4th August 2005
This was in the news yesterday (here, here, and here, among others), but I was too overcome with emotion to post it until today! Jewish soccer star David Beckham and his “posh” wife, Victoria Beckham, got matching Hebrew tattoos on their sixth wedding anniversary. The tattoo is apparently from the Song of Songs 2:16:
×“×•×“×™ ×œ×™ ×•×?× ×™ ×œ×• “My Beloved is mine and I am his”
There are actually web pages devoted to Beckhams’ tattoos!
I have mixed emotions about tattoos. I personally have no desire to get one and I sure hope this tattooing craze is spent by the time my kids grow up (OK, I guess they’re not so mixed!). The problem with tattoos is that they are just too permanent. I wouldn’t like to know what I would have tattooed on my body when I was 18! I’ve had students ask me (with increasing frequency) how to write this or that in Hebrew or Greek for a tattoo. I’ve been tempted to spell whatever they ask as × ×‘×œ (fool!). Perhaps I should just quote Leviticus 19:28 and send them packing: “You shall not… tattoo any marks upon you: I am Yahweh” (I recall seeing this verse actually used as an argument against modern tattoos; I assume that the prohibition was due to some association with cultic practices of Israel’s neighbours rather than tattooing itself).