OyChicago blog

My views on Jews and tattoos

 Permanent link   All Posts
03/20/2012

My views on Jews and tattoos photo

I recently learned that there are more divorces today then tattoo removals. I'm assuming that’s a fact. And while both are supposed to be permanent, the tattoo ironically seems to be the one that sticks around till death do you part. Well, let's just say till death. (You really don’t part with a tattoo when you die…) But what I do find ironic is the thought process to get a tattoo seems to be relatively expedited. The decision to get married sometimes take years to manifest, yet the idea of getting a tattoo is sometimes a way to kill an afternoon.

Let me preface this by giving you my personal view towards tattoos, I would never get one. Never have, never will. However, I actually like tattoos. I think they can be an awesome way to express who you are. That is, of course, as long as the tattoo looks good and/or has a special meaning to you. You getting a tattoo for the sake of getting a tattoo is absurd. Once you hit 20 different tattoos, that rule doesn't apply anymore. At that point, clearly you are a tattoo enthusiast and I’ll shut up with my feeble opinion. But until then, for the casual tattoo recipient, it’s very important to remember that a tattoo is a permanent life decision, not that I need to tell you that, and one you are probably not going to tell your parents about. So if I do happen upon an individual with, let’s say, a tattoo of an apple, there better be an interesting anecdote or affirmation as to the apple permanently emblazoned into their flesh. Not something like, "I love apples!" But more like, "You see this apple? This apple right here? This apple saved my life man. Without this apple, we would NOT be having this conversation. I hope you can appreciate that fact man. It’s a reminder for me to never…and I mean NEVER forget the power of the apple.”

Placement is also another important issue. One place in particular, strikes my critical fancy. This is why I fail to understand the back of the neck tattoos. What’s the point of a tattoo if you can’t see it? For that matter, anywhere else on the neck makes even less sense. As the comedian Todd Barry says in regards to people with neck tattoos, “hey, you forgot to not do that.”

One thing that I find incredibly interesting is the types of tattoos that I have known many Jews to get. I have a handful of Jewish acquaintances that have gotten Jewish themed tattoos. I've seen a lot of people with tattoos written in Hebrew, or something involving the Star of David and even images associated with the AEPI fraternity. It's not so much an act of rebellion, but an act of embracing their Jewishnessicity (a word I made up but love). I bring up the point of rebellion, because until I wrote this blog and did a little research, I really thought you could not be buried in a Jewish cemetery if you had a tattoo. Turns out, that's not always the case. When it comes to Judaism and tattoos, the argument against it, is really more about not altering your body, so essentially piercings are out as well. And braces. (Without knowing it, I rebelled for almost three years.)

Let’s try being hypothetical for second. If I were ever to get a tattoo, it would have to be something I was ready to have for the rest of my life. It could not be a quick decision. It could not be an easy decision. That said I’ll make it right now. Some ideas I have are getting a tattoo of my face covering my face, because I love my face. I’d also really love to put the phrase, "this space left intentionally blank" pretty much anywhere. Every time someone would point it out, I’d look at it with exasperation and distraught wondering how this could have happened. Then I have the idea of putting, on the small my back, a picture of a stamp with the word “tramp” on it. Ha-ha! One tattoo I’d obviously be required to get is the Batman symbol affixed to my chest. If only I had the chest to pull that off. But finally, if I have to choose just one to get, I would like to get a simple word… slapped across my tuchus… that reads, “jew-cy”.

Comments
comments powered by Disqus

Recent Posts

Archive

Sites We Like

CONNECT WITH OY!

Spertus Center For Jewish Leadership box ad 1

Chicago Loop Synagogue box ad 2

Featured Event