Justin Bieber may not have liked Israel’s papparazzi, but he seems to have been impressed by the country’s language, or at the very least by its script. So impressed, in fact, that he had it impressed upon him.
Bieber’s Hebrew tattoo of Jesus’ name puts the young pop star in a pantheon of famous non-Jews sporting Hebrew ink on their celebrity skins.
Other bold-face names seen with tattoos in the lashon kodesh include: Victoria and David Beckham (whose grandfather was Jewish), Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears.
Bieber’s tattoo, it’s worth noting, does not use the common Modern Hebrew word for Jesus, "Yeshu," but rather the Hebrew version popular among many Christians (including those of the "Messianic Jewish" variety) "Yeshua."
The popularity of Hebrew tattoos — which like any celebrity trend has filtered down to the common folks — has given rise to a website chronicling the inevitable (and indelible) errors that have ensued. Surely, Bieber’s tattoo will result in more fodder for the site.
What would Eliezer Ben-Yehuda do?