should wondering about what we should be doing ourselves. There is more than one way of being frum.July 24, 2018 3:35 pm at 3:35 pm #1563885
” There’s a concept of ‘naval birshus haTorah’. There’s a concept of ‘es past nisht’.”
who better than to guide you along the path of what “past” and what not than your rav? there is also a concept called chassid shoteh.July 25, 2018 12:58 am at 12:58 am #1564090
Thank you Midwest for your support.
Now I understand you, apushatayid: you’re saying to ask my rav for guidance, not a halachic ruling. But I don’t understand why you reference the chassid shoteh.August 6, 2018 12:56 am at 12:56 am #1569399
The library fair was a BLAST! The mini golf in the stacks was a ton of fun, the origami artist was a real sweetheart, and the juggler was friendly and charming.
Princess Plony agreed not to get a henna tattoo, based on everything I had told her. But there were plenty of other things to enjoy about the fair.
And that’s the end of that.August 6, 2018 7:01 am at 7:01 am #1569423
That’s interesting. I live in Israel and many yemenite and sefardi brides have a henna party on their vort and it’s a old tradition. I was at the vort of a good friend of mine who is sefardi and there was a massive henna party. It’s pretty common over here.August 8, 2018 8:16 am at 8:16 am #1570631
Thanks for the input, Shopping. But neither I nor Rabbi Plony have any Yemenite or Sefardi background, and it’s not like Princess is engaged to or even being set up with a Sefardi bachor – like I mentioned in my opening post, she’s only 14.
The reason why she was interested in the henna tattoos because they were a type of temporary tattoo.
The reason why I was opposed to the henna tattoos was because they were a type of temporary tattoo. Compounded by the Hinduism aspect.
So I expressed my opinion and let her make her own decision. When she saw the Southeast Asian woman applying the henna she made the decision to skip the tattoo.
Hey, maybe in a few years she’ll get engaged to boy whose family minhag is to make a henna party like your friend, and we’ll look back on this and laugh.
And if the library makes a fair again next year we’ll try to get there early, before the balloon sculpting booth gets too crowded.
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