Jews & Tattoos
Ask most Jewish people what they know about Jews and tattoos and they’ll recite the [inaccurate] rule that Jews who have one can’t be buried in a Jewish cemetery. While it’s true that Leviticus 19:28 states, “You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves: I am the Lord,” there is debate over whether all tattoos are prohibited or just those using God’s name. What is clear is that, “kosher” or not, 40 percent of Americans ages 26 to 40 sport a tat (2012 Pew research)—including an increasing number of Jews. In this issue, we explore the controversial trend.
Michelle Cove, Editor