TRIGGER WARNING - Please note, in this episode we discuss the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, PA along with a few other instances of hate crimes perpetrated towards Jews.
In this episode we complete our exploration of the VERY Jewish RAGMAN!
Batman #551, 1998 “Suit of Evil Souls” Written by Doug Moench Drawn by Kelley Jones Inked by John Beatty
Colored by Gregory Wright and Android Images Lettered by Todd Klein Edited by Dennis O'Neil and Jordan B. Gorfinkel
Batman #552, 1998 “The Greatest Evil” Written by Doug Moench Drawn by Kelley Jones Inked by John Beatty Colored by Gregory Wright and Android Images Lettered by Todd Klein Edited by Dennis O'Neil and Jordan B. Gorfinkel
Ragman: Suit of Souls #1, Dec 2010 “Tattered Remnants” Written by Christos Gage Drawn and inked by Stephen Segovia Colored by David Curiel Lettered by Rob Leigh Edited by Joey Cavalieri and Chris Conroy
Shadowpact #8, 2018 “Ragtime” Written by Bill Willingham Drawn by Shawn McManus Inked by Raul Fernandez Colored by Mike Atiyeh Lettered by Pat Brosseau Edited by Joey Cavalieri
Batman #551, 1998 “Suit of Evil Souls” Written by Doug Moench Drawn by Kelley Jones Inked by John Beatty Colored by Gregory Wright and Android Images Lettered by Todd Klein Edited by Dennis O'Neil and Jordan B. Gorfinkel Page 2 Batman hunts Hitler Youth swastika tattooed man Member of the Aryan Reich "You murdered Benjamin Mizrahi! Half the Congregation of Temple Beth Israel saw you!... why did you hate him?" "He was a Jew! And Jews take over everything-- even this stinkin' slum!" Temple Beth Israel There's an M.O. Congregation Beth Israel West Side Jewish Center at 34th and 9th Ave (1925 built current building - Hell's Kitchen!) There's Temple Beth Israel in Port Washington, NY (Nassau county Long Island, Conservative, building opened in 1960) How satisfying to see Batman beat up Neo Nazis Page 4 Jewish cemetery Page 5-6 Rory Regan meets the victim's rabbi, Isaac Ben Luria Rory is wearing a kippa! A shooting on "the Sabbath" outside the synagogue ...oy, Pittsburgh, Poway Humboldt Street Synagogue in Halle, Germany Someone throws a brick through the shul window Page 11 "A new shred of the Ragman… forever bonded by a protective shem." Emet written in wrong direction (top to bottom, tav first) Page 12 Radio interview between Vesper Fairchild and Dr. David Levy on anti-semitism Diaspora I guess that's one word for the exiles Lachrymose Conception of Jewish History - Salo Baron, 20th Century historian, taught at Columbia University, opposed this concept Should have ended with the creation of modern Israel Seems to be a summary of the thought behind Zionism. That if Jews became like the rest of the world… Page 13 "The scriptures speak of a 'dispersion of divine light' throughout the universe -- and this has been interpreted, on a human level, as the purpose behind the constant wandering of the Jews… dispersing and disseminating the truth of God throughout the world." Seems to be a possible reading of Lurianic Kabbalah, in which mitzvot help restore shattered vessels Carl Friedman's 1993 novel, The Shovel and the Loom. Character Chaya studies Luria "With the dispersion of the divine light began the Diaspora of the Jews, whose task it was to gather the stray sparks and in that way restore the cosmos to its former perfection… Under the influence of Luria, the Diaspora became a positive force, the condition for, as well as introduction to, Olam HaBa, the World to Come. The person of the Messiah became less important. The crucial thing was to prepare the way." Light unto the nations? Isaiah 42:6 I the LORD have called unto you in righteousness, and have taken hold of your hand, and submitted you as the people's covenant, as a light unto the nations Mentions xenophobia, how kashrut may be to discourage socialization with other peoples Page 14 Vesper asks if that means Jews are also xenophobic Dr. Levy says the traditions derive from God's law Page 15 Review of golem, meaning "body without soul" Kind of…it's inchoate form, mass without animating force Review of Ragman mini Page 18 "Know that we shall seek God together- through piety and prayer, humility... and love.
Batman #552, 1998 “The Greatest Evil” Written by Doug Moench Drawn by Kelley Jones Inked by John Beatty Colored by Gregory Wright and Android Images Lettered by Todd Klein Edited by Dennis O'Neil and Jordan B. Gorfinkel Page 6 Aryan Reich attacks Rabbi Luria, "and this ain't Israel! Rabbi Luria is unphased, claiming no fear or hate Claims Jews tricked America into joining the wrong side, "but America's changed, Jew, and now you're" Terrifyingly relevant Page 7 Rory asks rabbi to use fire from a menorah come on, Rory Page 8 "It is said that the sound of smashing glass chases away demons and evil spirits!" wedding Rosh Hashanah 16b - why blow the shofar? To confuse Satan Chullin 105b - Rav Ashi uses horns to excommunicate a demon (מזיקין) Page 9 A single will of righteousness to overcome the evil souls Feels very Sodom or zadok Page 10 "You must use the power of evil to do good… think and feel before you act." Very rabbinic. Kovesh et yitzro Yoma 69b - rabbis capture the evil inclination and find nobody possesses a sex drive anymore Idea is even base inclinations can be ok if guided to holy purpose "But...how can I not hate evil? " "By loving God more." Proverbs 8:13 יִֽרְאַ֣ת יְהוָה֮ שְֽׂנֹ֫את רָ֥ע גֵּ֘אָ֤ה וְגָא֨וֹן ׀ וְדֶ֣רֶךְ רָ֭ע וּפִ֨י תַהְפֻּכ֬וֹת שָׂנֵֽאתִי׃ To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride, arrogance, the evil way, And duplicity in speech. Psalm 97:10 אֹהֲבֵ֥י ה שִׂנְא֫וּ רָ֥ע שֹׁ֭מֵר נַפְשׁ֣וֹת חֲסִידָ֑יו מִיַּ֥ד רְ֝שָׁעִ֗ים יַצִּילֵֽם׃ O you who love the LORD, hate evil! He guards the lives of His loyal ones, saving them from the hand of the wicked. א֭וֹר זָרֻ֣עַ לַצַּדִּ֑יק וּֽלְיִשְׁרֵי־לֵ֥ב שִׂמְחָֽה׃ Light is sown for the righteous, radiance for the upright. Makhloket in Judaism Page 12 Explanation of Kabbalah "Thirty-Two Paths to Wisdom" From 32 mentions of Elohim in Genesis 1 "It was developed in the thirteenth century as ecstatic contemplation of Ezekial's vision - a chariot believed to be God's 'throne'...and it espouses mixed doctrine that man himself embodies the universe and all its mysteries." Mixes it up with chariot mysticism - yordei merkavah Bits of Shiur Komach 13th century, yes. Though it strikes me this rabbi would claim earlier Connects Kabbalah to Hasidism, all accurate "The entire universe- taken together- is God, and man is made in God's image. Man is therefore a miniature embodiment of the universe." Links to Adam HaRishon as giant, cosmic, essentially all Refers to God as being in everything Amazing page Page 13 "Seek and find God everywhere, even in evil--and evil's power will wither before God" Very Rav Nachman nekudah tovah. Likutei Moharan 282:1, quoting Psalm 37:10 וְעוֹד מְעַט וְאֵין רָשָׁע וְהִתְבּוֹנַנְתָּ עַל מְקוֹמוֹ וְאֵינֶנּוּ Why the fuck are they praying on their knees?! Page 18 Rabbi reminds Rory of command not to kill, then gets shot Page 19 Take vengeance, but within the law Din within strict bounds, tempered by love and chesed
Ragman: Suit of Souls, Dec 2010 “Tattered Remnants” Written by Chritos Gage Drawn and inked by Stephen Segovia Colored by David Curiel Lettered by Rob Leigh Edited by Joey Cavalieri and Chris Conroy Page 1 Rory visits Rabbi Mandel “I had a question..I read about this guy, in the sixties, a grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. The New York Times revealed he was actually Jewish. He killed himself because he couldn’t live with people knowing. Rabbi, how does someone hate himself so much?” Daniel Burros Former member of American Nazi Party Recruiter for the United Klans of America Most violent group at time John McCandlish Phillips revealed Burros’ Jewish background in New York Times article Hours after the article, Burros shoots himself in chest and head While listening to Richard Wagner Self-hating Jew Rory worries father was self-hating Jew because he grew up without Judaism in house Page 3 “I didn’t even know I was Jewish until I was sixteen. My father gave me an Irish name, after some actor he liked. What kind of father doesn’t tell his son where he came from?” Rehashes entire 1991 mini Page 11 Rabbi notes Ragman left a day before the uprising ended. “Why did he leave when there was still a chance more could be saved?” “DON’T YOU THINK I’VE ASKED MYSELF THAT?” Page 17 “Since I’ve worn this suit, my faith and my heritage have become very important to me. I wish I’d known about them earlier in my life.” YES “Rabbi Mandel, my father was a good man, a proud man. He wasn’t ashamed of being a junkman, or poor, or old..so why was he ashamed of being a Jew?” Rabbi suggests Rory speak to a soul in the suit who knew his father Page 19 Jaegar Brandt reveals the fire would have destroyed all the trapped souls They overtook Jerry and forced him to leave He would have stayed to fight Page 20 Gerry never knew they could do that, he thought he was just a coward “He changed his name to Gerry Regan telling himself it would be easier to find work that way. He put aside his religion, his past, telling himself it was to spare his family from anti-semitism. But the truth is that he was ashamed, not of who he was, of what he thought he’d done. He was the protector of his people, yet, at the moment of their great need, he fled. Your father wasn’t ashamed to call himself a Jew. He didn’t feel worthy.” Page 21 Brandt fades, he found redemption in telling story
Shadowpact #8, 2007 “Ragtime” Written by Bill Willingham Drawn by Shawn McManus Inked by Raul Fernandez Colored by Mike Atiyeh Lettered by Pat Brosseau Edited by Joey Cavalieri Willingham not Jewish, but fan of Israel Page 4 "Why is ours the only ethnicity where the correct term for us is also the most popular pejorative used against us?" Originally Reganiwiecz (Polish?) Page 5 Changed to Irish name Get into American dream Didn't realize Irish weren't accepted Clever retcon to keep things smooth Except...now his father can't have been in Warsaw Ghetto Rory is inside his rags, getting beaten by evil souls until a Marcus Liberius comes to him Page 14 Mention his death at the siege of Masada Martyrdom Before it was rags, there was a cloak, a spear, a dagger Stretches back to days of Abraham Magical Jewish weapon. Moses' coat? Or Judah's? Reminds me of Noah, where Noah wears tefillin made of snakeskin page 15 Judgment resembles Gehenna Redemption engine Teshuva like