My body is a scrapbook that celebrates life. Being nonbinary and fat I’ve struggled with loving my body most of my life. I started to get tattooed when I was nineteen as a way to affirm all that I am. Sure enough, my confidence grew as I began capturing moments through ink. My first tattoo was simple—I got “love” in Hebrew, ahava. At this point I have many more pieces, some simple and others more intricate. All are reminders of pivotal times in my life that I can carry with me forever. A few are even Jewish infused, like a Debbie Friedman lyric from L’chi Lach and a fiddle with a bluebird balancing on the strings after directing a production of Fiddler.
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. I believe we are all created b’tzelem elohim, in the divine image. Adorning my body in artwork that celebrates the beauty and pain of life is a sacred act.