Tattoos are supposed to be cool.* They’re supposed to be a form of rebellion. As a Jew it’s twice as true, because Rabbis used to lie and say you couldn’t get buried in a Jewish cemetery if you had a tattoo, and they also said it was the worst sin ever (next to murder, rape, incest, and not watching Seinfeld). The 21st century is the perfect time to get a tattoo. Cremation is now happening in Israel, if you are so inclined to burn your body and have loved one smoke your ashes and ingest your ghost particles. Tattoos are mainstream. Everyone has them.
Oh what’s that? You’re going to be a Devorah Downer and remind me about how Holocaust victims were tattooed and that therefore the Nazis have ruined ANOTHER thing for the Jews?
No…you’re not. You’d rather tell me about young Israelis who are getting Holocaust tattoos as homage and respect for their Holocaust-surviving grandparents.
Mr. Diamant had the same tattoo, the number 157622, permanently inked on his own arm by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Nearly 70 years later, Ms. Sagir got hers at a hip tattoo parlor downtown after a high school trip to Poland. The next week, her mother and brother also had the six digits inscribed onto their forearms. This month, her uncle followed suit.
“All my generation knows nothing about the Holocaust,” said Ms. Sagir, 21, who has had the tattoo for four years. “You talk with people and they think it’s like the Exodus from Egypt, ancient history. I decided to do it to remind my generation: I want to tell them my grandfather’s story and the Holocaust story.” //NYTIMES
Wait…what? Jews are getting numbers tattooed on their arms. And they’re getting these tattoos with total sincerity, in a non ironic way? There are young people who get tattoos and mean it?!? This is so sincere…so heartfelt…very tov.
But they’ve now set the Jew tattoo bar pretty high, and pretty sincerely so, too. Now the only way my Mom will let me get a tattoo is if I memorialize the Holocaust, OR if I get her name in a red heart on my forearm with the phrase ‘I _____ Ema.’ I think.
There goes my Lucky Charms tattoo with the leprechaun beating the shit out of Cap’n Crunch in a deathmatch.
Back to the ol’ ‘How to disappoint my mother’ drawing board and see if I can’t find a shiksa to bring home. Sigh.
*Okay. So I’ve looked at your pictures again. Maybe it’s the lighting. But you both look sexy, so it’s not your fault. I blame the Nazis on this one. As always.