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Non-Jewish Celebrities Show Off Their Hebrew Tattoos

Here is an interesting post from the good folks at Tablet Magazine examining the trend of non-Jewish celebrities with Hebrew tattoos. While working on my documentary Tattoo Jew I've become interested in the dynamic of Hebrew ink on non-Jewish people, and this article captures that dynamic pretty well. Celebrities such as Christina Aguilera, David Beckham and Victoria Beckham, Jordin Sparks and Justin Bieber are mentioned. One of the Jewish celebrities mentioned is Adam Pally. He is pictured above with Eliza Coupe from the unfortunately cancelled show Happy Endings. But you can check him out every week on the hilarious show The Mindy Project with Mindy Kaling (she's amazing!). Check out the article and let me know what you think. Here it is:

11 Non-Jewish Celebrities—and 2 Jewish Ones—Show Off Their Hebrew Tattoos
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Metal stamps used to tattoo Jewish prisoners of Auschwitz discovered

The Auschwitz Museum in Poland has recently added metal stamps used to tattoo Jewish prisoners during the Holocaust to its collection. In autumn 1941 the Nazis began to forcibly tattoo numbers onto the bodies of Soviet prisoners of war. The number was tattooed on the left side of a prisoner’s chest using a metal stamp to which removable plates with needles were inserted, consisting of specific digits. A single blow with an inked stamp to the chest was able to permanently impress the entire number. From spring 1942 onward, authorities at the camp ordered tattooing of numbers for all prisoners on the left forearm. Needles fixed on a wooden shaft and soaked in ink began to be used for puncturing the skin to form digits. Almost all previously registered and newly arrived prisoners, including females, were tattooed.
Read the original Jerusalem Post article HERE.
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Egypt Arrests 'Israel Lover' for Star of David Tattoo

A 24-year-old Egyptian has been arrested by authorities for allegedly committing the crime of “loving Israel.” National media outlets in Egypt have given the “suspect” the moniker “Israel lover,” after he was spotted with a tattoo of the Star of David on his arm. According to authorities, the man “made contact with Israelis through his Facebook page, and he clicked ‘like’ on the Mossad’s Facebook page.” Read about it here and here.
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50 Religiously Inspired Tattoos Show Faith That's Not Just Skin-Deep

The Huffington Post has an article with a slide show that is an interesting look at spiritual and religious expressions in tattoos titled, . The slide show includes the following Jewish related image:
Here is the text for the above image: "An Israeli army reservist, who sports a tattoo of a lion surrounded by Star of David, works on his tank as another performs his morning prayers at a forward base where the Israeli army have deployed dozens of tanks and armored vehicles, near Israel's border with Lebanon. (2006)"
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Israeli Ink: Body Art Bares Itself in Beersheba

While working on Tattoo Jew I have become interested in the world of Jewish ink in Israel. In comparison with diaspora Jews (particularly in the United States) Israelis have been slower to embrace tattoos as a way to express their Jewish identity. There are recent examples of children and grandchildren of Auschwitz survivors in Israel getting inked with identical numbers to those on their relatives. This act of commemoration was detailed in a New York Times article last year titled Proudly Bearing Elders’ Scars, Their Skin Says ‘Never Forget’. But most of the inked Israelis and tattoo artists have been, in my experience, disconnected with the relationship between Jewish identity and tattoos. So, imagine my excitement upon reading about an exhibit by Yasmine Berger titled “Tattoos: Tattoo Representations in Contemporary Art,” at Beersheba's HaBeer Gallery sponsored by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. According to Ms. Bergner, “I wanted to see if I could find a place in Judaism that could accept tattooing, seeing how everyone can engage in it as a private ritual.”
The Times of Israel has a fascinating article about Ms. Berger's exhibit which you can read here: Body Art Bares Itself in Beersheba.
If you want to view a Google translated version of her site in English you can view it here. Or, if you read Hebrew just click here.
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Free Swastika Tattoo Campaign Provokes Outrage in UK

A controversial campaign to provide swastika tattoos for free has provoked a storm of outrage from war heroes and Jewish groups. Free swastika tattoo campaign provokes outrage in North East
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The Google Neck Tattoo

Google has applied for a patent on a "skin tattoo" that functions as a microphone and potentially as a lie detector, according to the Time Magazine post Google’s Lie-Detecting Neck Tattoo Probably Won’t Improve Your Dating Life. In addition, Motorola Is Working On a Password Pill for Once-Daily Authentication — Oh, and a Tattoo, Too.
Check out the Mashable video on the topic here:

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Jews in Prison Stick With Faith To Cope With Flood of Anti-Semitism


Here's an interesting article about the Jewish prison experience from the Forward: Jews in Prison Stick With Faith To Cope With Flood of Anti-Semitism
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Jewish News One video: Tattoos on Jews and the Myths About Them

Here is an interesting video about tattoos on Jews and the myths about them video from Jewish News One:
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Getting Off on the Right Foot: A Rashi Tattoo

In a New York Times wedding announcement for Miriam Ganz and Rabbi Daniel Horowitz there was a sweet reference to her tattoo and the role it played in their first meeting:
"He next noticed the tattoo on the top of her right foot. “Beshert, and in Rashi, that’s sexy,” she recalled him saying, as he deciphered the medieval Rashi typeface for the Yiddish word “beshert,” which means “destined” or, in the romantic sense, “soul mate.” “It kind of took my breath away,” she said. Rabbi Horwitz didn’t have an issue with her tattoo, which is traditionally taboo in less liberal Jewish circles."
I couldn't find any pics of the tattoo. So, if anyone (including the newlyweds) would like to share a photo of that ink with me, I'm eager to see it.
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Holocaust Tattoos Causing a Stir in Jewish Communities

"24-year-old Israeli man Daniel Philosoph is one of a growing number of grandchildren of Auschwitz survivors around the world that are using their bodies to memorialize some of the darkest days in history for Jews." Read the article Holocaust Tattoos Causing a Stir in Jewish Communities and check out the video:
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Will Deutsch: Notes from the Tribe

Artist Will Deutsch creates a wonderful intersection between his love of comic books, his love of Judaism and his quirky artistic talent. I dig his work and there are a lot of pieces that would be of interest to Jewish people of all levels of religious observance. Specifically interesting in the context of Tattoo Jew is this:

According to the Jewish Journal article Will Deutsch: Drawing on Jewish Culture,"Deutsch’s imagery draws from a rich tradition of immigrant Jewish woodcut artists, also a major influence on Will Eisner’s “A Contract with God,” widely recognized as the first graphic novel. Most of the founding comic book artists and writers were Jewish, and Deutsch can cite the pantheon like a music critic listing the great composers: Maxwell Gaines, a pioneer of the comic book form; Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, creators of Superman; Bob Kane, creator of Batman; Al Jaffee of Mad Magazine; and Stan Lee, former editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics. Deutsch’s drawings reflect the lack of agreement of what it means to be Jewish. The Jews in his drawings are wrapping tefillin, but they’re also doing the electric slide at a bar mitzvah and getting Hebrew tattoos on their arms. “My work is meant to function as a lens, not a pulpit,” Deutsch said. “It’s how I see things, not how they are or how they should be.”"
Check out his site here: Notes from the Tribe.
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Jews Without God

In response to the recent Pew Research Center survey of American Jews, writer Isabel Kaplan wrote this Huffington Post blog talking about her religious identity (and her Hebrew tattoo). Read the original piece by the Jewish Journal, which also includes writer Julie Bien talking about having a Hamsa tattoo, plus other stories by Jewish Millenials talking about their identity: My Judaism: Millennials speak out following Pew poll
If you're interested, take some time and look through the original information posted recently by the Pew Research Center on Jews and Judaism.
And, in case all the statistics and chatter stress you out, just remember that humor is essential to Jewish identity.
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"Jews With Tattoos: The Good, The Bad and the Oy Vey"

Cool post from Julie Bien at the Jewish Journal in Los Angeles: Jews with tattoos: the good, the bad and the oy vey
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Jews and Tattoos from The Times of Israel


This is an interesting list of advice for Jews interested in getting inked from the perspective of an Israeli. While I don't endorse the advice either way it's worth a read. Just keep one thing in mind: The author, Jason Fredric Gilbert, is completely wrong by reinforcing the myth that Jewish people with tattoos can't be buried in a Jewish cemetery. But he makes some other good points. You can read the whole article here.
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Korn Guitarist Gets "Shechinah" Inked On Eyelid

Though he's not Jewish it's still interesting to see Brian Welch's Eye-Grabbing Tattoo
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The Robotic Tattoo Machine that Randomly Tattoos Your Favorite Religious Symbol

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From the good folks at Juxtapoz via Geekologie: Chris Eckert has desigend and created this robotic tattoo machine. The great part is that the tattoo machine does the tattoo for you, and the even better/crazy thing is that it picks your tattoo for you. Not just any tattoo, you are “assigned a religion and it’s corresponding symbol is tattooed onto the your arm.”

In full, Eckert’s robotoic tattoo machine is described as a “three axis numerically controlled sculpture. Once the main switch is triggered, the operator is assigned a religion and it’s corresponding symbol is tattooed onto the person’s arm. The operator does not have control over the assigned symbol.”
You know how some people get drunk and wake up in the morning with a “I Love Mom” tattoo on their arm? This makes random moments even better.
The Robotic Tattoo Machine that Randomly Tattoos Your Favorite Religious Symbol

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“Branded” featured in Tablet Magazine

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I’m a huge fan of Tablet Magazine and here is an interesting article about getting inked as a Jew written by Dvora Meyers:

BRANDED, by Dvora Meyers for Tablet Magazine

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Living with Leviticus: On Tattoos

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Here is an interesting article titled “Living with Leviticus: On Tattoos” from the Twin Cities Daily Planet Twin Cities Daily Planet examining some often overlooked challenges to halacha (religious law) concerning the permissibility of Jews getting inked. Click on the picture to read:
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On the Doorposts of My House: “Tattooed Jew

blog2Malachi Kosanovich writes a an interesting column for Beliefnet called On the Doorposts of My House. Her recent post Tattooed Jew is a thoughtful rumination on the ways we reconcile our choices in the context of religious law.

Here is photo of one of her many tattoos:

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David Draiman of Disturbed, on Judaism & Tattoos

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"I Reconciled My Gay Identity With My Orthodox Upbringing—Through a Tattoo"

Interest article from Tablet Magazine: "The mark on this yeshiva boy’s arm is a symbol of how I ultimately held on to my religious background after I came out"
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At a Jerusalem parlor, centuries of pilgrim tattoos

Orthodox Christians ink themselves with a permanent reminder of their visit with a family that has practiced the art form for generations. Link: At a Jerusalem parlor, centuries of pilgrim tattoos
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Amanda Bynes Shows Rarely Seen Hebrew Tattoo

Amanda Bynes shows of a tattoo in honor of her Jewish heritage. The message roughly translates to "We all have the same 24 hours in the day." The link:
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Cool Fiction: The Japa Jew with Yakuza Tattoos

I just read some cool fiction by Michael Masukawa titled The Japa Jew with the Yakuza Tattoos. I thought it worth sharing in the spirit and context of Tattoo Jew.

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Scars of Israel’s ‘Numbered’

Scars of Israel’s ‘Numbered’
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The Tattoo: Still Taboo? Drew Barrymore gets hers removed, but tattoos among Jews persist, as in ancient times.

Interesting article by Elli Fischer at The Jewish Times: The Tattoo: Still Taboo?
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Jewish group debates tattoos and traditions

An article from the Miami Herald about the Next@19th event “The New Sanhedrin” created by Jenni Person.
JEWISH GROUP DEBATES TATTOOS AND TRADITIONS

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Big Bang Theory - Jewish Cemetery

I was just watching an episode of the Big Bang Theory from 2009 (The Gothowitz Deviation) where Howard says he can be buried in a Jewish cemetery because he's not wearing a real tattoo. Obviously, one might imagine that Chuck Lorre and any other Jewish writers might know that the tattoo-related burial prohibition is a myth. But it's still a commonly accepted misconception. Plus, far be it from me to ever criticize Chuck Lorre. He's written and created some great work in television. In fact, if I were in a more clever mood I'd have written this like a Chuck Lorre vanity card.

Here is the clip:
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Menorah Pig Roast for Chanukah!

A menorah roasting a pig for Chanukah isn't kosher, but it is incredibly funny!

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