There’s a man in my synagogue, a doctor, who’s of an age that makes it seem unlikely he’d have a tattoo. But he has one.
It’s on his wrist, his left wrist, actually. The location reminds me of tefillin, wrapped on the left arm to be closer to the heart.
The tattoo is of the Hebrew pictured above. It’s pronounced “He-nei-ni” — which means “Here I am.”
“Heneini” was Abraham’s response when Gd called his name, Genesis 22:1, and then Gd tested Abraham by instructing him to sacrifice his son.
“Heneini” was Moses’s response when Gd called to him from the burning bush, Exodus 3:4, and then Gd sent Moses to free the Israelites from Egypt.
Thus, while Heneini might literally mean “Here I am,” it also seems to be the response of someone ready to do Gd’s Will, even at great personal expense.
One of these days, I hope to know the doctor well enough to talk to him about his tattoo.
For now, I’m just inspired by the fact that he carries this reminder with him in a location that is always visible to him.
His tattoo makes me wonder whether we all shouldn’t have such a reminder — not a tattoo necessarily, but something — to remind us to be listening for The Call and to be ready to do Gd’s Will…