03 March 2011

It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's a Nazi Fighting Superhero!!

Simcha Weinstein discusses the heroic icon Superman as actually being of Jewish decent in his book Up, Up, and Oy Vey! To introduce this assumption, Weinstein explains in the introduction how Jewish stories from the Bible influenced the creation of Superman. The discrimination against Jews during World War II further influenced Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster to create Superman because a modern day hero was needed in order to portray that good prevails over evil. Siegel and Shuster were two Jewish men who struggled with discrimination in the 1930s and made a heroic character that secretly was the solution for their social acceptance. The men may have subconsciously linked a lot of Jewish beliefs and stories into Superman’s life. For example, he was sent into outer space by his parents for his life to be saved just like the story of Moses. Superman’s name from Krypton, Kal-El, holds some biblical significance, such as “El” being some of the names of prophets. The extraordinary strength of Superman can be related to the stories of Samson, both also have a weakness. Weinstein continues to connect Jewish beliefs, stories, and morals with Superman. Weinstein discusses frequent comics that involve Superman fighting against Nazism. For example, on the 60th anniversary of Superman, an issue was published where the American icon faces Nazis and claims that he will not tolerate being considered “ubermensh”. The Jewish contribution of comics was not fully recognized until now.

Superman is actually Jewish, who would have thought? Weinstein brought up many interesting arguments throughout his little book, most made a lot of sense to me. I must say, I totally agree that Superman is Jewish and it was not just a coincidence that he was created during a rough era. I think it is amazing how Siegel and Shuster created this hero who has created a sense of hope in different ethnicities throughout the world. The reading was extremely entertaining and fun. Superman never appealed to me like other superhero’s have, but now this 73-year-old supposedly Jewish man has made quite an impact.

3 comments:

  1. I really like your summary. It explains all the main points of these readings. I agree who ever would have thought he was Jewish...now there is facts to allow readers to argue this point.

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  2. I agree with you 100% on your opinion. I've never really liked Superman until I read this, now we know the real impact it had on the people who originally read Action Comics #1.

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  3. I agree with heli; your summary is excellent, Tiara!

    But Weinstein's not saying Superman is Jewish! Read more closely!

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