The Jewish Chronicle - - FEATURES -

The se­ries in which we in­ves­ti­gate the Semitic qual­i­ties (or oth­er­wise) of some­one in the news Cre­ated in 1932 by Jewish comic-book writ­ers Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the man of steel has of­ten been hailed as the em­bod­i­ment of the Jewish Amer­i­can dream. Why, a cur­rent ex­hi­bi­tion in Paris’s Mu­seum of Jewish Art and His­tory even claims him as one of ours. So is he?

Su­per­man’s voy­age to the dis­tant shores of Amer­ica is a quest for sur­vival, es­cap­ing the Holo­caust-style dis­as­ter con­sum­ing his na­tive planet, Kryp­ton. Born KalEl – sus­pi­ciously He­brew-sound­ing — Su­per­man chooses the much-less dis­tin­guished moniker Clark Kent as a way to as­sim­i­late. In­deed, by dat­ing the nonJewish Lois Lane, Kent is clearly par­o­dy­ing the Jewish need to fit in. Plus, not only were both his creators Jewish, but so is the lawyer fight­ing Time Warner on be­half of Jerome Siegel’s widow Joanne, for more of Su­per­man’s pro­ceeds. AGAINST: Be­fore you in­vite Su­per­man to your next Shab­bat din­ner, re­mem­ber that the hero ad­heres to no spe­cific re­li­gion, was raised in the goy­ishe state of Kansas, and his adopted par­ents cel­e­brate Christ­mas, not Chanu­cah. Plus, why would Clark Kent work in a news­pa­per of­fice rather than, say, an es­tate agency? VER­DICT: If he re­ally were Jewish, Su­per­man would not be try­ing to up­stage the Mes­siah be­fore his ar­rival. Plus, wouldn’t his mother have been on at him to stop wear­ing his pants out­side his tights?

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