Stuart sends us this photographic nugget from an undisclosed location in Tennessee. (The photo was seriously overexposed, so I had to darken it and convert it to sepia.)
Stuart’s email was a little vague, but it would appear that he took my cue from one of several Godspotting entries and asked the bearer of this interesting religious tattoo if he could take a photo of it under one guise or another. At any rate, it’s not often that you find a black man tattooed with Hebrew lettering – in fucking Tennessee no less.
The bearer of this skin ink hinted that the inspiration for this particular body adornment came from Yahuda Berg’s book, 72 Names of God.
Jewish lore is filled with an insane amount of mysticism and numerology, a fair deal of which the non-bagel-and-lox-eating population is now aware of because jackass celebrities feigned interest in Kabbalah. It’s all very esoteric nonsense that few true Talmudic scholars can make much sense of. I can assure you that wannabe fucktards like Madonna have no such understanding. They just think it’s cool it be into it – just like the bearer of this tattoo. What you’re smelling here is hickory-smoked poseur. Bet your money on it.
Without getting into the delusional derivation of the mathematical algorithm that yields the following, 72 triads (three-letter words) for the name of god are derived from Exodus 14:19-21:
The three letters in this gent’s ink (read right to left) are Mem, Tzadik, and Resh, spelling metzare [meh-TZAH-reh], which is loosely derived to mean freedom.
I suppose the glaringly obvious parallel meaning for a black man is understandable: subservience to some dude with lighter skin, let my people go muthafucka, stickin’ it to the man with a mass exodus, years of searching only to set up shop south of 155th Street and west of FDR Drive, and eventually making white fathers nervous. Or perhaps it’s a figurative freedom from a troubled past. I can only guess.
On a side note, my personal favorite is found at the intersection of row 6, column 1. This name of god is pronounced heh-heh-heh. (Really.)
But just to spotlight the flavor of crazy that has fueled this kind of nutty remedial math and superstition for millennia, from Kabbalah.com:
“The ancient Kabbalist Rav Shimon bar Yochai wrote in the Zohar that it was Moses, not God, who parted the Red Sea, allowing the Israelites to narrowly escape Pharaoh and the Egyptian army. In order to accomplish this apparent miracle, Moses combined the power of certainty with a very powerful spiritual technology. He had possession of a formula that literally gave him access to the subatomic realm of nature…The formula Moses used to overcome the laws of nature has been hidden in the Zohar for 2000 years.”
I’ll close on this note: sniff the fucking insanity.