Jaynie Levinson — Connecting Jewish Young Adults
Speak up Speak Easy returns with conversation about Jewish perspectives on tattooing
In this day and age, tattooing has become incredibly common, and as a result, many young Jews are grappling with the decision to get one because of Jewish law that prohibits body modification. Many Jews have heard that individuals who have a tattoo cannot be buried in a Jewish cemetery, but few people actually know where that idea comes from. In addition, the Torah states that “you shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:28), along with other rabbinical commentary condemning the act. Like a lot of other Jewish thought, Reform and Conservative Jews may not take this literally, especially since rabbis have debated what is actually meant by these biblical statements. So, like many Jewish topics, it’s all up for discussion.
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