Son's Love; Dad's Obedience

This guy wanted his tattoo to be something special. Not just a bunch of letters and a random doodle, oh no. His tattoo is beautiful and elaborate, obviously well crafted:

But what do we see on the bottom? Is it Hebrew writing? Lets take a peek!

Right. This is where well crafted ends.

From a first glance, this Hebrew tattoo just looks weird. Apostrophes and double-quotes everywhere! When you really think about it, however, you may realize they are not apostrophes or double-quotes after all. Instead, it's the letter Yod - the bastardized version.

Now that the letters are all sorted, this tattoo reads:
"My father is a soldier of God and his crowd[misspelled]. My father obeys"

Did he mean to say that? I honestly don't know.


  1. I cant help but guess, that the Bet was suppposed to be a Nun (sorry if I misspeled those letters, but Im not that good at translitterating myself.)

    PS LOVE this blog!

  2. I think it's not his father who is the soldier, but rather, himself (mispelled, with the letter bet replacing the nun).

    אני חייל של אלוהים
    makes a little more sense

    About the second line, could it be וקהלו?
    אני חייל של אלוהים
    וקהלו, אני מציית

    Or: I am the soldier of God and His crowd
    I obey.

    Mental health issues aside, that is at least grammatical-ish...

  3. Yep, that's a definite possibility (turning "my father" into "I"), but you can never know...

  4. My friend was telling me how people just spontaneously decide to get a tattoo and that's why they end up messing up their Hebrew.

    But honestly, this CANNOT be spontaneous.

  5. Could it be that קהלו is a misspelled "רק אליו" which will make it "אני חייל של אלוהים, ורק אליו אני מציית"
    which would say "I am a soldier of God, and only him I obey"

  6. All the 'parshanut' which explains this mystery is tattooed on his butt, which modesty prevents us from viewing. Funny, G-d didn't have a problem showing His backside to Moshe Avinu Shabbat shalom

  7. I think the ק in וקאל'ו is just not meant to be there at all. I'd guess it was meant to be ואליו - to him, making the sentence "I am a soldier of god, and to Him I obey".

    BTW, where do you find all these images? I think it would be nice if you'd link to the source. Would also give us a change to glance more insight into what the people had in mind when they got these tattoos.

  8. maybe קאלו is supposed to be colo קולו his voice, and in a better grammar לקולו
    אני חייל של אלוהים ולקולו אני מציית

  9. Another idea: could the קהלו have meant קולו = his voice? Maybe it's supposed to be something like
    ולקולו אני מציית
    "and his voice I obey"???

  10. As well as the sheer number of mistakes in this and similar Hebrew Tattoos, it's amazing the care people take to think out a Hebrew Tattoo like this, but then just take no care at all to get the Hebrew right. Even spending a few minutes learning the Hebrew Alphabet would help. If you really don't know Hebrew at all, why would you get a Hebrew Tattoo? It's bizarre.

  11. I think the right way to spell it would be:
    אני חייל האלוהים, ורק לו אציית.
    חייל האלוהים אנוכי, ורק לקולו אשמע.

  12. Kahalo (Kahal Shelo) is more accurately translated as "his congregation".

    It's Moshe Rabbeinu (our teacher), not Moshe Avinu (our father) - the latter implies that we are descended from him...which you very well may be, but the former is the proper phrase to use regardless.

  13. Ethan seems to get that right. This is certainly רק אליו.
    This tattooist's Vav's, judging from the other words, are just a single vertical line. The letter looking more like printed Vav was probably mistaken for a Resh. The grammar is pretty good actually. Both spacing and letter design failed miserably. Should be:
    אני חייל של אל(ו)הים, רק אליו אני מציית


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