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- This topic has 49 replies, 20 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 11 months ago by interjection.
June 5, 2013 5:55 pm at 5:55 pm #609549
People have told me Tattoo eyeliner is halachicaly okay with the basis that it is meant to beautify.Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I personally don’t think Tattoo eyeliner beautifies but do think a tattoo does. If this is the case, why is getting regular tattoo assur?June 5, 2013 6:30 pm at 6:30 pm #959266Luna LovegoodParticipant
It is assur to permanently mark your skin. I don’t who is telling u it is ok to tattoo but according to halacha it would seem they are wrongJune 5, 2013 7:13 pm at 7:13 pm #959267BronyParticipant
there is no way this is muttar. where is there an exception for “beauty”?June 5, 2013 7:23 pm at 7:23 pm #959268
Brony, did you look into it or is this merely a statement made on basic knowledge?
By no means am I saying it is muttar; I want to hear from people who have looked into it.
I know a few frum, orthodox woman who have gotten eyeliner tattoo’s. One woman told me her Rabbi said its muttar because “it enhances natural features.”June 5, 2013 8:33 pm at 8:33 pm #959269BronyParticipant
so i just did some research (i.e. i googled “tattoo eyeliner halacha” and the first result was gold), and apparently it may only be a derabbonon that may not apply in cases of extreme circumstance (scar tissue and the like).
the things people will subject themselves to (and, apparently, the heterim people get) for the purpose of seeming aesthetically pleasing to others…June 5, 2013 9:00 pm at 9:00 pm #959270Yserbius123Participant
A massive skull and crossbones across my dorsal region is meant to beautify.June 5, 2013 9:39 pm at 9:39 pm #959271MammeleParticipant
I’ve heard the black changes/fades to green over time. Don’t know if this is true, but there’s more to consider even if okay halachakilly.June 6, 2013 8:14 pm at 8:14 pm #959272
Anyone who has eyeliner tattoo and looked into it before they did it?
Yserbius123- Like I said, and I quote myself “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
I think a skull across my dorsal region would be beautiful.June 6, 2013 8:24 pm at 8:24 pm #959273
Ask a real Orthodox Rabbi about it and let us know what he paskens. Why dont you call up the beis horaa in Lakewood and ask them its free and anonymous?June 6, 2013 8:28 pm at 8:28 pm #959274
The Gemara in Macot (around daf 20) mentions a Machloket where IIRC Rabbi Shimon holds that tattoos are assur from the Torah only if they are for the sake of Avodah Zarah (because the passuk ends with “Ani Hashem”). The Chachamin say that all tattoos are prohibited. As far as I remember, the Rambam, Tur and Shulchan Aruch pasken like the Chachamim that all tattoos are prohibited.June 6, 2013 8:42 pm at 8:42 pm #959275
Here’s a document that goes into more detail of the Halacha:
http://www.rabbimanning.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Tattoos-and-Body-Piercing.pdfJune 6, 2013 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm #959276Sam2Participant
I only know of one person who was permitted to have a tattoo. He was a survivor and had his number removed. He was so haunted by it that it was literally driving him crazy, so he got a Heter from a few major Poskim to have the number tattooed back on.June 7, 2013 3:31 am at 3:31 am #959277
Several frum women from E”Y have had eyeliner tatooed on. I have seen them, and expressed surprise, because I had never heard of such a thing. It apparently is popular to do this. I cannot imagine allowing anyone near my eyelids with a needle, even if it turned out to be muttar.June 7, 2013 4:28 am at 4:28 am #959278
POU BEAR & OOMIS
It is an issur derabbanan according practically all poskim. The following is from footnote 15 on ohr dot edu. you can real the full article by googling “The Tattoo Taboo and Permanent Make-Up Too”June 7, 2013 4:22 pm at 4:22 pm #959279
Al rishon rishon
This person asked a Rav – whom I happened to trust and respect but is not my Rabbi (I do not have one 🙁 ) and he said that her intention is “to beautify” and therefore it is muttar. I was very surprised but figured if he paskined that she can for those reasons then maybe I should look into it in regards to a regular tattoo.
Secondly thanks for the article. Maybe this statement “as tattooing is connected to idolatry” gives that wiggle room, for eye makeup has no connection to idolatry.June 7, 2013 4:41 pm at 4:41 pm #959280
WIY Thank you , Thank you- very informative! “The Tattoo Taboo and Permanent Make-Up Too” and the other link you provided.
This debate is definitely not black and white.June 9, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm #959281frumnotyeshivishParticipant
WIY: Medical need? Really? Tattoos cure cancer, I guess…June 9, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm #959282
Rav Baruch Shraga (Techumin vol. 18, ppg. 110 – 114, who only permits for medical need).
I assume he means that a tattoo would only be permitted should there be some medical benefit to it I dont know it that currently exists but he is speaking about in general should this ever be the case it would be permitted according to him.June 10, 2013 4:50 am at 4:50 am #959283
It is not so difficult to find an avenue of heter for permanent makeup, even if one would be hesitant to practically rely on it.
While a tattoo that is not idolatrous in nature is forbidden (at least mid’rabbanan) according to normative halacha, there is a case where it is permitted. The Shulchan Aruch (YD 180:3) notes that it is permitted to place ashes on a wound, even if doing so will essentially tattoo an indelible black mark on one’s skin.
The question is, why?
If the reason is because of the pain of the wound, than this case has little applicability to the permanent makeup case. If the reason is because it is just a splotch without form, also, this case will have little applicability to our makeup question.
However, the poskim do not say these reasons. Instead, the Beis Yosef and the Shach* state clearly their view that the reason is that the presence of the wound makes it obvious that it is not an idolatrous tattoo.
The fact that they opted for this reason without mentioning anything else implies that this is sufficient reasoning to permit a tattoo. That is, even without the wound factor, if a tattoo is inherently discernible as not idolatrous, it should be permitted.
While one may be reluctant to apply this reasoning with regard to a regular tattoo simply because what is discernible in one place may not be discernible in another, with permanent eyeliner one can probably advance the argument that it is clearly and obviously devoid of any hint of idolatry (since it is obviously a substitute for something every woman does for beauty) and it is therefore permitted.
*The Shach can be found here: http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=9146&st=&pgnum=249June 10, 2013 3:52 pm at 3:52 pm #959284
The Shach says that the Efer Mikla is clearly for refuah and not for Chukat haAkum. It seems to me that since the Efer Mikla is normally placed for health reasons, it is permitted because it incidentally discolors. I find it a stretch to go from there to Lichatchila saying mutar for a regular tattoo.June 10, 2013 4:32 pm at 4:32 pm #959285yungerman1Participant
When I learned this sugya it seemed pretty clear this is assur.
Medical Necessity may refer to the idea that a surgeon would make a permanent mark on an organ or body tissue to to mark a site for sugery or further exploration.June 10, 2013 5:00 pm at 5:00 pm #959286
Medical Necessity may refer to the idea that a surgeon would make a permanent mark on an organ or body tissue to to mark a site for sugery or further exploration. “
Don’t they usually do that with magic marker?June 10, 2013 5:14 pm at 5:14 pm #959287🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
frumnotyeshivish: Medical need? Really? Tattoos cure cancer, I guess…
Actually, exactly so. Tattoos are used to mark the spot for radiation.June 10, 2013 5:26 pm at 5:26 pm #959288
yitayningwut- thanks for the source
FYI Permanent makeup tattoos are known to be very painful.June 10, 2013 5:28 pm at 5:28 pm #959289yaakov doeParticipant
Shocking that any woman would think think of tatooing her eyes in the name of beauty, regardless of whether it’s halachically permitted.June 10, 2013 8:56 pm at 8:56 pm #959290
Shocking to know that a “frum” person would want to go that far.June 11, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm #959291
It seems to me that since the Efer Mikla is normally placed for health reasons…
True – but so what if it is normally placed there for health reasons? Not that that isn’t a good reason, but you have to follow through with something. It’s normally placed there for health reasons and therefore ______? You are saying it’s normally placed there for health reasons and therefore it is permitted for another, added reason; that it only discolors. That can’t be pashut pshat because you are adding a reason that it doesn’t say. I am not adding anything, because the Shach himself follows through: It’s normally done for health reasons and therefore it is permitted because the wound is an indication that the mark is not idolatrous in nature. This seems to me to be pashut pshat.June 11, 2013 1:56 pm at 1:56 pm #959292
Shocking to know that a “frum” person would want to go that far”
Then you would be VERY shocked to know how very many women have permanent eyeliner and lipliner, and they are all frum women. I cannot see how anyone could allow someone near their eyes with a needle for what I think is a frivolous reason (when they can put on makeup easily enough), but as I am not doing it myself, it’s not for me to judge others. They all had heterim to do this, and most of them had it done in E”Y, where it is very popular, apparently. Only in one case, was it to replace missing parts of eyebrows, lost to disease.June 11, 2013 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #959293
oomis, tell me more- based on what reasoning did they receive a heter to get eyeliner tattoo?
A heter is a heter I guess no question can be asked?June 11, 2013 9:58 pm at 9:58 pm #959294
Its great to have a Reform Rabbi on speed dial.June 11, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm #959295
Pou bear and Wiy: I don’t have tattooed makeup. I would imagine it was in the vein of beauty (no pun intended). I have seen frum women who have had this done, and every one of them has mentioned her rov allowed it. I do NOT recommend this, think it is a bad idea, but they are absolutely women whom objectively would be viewed as frum. Maybe their rov knows something the rest of us do not, about their specific situation. Only in one case do I know for a fact that this was done to correct the appearance of a medical deformity.June 11, 2013 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm #959296littlefishyMember
Right… their rav knows something that no one here was able to come up with… OR it’s the thing he doesn’t know. I’ll tell him, “Hey rav! guess what? people are saying that you let them tattoo their eyes!”…ok fine… “their under eyes!”June 11, 2013 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm #959297jewishfeminist02Member
My first thought was that the tattoo might qualify as a chatzitza at the mikveh. On further reflection, I realized that anything– including a tattoo– that is a permanent part of a woman’s body is not a chatzitzah.
I believe it is, however, assur regardless for reasons already mentioned. And incidentally, I know a few baalos teshuvah who have tattoos from before they were frum…and apparently, they’ve raised some eyebrows at the mikveh!June 12, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm #959298
Right… their rav knows something that no one here was able to come up with…
Ahem.June 12, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm #959299
My first thought was that the tattoo might qualify as a chatzitza at the mikveh. On further reflection, I realized that anything– including a tattoo– that is a permanent part of a woman’s body is not a chatzitzah.
There are many reasons why it would not qualify as a chatzitza.
1) It is under the skin, so it is not somewhere that water could reach anyway.
2) It is not significantly tangible (much like hair dye and nail polish which are generally not chotzetz according to the letter of the law)
3) It is something which people normally do not remove. A chatzitza on less than the majority of the body which one generaly does not intend to remove is not chotzetz according to the letter of the law.June 12, 2013 8:31 pm at 8:31 pm #959300
You have forced me to revise my understanding of the Shach, and the halacha in general. Thank you. I was of the opinion that no one held like Rabbi Shimon. It now seems to me that the Shach could be holding like Rabbi Shimon, that a tattoo is prohibited only for A”Z. I also saw the B”Y who mentions that there are some that hold like R’ Shimon and some hold like the Chachamim. So apparently, it’s not a slam dunk as to which Tanna we follow.
On the other hand, your avenue of heter seems difficult to me because no one explicitly says a rule that you implied. No one says that in any other circumstance where it’s clearly not for A”Z then it’s mutar. The Shach implies that, but does not say explicitly.
The Tur starts off by saying that it’s Chukai Hagoyim (sounds like Rabbi Shimon), but also says one is Chayav even if he does not write a name of A”Z (sounds like Chachamim). And the B”Y says that even according to (Rashi’s explanation of) Rabbi Shimon a tattoo without a Shem A”Z is still assur (but no Chiyuv Malkot).
Why then is the case of Efer Mikla mutar if tattoos are prohibited by all? I feel forced to say that there is another reason, like health or that it’s incidental. I do realize that no one expresses another reason, but at the same time, no one says that one can put ink into the open wound, and the wound would be mochiach why it was there. There seems to be something unique about Efer Mikla in a wound. I don’t know what or why, but the poskim I mentioned don’t go any further in their heterim.
If you could shed some more light on the subject, I would greatly appreciate it.June 13, 2013 1:05 am at 1:05 am #959301
The fact that it doesn’t say that it is permitted to put ink on a wound doesn’t trouble me, because people don’t use ink on a wound, they use ashes. Ein hachi nami, if they would use ink on a wound, ink would also be okay.
Your question of why the poskim don’t express a broader heter on all tattoos that are clearly not idolatrous is certainly a good question. I do not wish to say what you are leaning toward saying – that this case is special for another reason, because that goes against the pashtus of the Shach and the Beis Yosef. I would rather speculate that in their societies they simply had no common example of a tattoo that was clearly and obviously not idolatrous aside for medical cases.
Why then is the case of Efer Mikla mutar if tattoos are prohibited by all?
I would answer: Although we are not matir tattoos that are not idolatrous (either like the chachamim, or according to Rashi even like R’ Shimon), that is only because they are similar. I assume this is an issur d’rabbanan, and we are taking the middle ground between Rashi’s chachamim and the others’ R’ Shimon. In a case that there is no similarity because it is clearly and obviously not idolatrous, there isn’t even an issur d’rabbanan; and that is this case.June 13, 2013 3:54 am at 3:54 am #959302
I believe it is, however, assur regardless for reasons already mentioned. And incidentally, I know a few baalos teshuvah who have tattoos from before they were frum…and apparently, they’ve raised some eyebrows at the mikveh! “
It is not a chatzitzah, and IMO any mikvah lady who raises her eyebrows in an obvious manner at a young tattoed baalas teshuvah (who is coming to fulfill the mitzvah of Taharas Hamishpacha because she is NOW A FRUM WOMAN), should be given mussar immediately for potentially causing embarrassment to the young woman. What an aveira were she to make that B”T feel awkward, judged,or uncomfortable. The girl could chas v’sholom refuse to go back to a mikvah again.June 13, 2013 9:42 pm at 9:42 pm #959303
How could a tattoo qualify as a hatzitzah?
That being said, cosmetic tattooing is assur. It may not qualify as kitovet ka’aka, but R’ Wosner paskens that it is Srach Issur Kitovet Kaaka, something that habiutates one towards kitovet ka’aka.June 13, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm #959304jewishfeminist02Member
I agree, it does not qualify as a chatzitza. I only mentioned that it was my instinctive reaction to think that it was before I considered and realized that it wasn’t.
And oomis, I agree, mikveh ladies should not make women feel uncomfortable for having tattoos. B”h the women I know do not experience that kind of judgment every time they go to the mikveh, but only sometimes when they are traveling and have to use a mikveh where no one knows them. Also b”h although the mikveh ladies are clearly wrong, my friends just shrug it off and don’t let it bother them.June 13, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm #959305nishtdayngesheftParticipant
It is a little unfair to expect that a mikva lady not raise their eyes, inadvertebntly, when seeing the tattoos.
The reason many people have tattoos is specifically for that reason, to cause others to raise their eyes. I am sure the BT at this point would not want it, however, the tattoo is permanent and the impact it was designed to make does not just go away.
It is likely/possible that the tattoo that raised eyebrows was not just a small little mark, It may have been one of the “elaborate” ones in areas were people do not usually expect to see such marks.
There are certainly mikva ladies who are more able to control their reactions, and those who are better at welcoming all women to partake in the mitzva. However, it is like everything in life, not everyone is at the same level.
It may be a little bit overly judgemental of you to exect that every mikva lady, even very good ones, can be so in control of their reactions.June 13, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm #959306
I was raised Reform, and it was drummed into our heads that Jews don’t get tattoos. I still cringe when I see tattoos, and I do not blame or fault the mikva ladies for being taken aback, especially since most mikva ladies come from sheltered backgrounds where they aren’t exposed to such things. If you were to see a Masai bushman with a plate in his lip, you’d be taken aback also. Body mutilation must evoke different reactions in different people.June 16, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm #959307
And suppose the mikvah lady sees a woman who had a mastectomy or some other disfiguring scar from major surgery, or psoriasis, or just bad acne scars, or maybe just someone who is severely obese? Should she likewise raise her eyebrows, possibly seriously embarrassing the woman, who might then never want to return to a mikvah again?
Lest you think these are idle remarks, I know whereof I speak. I have been zocheh to work in a mikvah for many years, and have seen ALL of the above, and all types of women coming and going. Many are baalos teshuvah, who did foolish things in their youth. Should they be reminded of that every time they go to a mikvah and might have a different person oversee their tevilah each time? Where is the sensitivity training for these “Sheltered” ladies? Before they are allowed to do their job, they should be made to understand thast ANY kind of unexpected visual may come their way in the course of their duties, and they have to learn to refrain from reacting negatively.
That is a sign of maturity and compassion. If one is not capable of showing simple derech eretz “even to the tattoo lady,” perhaps being a mikvah lady is not the best job for that woman.June 16, 2013 2:41 pm at 2:41 pm #959308
Most people sadly don’t heed the words of Hillel (not to judge until you’ve been in others’ shoes), and the case of tattooed women going to the mikvah seems to be another of those cases.
There’s always the ocean, I suppose.June 16, 2013 3:51 pm at 3:51 pm #959309nishtdayngesheftParticipant
I am related to someone who has been noted as an exceptional Mikva lady who helped many BTs with TH. But not everyone was like her.
There is a difference between a mastectomy scar and some if these tattoos, as I noted earlier. The raised eyes may have been in shock as opposed to being haughty or judgmental.June 16, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm #959310
And there is no place for reacting with shock in the mikvah. The mikvah lady is there to help another woman perform her mitzvah properly. She is not there to look askance at ANYTHING, and certainly not to judge. If there is a problem of some kind, she needs to discreetly call a rov to ask a shailah.
If she trains herself (as would a doctor examining a patient, or a therapist hearing a patients’ recitations of what bothers them) to refrain from reacting one way or another, it would not happen. These women who are now frum, but once possibly were not, ALREADY are self-conscious about their bodies. It is some form of onaa to make them feel worse about themselves by betraying one’s personal shock with an obvious look.
I know that I am expressing myself strongly, but that is because this is a particular soap box cause with me. So many women have diffculty performing this crucial mitzvah, whwether physically or emotionally. Should we add to their discomfort? How many women have been turned off because a mikvah lady looked at them the wrong way when they came in wearing pants, or sleeveless shirts? They are still women coming to do a mitzvah, and we want them to WANT to be there.June 16, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm #959311popa_bar_abbaParticipant
I absolutely agree with oomis very strongly. The same way doctors train themselves not to react to strange things they see, mikva ladies ought to as well. And if they find they cannot, they should stop doing the job.June 16, 2013 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm #959312
Rabbis who participate in giyur, as well. If rabbis are insensitive to tattoos, flab, cellulite, scars, etc., they have no business witnessing naked gerim dunking in a mikveh.June 17, 2013 12:51 am at 12:51 am #959313
Thanks Popa, you just redeemed yourself for the machooh. 🙂
Rebdoniel also makes a good point.June 17, 2013 6:10 am at 6:10 am #959314interjectionParticipant
Thank god I don’t have any eye sores on my body but I still am I humiliated whenever the Mikva lady looks before I give the okay. If the Mikva lady understood that her job there is for safety and to ensure that the women tovel properly and NOT to check out the other women, there shouldn’t be any raised eyebrows.
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