The Torah states that “you shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves,” but in modern times, this same practice has become quite common – even acceptable in many circles. Although religious bans on body art were once strictly followed, today, tattoos are regularly used to express religious inclinations, and getting a Star of David tattoo is a fantastic example of this. Although the Star of David was once associated both with Judaism and Christianity, it is now almost exclusively a representation of the Jewish identity. It is also thought to be an emblem for unity, the dual nature of existence, protection, and God’s total power over humanity.
A Star of David tattoo can be seen in many ways, but one of the most common styles is a simple depiction of the two triangles placed one on top of the other. These pieces are sometimes done in black or red, but are most commonly seen in a light, powdery blue hue. Although many people feel that you should not alter the Star of David, others do not see an issue, and prefer to add artistic variations to the traditional theme. For example, the star may be golden, or bear small glints to each point; the star may be covered in different types of material, like animal prints, marble, or strong metals; or it may be done in distinctive patterns, such as Victorian-styled scrollwork, Celtic knots, or art deco lines.
You might also see a Star of David tattoo that is mingled with other pertinent symbolism. In most cases, these complimentary symbols are also religious in nature, and may contain things like the mezuzah, menorahs, the hamesh hand or Chai symbol. For those who were raised or currently live in a home with mixed beliefs, a mingling of symbols from each religion may be an excellent idea. For example, the Star of David may be placed upon the breast of a dove or lamb, or it may rest in front of the flame of a candle – the light shining between the spaces. Not all symbols are dogmatic, though, and may in fact be of a more light-hearted inclination. Some of the most common images include flowers, hearts, flames, dog tags and birds.
To those who follow a strict religious code, a Star of David tattoo may seem like a very bad idea. However, as things change, the need to express faith in a committed fashion has led many devout people to choose body art. Not only is this an open and obvious badge belief, but it is one that will stay with the wearer for the rest of his or her life.