Friday, March 16, 2012


Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, of Marvel Comics, created the dual-identity heroes Spider Man, The Hulk, and the X-Men, as well as Dr. Strange, Black Panther, the Falcon, Luke Cage and the Silver Surfer.

Holy transformation, Batman.... Lee and Kirby themselves were living as alter-egos.

Their given names were Stanley Lieberman and Jacob Kurtzberg.

Three book links:
Marvel EncyclopediaBook on the relationship between Jewish identity and classic comic book heroes
History of Marvel Comics

Question for your table: Why have so many Jewish Americans anglicized their names? I mean, what's wrong with "Lieberman"? What's the problem with "Kurtzberg"?

From the Amazing Jewish Fact-a-Day Calendar for March 16, 2012
Android version:
Iphone/ipod/ipad version:

PS - Last week I invited submissions to complete the joke, "How many rabbis does it take to change a lightbulb?"

Here are the best answers, in ascending order:

Ann from New Orleans:
"Three: 1 to report that the light has burned out, 1 to research when the Talmud says it is allowed to make lighting alterations and 1 to supervise that only Koshered tools are used in the changing of the light"
William from Brookline:"It takes five. First, a beit din (rabbinic court) needs to rule that the lightbulb needs to be changed.  Then, a mashgiach (kosher supervisor) needs to certify that the new bulb is kosher, and he needs to supervise the person changing it.  While it used to be that any good bochur (yeshiva student) could change a lightbulb under proper supervision, we have the custom to be machmir (stringent) and mandate that a rav do it.  Finally, the beit din needs to inspect the changed light and the rav who changed the bulb may flip the switch, at which point the beit din declares, "Vayehi or!" (let there be light). And that's assuming nobody presents and dissenting views..."
Nechama from DC says:
"It takes 11 Rabbis, of course! 10 to argue the reasons for changing the light bulb (a really good argument needs a minyan) and 1 to call the custodian who will actually change the light bulb, and change it to an energy efficient bulb!"
Mordechai from Monsey:"Some say two, some say three."

Shabbat Shalom.

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