Tattoo Jew

Coming Soon to your JCC

Coming Soon to your JCC

According to one of the few, remaining, universally respected sources of information on contemporary Jewish life, The New York Times, it turns out that it is okay for Jews to have tattoos. Since it is in the New York Times, it must be okay. I trust their movie reviews, why not their promulgation of religious rulings?

Well, maybe not okay. In any case, there’s nothing about having a tattoo that prevents you from being buried in a Jewish cemetery–the reason cited by many a parent and grandparent, the more dramatic of whom would go on to describe how they would wail at the side of your non-Jewish grave, and “how could you do this to them?” As if the location of the grave and not your premature presence in said grave would be the true tragedy.

In any case, it turns out that getting a tattoo is prohibited in Leviticus 19:28, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor imprint any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” But that commandment, coming as it does on the heels of a similar law that charges, “Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard,” might fall under the category of mitzvot commonly ignored by the great mass of non-orthodox Jews and those who do not take their personal grooming tips from the Torah. But, like we mentioned earlier, until they start refusing to bury those whose last meal included a bacon-cheeseburger, you will be able to rest in peace in the Jewish cemetery of your choice.

But what does this really mean for you? More importantly, what does it mean for the 16th Street J? Well, for starters I think a Jewish Body Art Cluster is in due-order at EntryPointDC/Gesher City (have you signed up for a Shabbat cluster?). Also, we may be making some “cosmetic” changes to the Gift Shop. Stay tuned.

6 Responses

  1. I don’t care what anyone, God included, has to say. I’m a Jew – my ancesters bilineally died at the hands of Nazis and I’m a seriously badassed streetkiller Jew. I fought in the streets as a youth with neonazi scum and will kill anyone who needs killing. I have Jewish tatoos and I was a Yale professor. There is no God and we all know it. Allright, so I have a mild macho/aggression problem – I come by it honestly. Zroa ntuya.

  2. I am a Jew who willingly chooses not to get a tattoo because of how disrespectful it is to get it while i still have living relatives that were in the holocaust. They unwillingly received a tattooed number on their arms and were labeled and addressed by said tattoo.

    It is disrespectful to your own body and to the memories of the survivors.

    • I have friends who have gotten tattoos for this very reason… as a symbolic memorial to what their ancestors endured. So, it’s all relative…

  3. Never mind the ancient Jewish proscription: a tattoo says about the wearer ‘I am a complete idiot and am quite happy to permanently apply inked graffiti to myself to establish life membersip of the Moron’s Club!’

  4. You Guys a fucking idiots.
    its fine to get tattoos.. its a whole new generation..
    what other people do to their own body is a reflection of self expression and just because none of you are ballsy enough to do anything bold in this life, it doesnt mean others arent.
    grow up, seriously. get with the times.

  5. Well, I don’t know what old Leviticus says about what insects I am allowed to eat. I know most Jewish men shave their beards. Tattoos done by others are okay. Cutting onself on the other hand is weird.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: