Home > Sermons > SERMON: Tattoos and Sexting…Are They Good for the Jews?

SERMON: Tattoos and Sexting…Are They Good for the Jews?

December 9, 2014

We are happy to welcome the High School students from across the country who have come to Beth Tfiloh this weekend for the Weiner Tournament and have joined us at this time. My words are addressed to them, and to all of you. This morning I am going to speak about a word that many of you in the synagogue know, and many of you do not know. It’s a word that some of you have experienced, and many of you never will. And whether you know the word, or have experienced it, will depend very much on how old you are and where you are sitting in the synagogue at this time. The word is “SEXTING.”

First a few words of comfort for our high school students. Let me tell you something about Jewish law that I don’t think many of you are aware of. In my first 30 years as a rabbi, I was never asked about it. But in the last 10 years it has become one of the more frequent questions: Can a Jew with a tattoo be buried in a Jewish cemetery? And the answer is: no matter what anyone has told you, if you have a tattoo you CAN be buried in a Jewish cemetery! That’s a fact! Let no one tell you differently! A person with a tattoo cannot be buried in a Jewish cemetery is a “wives’ tale.” Or, more likely, a Jewish mother’s tale … a way of your parents scaring all of you into not getting a tattoo! Now, I don’t want you to go home and say that Rabbi Wohlberg said it’s okay to get a tattoo – it’s not! It is prohibited by Jewish law, where we are told in the Torah: “And a wound on your soul you shall not put in your flesh and a tattoo you shall not place in you. I am the Lord.” So, it’s clear that a tattoo is prohibited. But there are a lot of things that are prohibited and if we did not allow a Jew who has violated a Jewish law to be buried in a Jewish cemetery we would have a lot of land available to build condominiums! READ MORE

%d bloggers like this: