Volume 8, Issue 1, 5774


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

In This Issue

  • Proud Jews or Law Breakers? bustedhalo

    A younger generation expresses its Jewishness in a controversial way.

  • Peaches and Stars peaches

    According to one suburban mom, getting tattoos that represented each of her kids inspired fascinating discussions with other Jews.

  • Repeating the Numbers tattoo making

    A look at why an increasing number of young Jews have decided to get Holocaust tattoos

  • A Mother-Daughter Exchange emilia_tat

    Author Anita Diamant shares her thoughts on daughter Emilia’s tattoo – and Emilia responds.

  • Permanent Act of Romance permanentactofromance

    How one author and rabbi uses a tattoo in her fiction to show true biblical passion.

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  1. [...] people. That’s why 614, the online magazine of the HBI, decided to devote the Jan/Feb issue to “Jews and Tattoos.” We hope you’ll read through the collection of essays, see where you stand, and join the [...]

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