Like father, like daughter when it comes to doing things for shock value in the Silverman family. This time, it’s not raunchy and outspoken comedian Sarah Silverman who is in the spotlight. Instead, it’s all eyes on her father Donald Silverman…or more precisely, on his ass.
That is where (if he lets you) you’ll get a glimpse of a new tattoo he got as a Valentine’s Day present for his wife, Janice. It’s also a birthday present, since her birthday happens to be on February 14.
As tuchus tattoos go, it is quite sweet. “Janice” appears on a ribbon spread out across a heart and flower. Fortunately, Silverman, 76, stayed away from the more complex designs by tattoo artist Jason Holley at Big Kahuna Tattoo & Piercing in Boca Raton, Florida.
Judging from the amount of painful screaming Silverman did while being inked (his daughter, actress Laura Silverman, filmed the event), its doubtful he would have been able to handle getting a larger or more detailed tattoo.
The idea for the unusual gift for Janice originated with Laura, who told HuffPost Live that she had no idea her father would find getting a tattoo to be so painful. He apparently did less complaining after getting a recent hip replacement.
Janice was very moved by her husband’s gesture, but was at first a bit terrified to see it. “Right away I though, oh God—he could get an infection,” she said.
Rabbi Susan Silverman, Donald’s oldest daughter, had no idea her father was planning to get a tattoo. “This is so not something I would have expected from him. The kids and I thought it was a joke when Laura sent us the video,” she told The Times of Israel from her home in Jerusalem.
In general, Silverman is not in favor of tattoos. “I’m not a fan of permanent body changes that are not for health purposes (outside of circumcision, of which I wouldn’t say I was a fan, but I am committed to),” she explained. “When Jewish law or practice clashes with my sense of justice, peace or compassion I am willing — even, I would say obligated — to challenge it. When it is morally neutral, like the prohibition against tattoos, I would prefer those I love follow it.”
But since getting inked is not a moral transgression, she’s not going to spend much time worrying about it.
Rabbi Silverman has had prior experience with family members getting tattoos. Her oldest daughter got the phrase “peace and love” in Arabic tattooed on her arm before being drafted to the army.
“She said, ‘I needed to balance out my uniform.’ My husband and I were both moved by that, although would have much preferred a bracelet.”
“You need to be sensible,” Laura told HuffPost Live about the commonly held belief that tattoos are taboo in Judaism and that Jews with tattoos cannot be buried in Jewish cemeteries. “Instead of sticking to the rules, you need to think it through in terms of what applies best terms of making life on earth work out well for you.
Donald Silverman’s biggest challenge now is figuring out how to pull down the seat of his pants to show off his tattoo without having to undo his belt and fully drop his trousers. “It’s not appropriate in public. He’s just going to have to learn to slide it down,” Laura insisted.
“I’m not a big fan of tattoos, but I love how happy it made Janice and that the insanity of my crazily-love-filled family has been, yet again, affirmed,” Rabbi Silverman said.