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.

WJMF Sound Byte: Soulico Crew

Soulico CrewThe Washington Jewish Music Festival kick-off parties have a tremendous track record for picking hot up-and-coming artists, setting them in a cool DC club and then opening the doors for a slammin’ night of music and dancing. In the past the Kick-Off party has featured the likes of Y-Love, Yuri Lane and dj handler. Keeping with that hip-hop vibe, the Festival hosts its kick-off party this Saturday night, May 31 with DJ Crew Soulico at Station 9.

There isn’t a more interesting sub-genre of Jewish music right now than what’s happening in hip-hop, and Soulico’s DJ skills hit the trifecta of massive beats mixed with classic urban rhymes set against a host of middle eastern and Jewish melodies. It is the kind of music custom made for a warm Saturday night in late spring with a Tel Aviv nightclub vibe (complete with a 10pm start time) combined in a cool DC setting that can match anything else on the after-hours scene. It’s time to get your party on.

For a taste of what I’m talking about, check out the clip below, “Rock and Roll Bump” a mix of the classic 80s Israeli rock group T-Slam and Philadelphia hip-hop outfit Spank Rock.

A Toast to Tu B’Shevat

Tu B’Shevat Happy Hour

While Tu B’Shevat Seders have gradually been repositioning the holiday as a Green Pesach, the folks at EntryPointDC/ Gesher City in partnership with the Taglit Birthright Alumni Association have found a different way of getting back to nature — the fruit of the vine. Over seventy people enjoyed happy hour at Hudson Restaurant and Lounge on M Street last night for a belated Tu B’Shevat toast to trees and the eventual return of the planting season. Insert joke here about Jews, booze and planting seeds.

%d bloggers like this: