Friday, February 18, 2005

The Britney Inscription

Michael Gilleland of Laudator Temporis Acti points me towards another mysterious Hebrew inscription, this time on Britney Spears's neck.

Britney, in her enthusiasm for the neo-Kabbalah of her friend Madonna, got a tattoo of several Hebrew letters on the nape of her neck. There is some question as to its exact meaning. It looks to me like it reads מהשׁ, which means nothing in Hebrew, either backwards or forwards. But it could be a garbled form of השׁם, ha-shem, "the Name," a Jewish euphemism for the name of God. If anyone out there has some inside knowledge, let me know.

The photo at Jewschool here is a joke; someone using Photoshop put the Yiddish form of "Jewschool" on Britney's neck.

UPDATE: Paul Nikkel writes that he has previously blogged on Britney's tattoo back in July; his sources indicate that there is a kabbalistic meaning to these letters. Unanswered question: do the letters stand for something, or are they rearrangements of השׁם?


Jim said...

Ed, there's a pretty good story here:

which shows that the tattoo is gibberish. Britney was ripped off and she didn't even know it. It reminds me of the old joke about the guy who got a tattoo that was supposed to say "ladies man" but it really said "man who acts like woman".

Cb said...

The Jewschool link also has this comment. Perhaps this person is on the right track. Kabbalah is not my thing.

It is mem heh shin.
It is one of the triads of the 72 letter name of God, that according to the Kabbalah center is the name for healing energy.
It is very meaningful

The London newspapers have it all wrong.
They probably asked someone who knew Hebrew, but who did not know about the 72 letter name.
It is the London papers who are gibberish.

Cb said...

Just to clarify, the part beginning "It is mem heh shin" is the quote from Jewschool.

Ken said...

My professor at U of A, Francis Landy, did a presentation on Madonna and Kabbalah awhile back. Madonna is a student of the Kabbalah Center and Rabbi Yehuda Berg. It's a popularized and highly commercialized Kabbalistic teaching "ministry" that appeals especially to Hollywood socialites and wannabes. The 72 letter name of God became the basis of one of Yehuda Berg's books and, if you really want to pursue this, you can check it out at

Anonymous said...

Mem Heh Shin is the fourth set of three letter names of G-d out of 72 names of G-d (reading from right to left of course)found in Yehuda Berg's book The 72 Names of God.

It represents healing energy and meditation on this name and this energy have proven to be effective when your mind and heart are in the right place.

Anonymous said...

Correction it is the fifth set