Monthly Archives: December 2009

Dear Tattooist: What about mom? And Leviticus?

kyle asked:

dear tattooist.

a) will it hurt? i’m a complete pussy and don’t like pain.
b) what would your mom think – i mean, dirtying up your skin and all. don’t you know what leviticus says about it? scandalous.


I’ll be focusing on “b” in this post. (I covered “a” here.)

First, do I really care what my mom would think? Sure I respect her as my mother. But I’m past the point of being overly concerned with what she thinks of me as to how I live my life. Besides, it’s probably more she’s afraid of what others would think about her since I’m this way. I’m my own adult, thank you very much. Well, I’m an adult most of the time. Come to think of it, I don’t think mom and I ever talked about the tattoos. With the way she flipped out when I took my brother to get his ears pierced when he was in high school, she’s probably have a stroke over my ink now.

Second, I’d have to be a practicing Judeo-Christian in some form or fashion to care about what Leviticus says concerning tattoos. And then what of other religious beliefs and cultural practices for the remainder of the world?

However, since I grew up in a “Christian” household, I’ll play the game. The Leviticus reference to which you refer is Leviticus 19:28.

讜砖专讟 诇谞驻砖 诇讗 转转谞讜 讘讘砖专讻诐 讜讻转讘转 拽注拽注 诇讗 转转谞讜 讘讻诐 讗谞讬 讬讛讜讛變

You don’t read Hebrew? What? Neither do I. One might immediately wonder about the relevance of anything written in a different language and how it relates to me. Especially something from several thousand years ago. That is a different discussion however.

The American King James Version translates this verse as: “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor imprint any marks upon you: I am the LORD.”

From the research I’ve done, many Orthodox Jews state that the Biblical law prohibits all tattoos regardless of their reason. The original Hebrew words for this are 鈥渒etovet kaaka鈥, meaning “dug-out writing”. All the reference work I found online don’t seem to explain the “for the dead” junction, or what “dug-out writing” actually is.

A Google search of “Leviticus 19:28” and “Tattoo Leviticus” shows how NOT so simple the debate is over this verse within the Judeo-Christian community. Much like EVERY other aspect of both the Torah and the Bible. Again, I digress.

The key to this statement for me, in reading this verse in the context of the section, is the “for the dead” bit. Which could possibly mean no memorial tattoos. Which we do a large number of. Mostly on seemingly “religious” individuals judging by the subject matter that is usually tattooed.

Personally I think I’m more upset that God can’t stand the sight of handicapped people or dwarfs, and didn’t want them as priests. (See Leviticus 21:16-23.)

If you have questions about tattoos: tattoos in general, about getting a tattoo, about giving a tattoo, or anything else related to tattoos, just add a comment to my November 6, 2009 post, or send me the question via e-mail from my contact page. I will then dedicate an entire post to answering your question.

Until next time...

So PC it’s not.

It’s an oldie… yet so still true.

click to embiggen

I’m sure I’m cynical after working in the retail world since college, but why is it that humans frantically run around during this time of year crossing names off of lists after spending monies they can’t really afford to spend?

It seems that people expect to have all their consumption wishes fulfilled during this season. As if it was an obligation. And if they don’t, tantrums ensue.

To an extent, as a small business owner I’m biting the hands that feed me. But to me there is a huge difference between personally saving up for something you want versus demanding you receive it from others. I can’t begin to count how many “children” have come in to the studio with “parents” and then threw a fit to get what they wanted. And the “parents” acquiesced.

Yeah. That’s good parenting.

Until next time...