Tag Archives: tattos as mutilation

What’s with the Tats?

photo by mickiky @ flickr.com

In Leviticus 19:28, it is written: “You shall not etch a tattoo on yourselves.” This prohibition applies to all alterations of the body besides those made for medical purposes such as to guide a surgeon making an incision. Although some believe that this is one of those “outdated commandments,” others offer explanations for the prohibition. Some argue the human body is G‑d’s creation, and it is unacceptable to change, alter or mutilate G‑d’s handiwork, and the Jewish Torah forbids practices that emulate pagan customs, considering that following their traditions is the first step towards ascribing to idolatrous beliefs and services.

These days, however, tattooing has ballooned in popularity. Speak to anyone with a tattoo and you will find a person who believes that the tattoo is not an act of physical mutilation but a deeply personal form of expressive art with a story behind each tattoo.

Clearly, having a tattoo is not a subversive act anymore as so many people have them.

So why are so many Generation Yers (18-24 year olds) getting tattoos? What is the allure of getting a tattoo? If you have one (or many), what motivated you to get the very first one?