01 March 2012

"Living With The Times"

   Simcha Weinstein starts Up, Up and Oy Vey by saying how before the heroes of today there were biblical fugures that were full of courage and supernatural powers to protect and serve their people. Weinstein also includes that during Jewish holy days stories of biblical heroes are retold. Stories that  are full of hope and faith, guilt and redemption, atrocity and justice, in which good prevails evil. He also mentions Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, who taught Jews about "living with the times" in which Jews relate Torah teachings into events in their own lives. He includes how superheroes resemble themes of Jewish tradition and gives several examples.
   In Superman: From Cleverland to Krypton Weinstein off by telling the story of Kristallnatch or "The Night of Broken Glass" and how the world needed a superhero. And this hero turned out to be Superman. Weinstein analyses the connection of Superman and Jewish tradition. He discusses how at the same time Jews were being attacked in Germany, they were also discriminated in America. During this period Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Jewish comic artists, suffered as their strips were denied due to their religion and eventually created a character that embodied their frustrations. Clark's or "Superman" struggle for a date reflects the creators' desire to gain social acceptance. Weisman goes alot deeper and analyses how Superman is based off of Jewish discrimination throughout history. He also analyses how Superman resembles Moses as both stories are very similar but  have different setting. Examples of Jewish referances are everywhere including biblical stories like Moses and Samson. Even Adolf Hitler is refered to in several occasions like the 1936 Berlin Olympics as well as refferance to the poison gas used by the Nazis. In the last paragraph he goes back and analyses how Superman refers to It's creators as in the comic #81 he tells Lois " It's like we've had a whole other life together. I can remember a whole childhood in the 1920's", the childhood his two Jewish creators  lived.
   I would've never thought that Superman is based off of Jewish history but after reading Up, Up, and Oy Vey i understand the connection. The connection is pretty obvious as Jewish referances are everywhere. What i found more interesting was how Nazi newspaper Das Sshwarze Kops attacked the comic as well as America "Woe to the American youth, who must live in such a poisoned atmosphere and dont even notice the poison they swallow daily" (pg.25). I now see how Superman is an example of "living with the times" as the comic is well related to Jewish history as well as messeges they tell through the stories.


  1. Late!

    But more importantly, how does this relate to a previous text we've read?

    Still, not a bad post.

  2. I dont know how this text relates to the last text that we read before. How does it relate? The last reading was the Journal by Dylan.