I, TOO, WAS approached by a young Jewish woman who wanted to know whether a body tattoo would preclude her from having a Jewish burial (Tatoos, a fading taboo, JC, January 19). However, instead of telling her what she was wanting to hear, I did the Jewish thing: I answered her question with a question. “Tell me,” I said, “were I to tell you the answer is yes, would you go ahead?” Taken aback by my approach, she said no, that would probably deter her.
I then said to her: “Being Jewish obviously means a fair bit to you if you are already worrying about being denied a Jewish rite of passage in 60 or 70 years’ time. Tell me, do you not deem it conceivable that in future your Jewish consciousness will strengthen and you will come to regret what you did to your body? And yet this you will have to live with all your life; it will accompany you into the Jewish grave you care about so much. And for what? To say you made a fashion statement at 19!”
I do not know whether she went ahead, but, at the very least, it made her think. Rabbi Chaim Ingram Llandaff Street, Bondi Junction, NSW, Australia