02 March 2011

You can't get anymore Jewish

In the beginning of the introduction of Up, Up, and Oy Vey! it is said that Jewish Americans invented the comic book. It says that it’s not coincidental that most superhero names end in the word “man”. If you look at many Jewish names, Goldman, Kurtzman, Goodman, and many more, they all end in the word “man”. Another thing said is that they related the Superheroes that they came up with, to the Bible. We can see the many traits that superheroes have which are connected with the Bible: Integrity, Justice, Values, Honor, etc.

In chapter one it talks about some of the ties that Superman comics have with the Bible. The comic says that Superman is a man who has the strength of a dozen Samsons. Samson was the Biblical man who had extraordinary strength and crushed the building of the Philistine chiefs. In episode #81 Superman goes undercover as a shtetl resident. Shtetl is the Yiddish term for a heavily populated Jewish town. In the same episode Superman meats Moishe and Baruch and accompanies them to their house. There, while Baruch is drawing in the corner on a brown piece of paper, Moishe tells superman that Baruch is drawing their angel again and that he, Moishe, makes up the stories while Baruch draws up the pictures.” This represents Siegel and Shuster when Shuster would draw on brown wrapping paper back when they were just young boys. Clearly Jewish religion has strong connections with those superheroes in comic books.

I never really thought about where the inspiration for these characters came. I was on the line of believing and disbelieving that superheroes descended from Jewish beliefs, but was shortly convinced. After I read the part about Moishe and Baruch drawing the pictures and making up the storyline for their “angel”, then I knew that it was true. Superman wasn’t just someone with extraordinary powers who could fly; he was Siegel and Shuster’s angel who they based their entire beliefs off of. Now that makes me wonder if all superheroes are really Jewish underneath.


  1. Nice post! I think that in the summary you could have talked a little more about all the jewish influence. There was a lot of information in that chapter. But over all you did a good job summarizing and your response was good.

  2. I agree with Margaret, but I don't think much of your title--could come off as offensive :-/

    Still your post is strong. But keep in mind that Weinstein isn't trying to say the Superman is Jewish, only that he was created with Jewish influences.