mjj (flemmings) wrote,
mjj
flemmings

Further to the Why is there no Jewish Narnia thing--

the comments on SBTB's entry re same has this observation:
I’d like to throw out an additional reason out there why Judaism and fantasy have not meshed the way Christian (and its subsumed pagan) traditions have. Christianity has a template for a hero, drawing on other mythic traditions, and while their hero’s ultimate triumph hasn’t yet happened, the important stuff has. The world has already been saved, or at least, salvation has been offered. Good has triumphed, and if Evil has not yet been eradicated, it totally will be, really soon. (Any day now….)

The main tropes in Judaism, on the other hand, are not of triumph but of endurance. So many holidays—and historical occurrences—can be summed up with, "They tried to kill us, but we lived (yay for God who helped us not all die)." (J note: the redaction *I* heard was 'they tried to kill us, they failed, let's eat.') Fighting back without being slaughtered wholesale is something that we’ve only been able to do for the past sixty-some years.

A s worthy as endurance is (and as glad I am that we have endured) it would be very difficult to build up a comparable fantasy tradition around simply not dying. Even the heroes in the Tanakh are either flawed or of the quiet sort—and I think that too goes back to something that was said above. Along with the lack of proselytizing is the lack of a burning need to save the world through grand, sweeping gestures— tikkun olam is just how you live, which is incompatible with bashing people with swords or toasting them with fireballs.
Of course you can argue, like the poster below, that the great Jewish heroic saga is "most of the iconic super-heroes featured in American comic books"...
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