Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tattoos I Love: Melanie's Tribute to Our Family

How is it possible that my lovely wife Melanie, who celebrates her birthday today, has a tattoo that hasn't graced these pages? It just is, I guess, but in celebration of her special day, let's all look at my favorite tattoo of her collection:

This photo was taken shortly after it was inked by the awesome Peter Cavorsi, owner of Body Art Studios in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, many five or six years ago.

The center of the piece is a Star of David with the Hebrew word חי (Chai) in the center. The design is inspired by this necklace Melanie has:

The Hebrew words encircling the center design element are the Hebrew names of our family members: Melanie's, mine, and those of our two daughters.

When Melanie came up with the concept of the whole piece, she wanted to make sure she got the Hebrew correct, so she met with a friend of ours who is a rabbi. He agreed, in a very rabbinical way, to provide her with the Hebrew lettering on the condition that Melanie would meet with him and study why tattooing is considered by many to be forbidden in Judaism. She agreed, of course, and the lesson proves valuable whenever she feels like challenging those who challenge her on why Jews shouldn't get inked. Note this 2008 piece from the New York Times about Jews and Tattoos.

One technical note: I was in charge of proofreading the final design before the stencil was made, and I missed the fact that, in one of our daughter's Hebrew names, which is comprised of three names, the second and third names run together, a detail missed by many, but proof that, even when you think you know something's perfect, you should triple-check. This small technical error doesn't make the tattoo any less awesome, in my opinion.

Then again, I'm biased, because it's a beautiful tattoo on the woman I love and, well, she chose to ink my Hebrew name on her flesh, along with our awesome children, as well.

So, on this, Melanie's birthday, I want to share her tattoo and wish her a wonderful day.

I love you Melanie, and I love your tattoos!

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