I have little to no authority to speak on behalf of Jews with Jewish tattoos.
Or Jews with non Jewish tattoos.
Or non Jews with tattoos.
Really on any kind of body art whatsoever.
Primarily because I don’t have any.
However this makes me quite the authority on not having tattoos.
In fact I’ve not had them my entire life.
I’m not against them.
Not even remotely.
As an artist I find them to be beautiful (all fairies and barbed wire aside), outward expressions of inward beliefs.
Have I ever wanted one? Only every single time I see some someone with a gorgeous piece running down some exposed piece of flesh.
It is in these same moments that I realize I will never get one.
Maybe its the Jewish guilt thing? I mean yes, I am very attached to Mother’s opinion but that hasn’t stopped me from indulging in serious non Jewish romances, skipping high holiday services and eating the occasional BLT.
So maybe its the permanence of thing.
People seem to always make the argument….what about when you’re old? Aren’t you going to look weird as an elderly person with a tattoo? Which I suppose is a valid point from the perspective of a young person. But frankly IF I’m lucky enough to become a ripe, old, bald, liver spotted, denture wearing old man with a walker, I’d imagine that having a tattoo will be a minor aesthetic concern.
I think what it comes down to is that I have some serious commitment issues.
A tattoo, by its nature is the act of surrendering to a specific moment, to not caring about how you’ll feel in the future…but also an awareness that this will last forever.
As somebody whose hairstyle can’t even seem to commit to one era let alone genre of music I think I’m just not cut out for it.
So for now, its either drawing on my arm with a sharpie or those temporary ones you get for a quarter at the drugstore.
Not quite as cool, but then it also rubs off with a little water.