1

It is written in the Torah, "You shall not imprint marks upon yourself."1 What is meant by "imprint marks"? A mark which is absorbed and sunken into the skin, so that it can never be erased. He who makes an incision in his skin and fills the incision with stirium, or ink, or other dyes that leave a mark; likewise, if he first dyes (the skin), and then makes an incision on the dyed area, is guilty of transgressing a negative command. Nevertheless, it is permitted to put ashes and other things on a wound for medical purposes, even if a mark will remain; for (in such cases) the wound will also leave a mark, and it will be apparent that you did not do it for the purpose of tattooing.

א

כָּתוּב בַּתּוֹרָה, וּכְתֹבֶת קַעֲקַע לֹא תִתְּנוּ בָכֶם. מַהִי כְּתֹבֶת קַעֲקַע. כְּתָב הַמְחֻקֶּה וְשָׁקוּעַ שֶׁאֵינוֹ נִמְחָק לְעוֹלָם, זֶהוּ הַשּׂוֹרֵט עַל בְּשָׂרוֹ וּמְמַלֵּא מְקוֹם הַשְּׂרִיטָה בִכְחוֹל אוֹ בִּדְיוֹ אוֹ בִּשְׁאָר צִבְעוֹנִים הָרוֹשְׁמִים. וְכֵן אִם צוֹבֵעַ תְּחִלָה בְּצֶבַע וְאַחַר כָּךְ שׂוֹרֵט בִּמְקוֹם הַצֶבַע, עוֹבֵר בְּלָאו. וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם מֻתָּר לִתֵּן אֵפֶר וּשְׁאָר דְּבָרִים עַל הַמָּכָּה לִרְפוּאָה, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיִֹשָּׁאֵר הָרשֶׁם, כִּי גַם מִמַּכָּתוֹ יִשָּׁאֵר רשֶׁם הַמּוֹכִיחַ עָלָיו, שֶׁלֹּא עָשָׂה מִשּׁוּם כְּתֹבֶת קַעְקַע.

2

It is written; "You shall not cut into your flesh for the dead."2 It is also written: "You shall not cut yourselves nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead."3 Gedidah and seritah [the Hebrew terms used in the Scriptural text respectively] are one and the same, and are forbidden whether in the presence of the dead, or not in the presence of the dead. Even to strike your hand onto your flesh so that blood comes out is forbidden. And to do this even for any other kind of grief is also forbidden.4

ב

כְּתִיב, וְשֶׂרֶט לָנֶפֶש לֹא תִתְּנוּ בִּבְשַׂרְכֶם. וּכְתִיב, לֹא תִתְגֹּדְדוּ וְלֹא תָשִׂימוּ קָרְחָה בֵּין עֵינֵיכֶם לָמֵת. וּגְדִידָה וּשְׂרִיטָה אַחַת הֵן, וַאֲסוּרוֹת בֵּין בְּפְנֵי הַמֵּת בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא בִפְנֵי הַמֵּת. וַאֲפִלּוּ לְהַכּוֹת בְּיָדוֹ עַל בְּשָׂרוֹ עַד שֶׁדָּם יוֹצֵא, אָסוּר. וַאֲפִלּוּ עַל צַעַר אַחֵר, אָסוּר.

3

Baldness refers to plucking out hair of the head in mourning for the dead. Even the plucking out of a single hair is forbidden. Women, are included in the prohibition of making baldness, and certainly in the prohibition of cutting.

ג

קָרְחָה, הוּא שֶׁתּוֹלֵֹשׁ מִשַּׂעַר רֹאשׁוֹ עַל מֵת. וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּשַׂעֲרָה אַחַת, אִיכָּא אִסּוּרָא, וְגַם הַנָּשִׁים מֻזְהָרוֹת בְּבַל יקְרְחוּ, וּמִכָּל שֶׁכֵּן בְּבַל יִשְׂרְטוּ.