With all this talk of Sarah Silverman and Jimmy (James Christian) Kimmel’s breakup, I recalled my brief attempt to get a tattoo of Sarah or the word ‘wendy’ on my Jewish bod, as well as my failed attempt to get the work in progress film, “Tattoo Jew” for the SchmoozeDance Film Fest for two years running. ( http://www.Tattoojewmovie.com )
So why bring this up now? Because The New York Times, that arbitar of Jewish style and fashion, published a Styles story last week on Jews and tattoos. In the story, the reporter interviews older Jews who repeat the misnomer that a tattooed Jew cannot be buried in a Jewish cemetery or buy wholesale in the garment district, and repeats the scene from the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” in which the character of Larry David bribes a gravedigger to rebury his mother in the cemetery dispite her tattoo. (According to a 2007 poll of 1,500 people conducted by the Pew Research Center, 36% of 18- to 25-year-olds and 40% of 26- to 40-year-olds have at least one tattoo). And The Times got it right. This is not an actual Jewish halachic rule regarding burials. It is an urban legend.
Included in the story are interviews with a filmmaker, various tattooed Jews, and even a rabbinical student with more than a couple of Jewish stars of david tattooed on his skin (but not his punim). Did you know that the MySpace group called â€œJews with Tattoosâ€ has 839 members?
Todd Weinberger, who grew up in a kosher household and works for “Inked Magazine,” recently got his first tattoo with his girlfriend, Jennifer Goldstein (Hey Sarah Silverman.. hint hint.. a Jewish couple… it can still work out between us!)… Their matching Hebrew tattoo read, â€œForever and everâ€ and is in leui of their marriage ceremony. Can this be a new trend? Skip the chuppah, and get a matching tattoo instead?
Anyway. Any ideas for a new tattoo? Will Hebrew letters replace all those tribal and Chinese symbols? Shall I get a giant CHAI tattoo, like the one I saw on the back of the neck of the guy who sat in front of me at Yom Kippur services 5 years ago? Or perhaps a lion with the word Aryeh? Or “613 minus 1”? Or a State of Israel map, but using which borders? Something to ponder while I await a call from Sarah Silverman. Sarah, I’m in the book.