Hebrew tattoo

Hebrew Tattoo Ideas and Their Meaning

In recent years, Hebrew tattoos have become increasingly popular, and there is a good reason for this. Choosing a tattoo can be quite a complex matter, especially when choosing it at a young age.

We try to think of a tattoo that will look good, have meaning, and be relevant to who we are and what we want to transmit to the world until our last days. What’s more, when we choose a tattoo, we want it to be a matter of interest, a mystery, that will make other people ask for an explanation about it and also that it will remain fashionable as far as we can anticipate the future. 

When weighing all the considerations together, there is no doubt that the Hebrew tattoo is one of the successful choices as it meets the requirements. Hebrew is a very ancient language, the language in which the Bible was written. Few understand Hebrew, so it will arouse curiosity.

The Hebrew letters can be written in different designs that differentiate the inscriptions from each other and convey different messages, and no less important, Hebrew will remain relevant forever and will never go out of fashion, unlike all graphic forms that can be popular for a period much shorter than our lives. A situation we very much want to avoid.

The most important point in choosing a Hebrew tattoo is its meaning. When choosing a tattoo in a language you do not speak, it is essential to understand the meaning of it before rushing to do the tattoo because then there is no going back.

Unfortunately, I came across a Hebrew tattoo with spelling errors, which makes it very embarrassing. Apart from spelling mistakes, there are Hebrew tattoos with very banal meaning or no meaning at all. It consists of one or a few words, and it is clear that the “owner” didn’t really understand his/her tattoo before “uploading” it. Those who choose to do a Hebrew tattoo will very much want to avoid both cases.

In this article, you can find real ideas and examples of Hebrew tattoos, including their meaning. Sometimes words have a double meaning, especially for phrases or Bible verses. If you are undecided about choosing the right words and their meaning, please write a message below this article, and I will get back to you with an answer.

Hebrew tattoos

English translation: Love of my life.

Hebrew pronunciation: Ahavat Nafshi

Hebrew letters: אהבת נפשי

The phrase is common in English and Hebrew, although in Hebrew, it has a biblical fragrance. These words describe deep love. Nafshi means soul. That is, to love someone very deeply. The design of the letters is unique and eye-catching. The letters of the first word, “love,” are easily understood.

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The second word is less clear, and it will also take time for Hebrew speakers to understand what is written, and it is doubtful if everyone will understand. The letter “ש” is ‘written inaccurately, even if one considers artistic freedom.

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English translation: Alive

Hebrew pronunciation: Chai (impossible to pronounce correctly based on English letters) 

Hebrew letters: חי

The word חי has been one of the popular words for quite a few years, both for tattoos and jewelry. It could probably have been born as art only among the Jews in Israel since it was like defiance against those who tried to destroy them. Alive is a statement that I’m here, you tried to annihilate me, destroy me and family, my people,  but I’m here, and I’m alive. 

The idea can also be lent to other people who have managed to survive or overcome great difficulties despite everything. The style of the letters is similar to the letters used to write a Torah scroll. The word is readable and very clear.

English translation: Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (Famous book by Dr. Seuss

Hebrew pronunciation: E’m Yots’eim Megi’im Le’mekomot Nif’laiem

Hebrew letters: אם יוצאים מגיעים למקומות נפלאים

An original idea for a tattoo bearing the name of the famous book Oh, the Places You’ll Go! The book hero’s journeys are metaphors for our journey in life, for the positive and negative stations. 

Hebrew tattoo - Oh the Places You will Go - IG-min
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The tattoo conveys the message of the desire to dare and do things differently without fear. In terms of tattoo design. The letters used are written letters. In Hebrew, as in English, there are two types of letters, print and written, and here the written letters are used. The letters are written beautifully and clearly.

Hebrew tattoo - balance - IG-min
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English translation: Balance

Hebrew pronunciation: Eizun

Hebrew letters: איזון

A very special design of Hebrew letters that make up the word BALANCE, in the form of a flame. Balance is one of the most significant things in our lives and is a key to happiness.

The balance is individual and everyone will find their balance in a different way and in a different place. The word balance has meaning in Jewish philosophy and thought. 

Judaism strives to present a life that has a balance between our various needs when most of our attention is focused primarily, which is our religious and spiritual development. The word balance has of course a universal meaning and can also be explained through Buddhism or Christianity or any other conception of life.

English translation: Love God, Love others 

Hebrew pronunciation: O’hev Et E’lohim, O’hev A’cherim

Hebrew letters: אוהב את אלוהים, אוהב אחרים

The meaning of the words is exact. There is no double meaning, and the tattoo is not based on any verse or Hebrew phrase. The letters and words are spelled correctly, but she uses masculine. Hebrew verbs are heard and written differently for males and females. Instead of using the word אוהב (O’hev), she should have used the word אוהבת (O’hevet).

Hebrew tattoo - love god - PIN-min
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English translation: “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.” (Song of Solomon 6:3)

Hebrew pronunciation: Ani Le’dodi Ve’dodi Li Ha’roeh Ba’shoshanim

Hebrew letters: אֲנִ֤י לְדוֹדִי֙ וְדוֹדִ֣י לִ֔י הָרֹעֶ֖ה בַּשּׁוֹשַׁנִּֽים:

This is one of the most famous Hebrew tattoos and it belongs to Victoria Beckham. I have no idea if she was the first to do it but obviously following her, many women did it.

The verse is taken from one of the five scrolls in the Bible, the Song of Songs.

According to Jewish tradition was written by King Solomon, the son of King David, in his youth. In the Jewish tradition, each of the scrolls is recited on a different holiday. The Song of Songs is read in synagogues every Passover.

The scroll describes a love story between a man and a woman between a man and a woman but according to Jewish tradition, it is not an ordinary love story but a parable of the connection between the people of Israel and God.

The simple explanation of this verse is his and he is mine. I am his lover and he is my beloved. , A relationship based on love and mutual choice. The continuation of the verse says, now he is far from me, “he feedeth among the lilies”, but he loves me, he will come back to me.

The verse describes great closeness and intimacy and therefore became one of the main symbols of the month of Elul (אלול), the month before the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana). According to Jewish tradition, this is the month of mercy and forgiveness and every Jew should draw closer to God and ask forgiveness for his actions in the past year and strive to become a better person in the new year. The Hebrew letters that make up the word Elul (אלול) are the initials of the Hebrew words of this verse: אני לדודי ודודי לי.

The verse is written in biblical letters and is accompanied by Hebrew punctuation marks.  The punctuation marks are not a must in Hebrew but it improves the ability to read the text accurately. Design-wise it adds to its richness and obviously makes the tattoo more complex.

English translation: You are not like everyone – (you are) most unique

Hebrew pronunciation: At Lo K’mo Kulam – Ha’chi Me’yuchedet

Hebrew letters: את לא כמו כולם – הכי מיוחדת 

The tattoo is an empowering sentence and probably a message to other women as well. Not based on any verse or familiar phrase. In terms of design, these are Hebrew written letters, written clearly and cleanly, without errors

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Hebrew tattoo - Shalom - PIN-min
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English translation: Peace (or hello, but here the meaning is Peace)

Hebrew pronunciation: Shalom

Hebrew letters: שלום

This is probably one of the most famous Hebrew words. The word peace appears in the Bible countless times; it also appears in daily prayers said alone or in the synagogue. For thousands of years, Jews have prayed to return to the Land of Israel, Jerusalem, and peace. 

There are many verses and quotations in the Bible and prayers dealing with peace, but one of the most famous of them is the verse of Job 25:2Dominion and fear are with him, he maketh peace in his high places.”

This verse is said many times each day as part of three prayers: Shacharit (morning), Mincha (noon), and Arvit (evening), and at the end, a Kaddish prayer that is said several times each day. The full sentence in the prayer is (translated from Hebrew to English): He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

English translation: This too shall pass 

Hebrew pronunciation: Gam Ze Ya’avor

Hebrew letters: גם זה יעבור

The phrase “this too will pass” reflects an optimistic Jewish view that refuses to indulge in suffering and feelings of depression but looks ahead to what the future holds. In Israel the phrase is bound up with a famous song called just that: it too will pass

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Hebrew tattoo - Pirkei Avot - PIN-min
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English translation: “If I am not for myself, who is for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” (Ethics of the Fathers: Chapter One)

Hebrew pronunciation: Ei’m Ein Ani Li, Mi Li? Hu’K’she’ani Le’Atsmi Ma Ani? Ve’Eim Lo A’Chshav Aei’matiy ?

Hebrew letters: אִם אֵין אֲנִי לִי, מִי לִי, וּכְשֶׁאֲנִי לְעַצְמִי, מָה אֲנִי, וְאִם לֹא עַכְשָׁו, אֵימָתָי.

Pirkei Avot, one of the Jewish holy books, is an inexhaustible source of proverbs, psychology, and Jewish philosophy. 

The book is part of the Mishnah literature written in the first two centuries AD and deals with morality, virtues, and manners. The verses of Pirkei Avot are summarized in a sentence or two on which books can be written.

The statement “If I am not for myself, who is for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I?” Reflects two truths that live next to each other, and both exist in human nature. Every person must take care of himself because no one will care more about us than we do. On the other hand, humans are social beings who are not built for an independent existence on a solitary island.

Every person needs family, friends, and community, so what is our value when completely alone? The context of the two sentences is the doing. All our doing depends only on us, but basically, alone we are unable to do anything. And the third sentence completes the previous two and goes against the procrastination: And if not now, when? That is if you want to do something, do it now, not tomorrow.

English translation: King’s daughter

Hebrew pronunciation: Bito Shel Melech

Hebrew letters: בתו של מלך 

The phrase is based on a verse from Psalms 45:13:  “The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.” The meaning of the verse is that a woman’s dignity is in her modesty. 

Hebrew tattoo - daughter of the king - PIN-min
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Even a king’s daughter who is highly respected, the honor does not come from socializing outside but from modesty. Of course, this is the conservative Jewish perception undergoing a very significant change in the last generation. Religious women go out to work and participate in significant public activity, politics, business, academia, and wherever men are. The inscription “Daughter of a King” is a kind of modesty statement, at least in the context of the verse from Psalms.

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