In This Feature
Jews & Tattoos
Whether it’s a full sleeve of biblical figures or a small flower on an ankle, every tattoo has a story to tell.
A Punk Rock Jewish Tattooer
One of the reasons I love tattooing so much is, to me, it does feel like a reclamation of something that was done to us that we now have the power to control, take back and use for our liberation.
Tattoos, Crazy Hair and a Prosthetic Leg
Tattoos, crazy hair, and a prosthetic leg do not take away from my badass Jewishness.
One of the first things they did to Jewish women when they took them in Morocco, they tattooed their faces, like to say “For life, you are not a Jew anymore.”
- I Love My Tattoos and I Love Halakhah
- Jewish Tattoo Artist Spotlight: Ella Sklaw
- Jewish Tattoo Artist Spotlight: Kit McDonough
She placed a cutting of pansies (representing love, thoughtfulness and remembrance) on my lower back—done in public, it was another step in reclaiming my power and personhood.
My Body is a Scrapbook
As a soon-to-be rabbi I’ve thought about what I might say when questioned about my tattoos. Tattoos represent the boldness of what it means to be living. They have also helped me heal.
Something that Demands Attention
For me, my tattoos are declarations of what I love, what is important to me, and who I am.
Her Life Had Meaning
When I decided to get my first tattoo, I knew it would be a rose in her memory to remind myself and family that her life had meaning and was a blessing.
My Best Friend Hannah
The orchids remained alive just like her memory—my best friend’s eternal legacy on my heart and this world.
Wrestling with God
By creating a part of my body apart from the genes of my parents, I am renaming my body, and imprinting it with my own mark.
We Will Outlive Them
The number that they inscribed on my grandfather’s arm, coincidentally or serendipitously, totaled 18. One of my favorite things he ever said was, “They tried to write our deaths, little did they know they inscribed life onto our arms.”
The Strength to Carry All This
Some of my inks were quite painful, but as I get them I think. “This is easier than it was being homeless,” or “There’s a Nazi out there who could handle this, don’t let him beat you.”
Black People in Color
"The idea that Black people can’t is based in the institutional racism of tattoo history.” Who knew? I have an amazing technicolor Ocean cresting on my shoulder.
- A Punk Rock Jewish Tattooer
This Article Appeared In
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