Of the evolving social norms in today’s age, tattoos are becoming commonplace amongst the population. A recent study showed that 40% of 26-40 years olds have at least one tattoo. Which culture, social group, athlete, or religion has seen a rise in tattoo-getters? The answer is easy. You have the overweight men riding Harley’s, the entire NBA, the thugs, the punk-rockers, the children looking to rebel, the Hindus (we’ll count Henna), and the everyday young adult or housewife who is looking to spice up their lives a bit.
The purposes behind permanently having ink knit into your flesh remains plentiful, while some tattoos have meaning, others don’t – read on. In remembrance of loved ones, your dog’s face on your bicep– we get it, sort of. Here’s what is still difficult to understand; your name or even others, Chinese writing when you’re not Chinese, barbed-wires, and full “sleeves” of colorful ink where the tattoo artist wasn’t even sure what they were drawing. Anyone care to explain?
The most puzzling tattoo of all: a Jewish star. We’ve all heard the adage that Jews cannot be buried in a Jewish cemetery with tattoos. This may be true or just an urban legend, though we’ll leave this unanswered. Ironically enough, Jews are increasingly getting sacrilegious art on their body from designs such as the Star of David, to Hebrew letters, to a pig with a kosher sign (see below).
Let’s weigh the pros versus cons of being a Jew with a tattoo…
- Expressing your Judaism : Likelihood of being ridiculed by other Jews
- Connect with your Jewish roots : Not being able to take your shirt off around your mother
- Exhibiting cultural pride : Having a blotch of ink on your body when you’re old and wrinkly
The million dollar question: can you still be considered a “nice Jewish boy” with these tattoos?