Tattoo - Holocaust

I have a tattoo on my left arm from the German Auschwitz camp. Since the Torah prohibits tattoos, should I get it removed?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

Actually, in your case, the tattoo is not a Torah prohibition, since it was done under coercion.

On the contrary, your tattoo is a symbol of your bravery and courage to remain Jewish, despite the evils you had to endure.

I heard a story where thousands of Jews were waiting in line to see a great rabbi. To facilitate order, the rabbi's attendants handed out numbers to those waiting. At one point, an elderly man walked to the front of the line, and said he wished to speak with the rabbi.

"Where is your number?" the attendant asked. At which point the man rolled up his sleeve to reveal his concentration camp tattoo. The man was immediately put at the front of the line.

May the Almighty grant you long life and many blessings.

More Questions

Due to limited resources, the Ask the Rabbi service is intended for Jews of little background with nowhere else to turn. People with questions in Jewish law should consult their local rabbi. For genealogy questions try Note also that this is not a homework service!

Ask the Aish Rabbi a Question

Receive the Daily Features Email

Sign up to our Daily Email Newsletter.

Our privacy policy