Jewish mythology  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Jewish mythology is generally the sacred and traditional narratives that help explain and symbolize the Jewish religion, whereas Jewish folklore consists of the folk tales and legends that existed in the general Jewish culture. There is very little early folklore distinct from the aggadah literature. However, mythology and folklore has survived and expanded among the Jewish people in all eras of its history.

Popular culture

In the past century to modern day, there have been many retellings of Jewish myths (mostly from the Torah), and adaptations for the modern public. They have mostly been in the regions of science fiction, as Isaac Asimov noted in his introduction to More Wandering Stars:


"...Can science fiction be part of Jewish culture? From fantasy stories we know?/ And as I think of it, it begins to seem to me that it is and we do know. And the source? From where else? From the Hebrew source for everything-- From the Bible. We have but to look through the Bible to see for ourselves."


He goes on to show parallels between biblical stories and modern science fiction tropes:

  • Let there be light was an example of advanced scientific mechanisms
  • God is an extraterrestrial
  • Adam and Eve as colonists on a new planet
  • The serpent was an alien, as Earth snakes don't speak or show any intelligence
  • The flood was a story of a world catastrophe, and the survivors
  • The Tower of Babel (like Metropolis, which it inspired in part)
  • Moses vs. the Egyptian magicians is advanced technological warfare
  • Samson as sword and sorcery
  • The first chapter of Ezekiel is a UFO account.

The Hugo Awards, one of the highest distinctions for science fiction writers, have been awarded to biblically derived stories. For instance Harlan Ellison's "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream", Larry Niven's "Inconstant Moon" and Harlan Ellison's "The Deathbird".

Another example is Hideaki Anno's Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series, which uses kabbalah elements while narrating a reinterpretation of events surrounding Adam, Eve and Lilith in a futuristic and apocalyptic way.

It is often suggested that Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the two Jewish creators of Superman, essentially the beginning of superhero comics and comic books, were partly inspired by the story of the Golem of Prague.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jewish mythology" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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